Welcome > 1890s


::The Chicago Exposition, 1893 or "World's Fair"::

"1891 October Appointed a member of researchers for the display of Columbian World Exhibition in Chicago" (Ahagon 356).

 Along with him was his own wife Nakamura Sen who was on the Women's Committee. The special committeewas formed in "March 1892 in response to a letter from the president of the Board of Lady Managers, Mrs. Potter Palmer, conveyed to the empress by the American ambassador, requesting her support and contribution to the Woman's Building, to which the empress eagerly agreed and personally provided funding." (Conant 259 Japan "Abroad" at the Chicago Exposition, 1893)

Also mentioned in Conant's article are other associates of Takamine, Yamakawa Sutematsu and Nagai Shige.

Chicago Daily Tribune January 18, 1892

Has Named a World's Fair Council:  The Action Taken by the Exposition Commissioner-General in Japan

"Masataro Mutso, commissioner-General ofo the World's Columbian Exposition in japan, has apointed a council to act with and advise him in the preparation for the Japanese exhibit.  The government is represented in the council by the following officers:...Hideo Takamine, Imperial Museum;  Kakugo [Kakuzo] Okakura, Tokio College of Fine Arts..."

::ALICE MABEL BACON & Yamakawa/OYAMA Sutematsu::

Yamakawa/OYAMA Sutematsu was the younger sister of Yamakawa Kenjiro, friend of Takamine. Like Hideo, Sutematsu was educated abroad (graduate of Vassar).

In a letter to Alice Bacon, written in January 7, 1899 (property of Vassar University)

"...I spoke to Mr. Takamine the head of the Normal School, at least I asked Shige to sound him on the subject.  He came to see me this afternoon and we had a long conversation about it.  It seems he wants just such a person as you for the school and he and Dr. Nakajima who teaches metaphysics there besides his work at the University had been talking about engaging an American lady of right kind, the only trouble being a want of sufficient funds to call her from a distance.  Now they have a faiere prospect of getting more mony from Mombusho, though not as much as they wish, still enough to engage another teacher.  I am afraid that the salary is not high, but if you do not care for money part so much as the work which will be most interesting in Japan as that school is the highest in Japan, though that is not saying much, still your work will be quite different from what you did at the Peeresses School.  Mr. Takamine wished me to tell you that at first your may not find your work as interesting as you expected, but he will do all he can to conform to your wishes and there are a number of teachers there who have been to America who will understand foreign ways ...Mr. Takamine said if you wish to establish a school of your own after you have stayed a while, he thougt he could help you in many ways or if you get interested in your work at the Normal School, and wished to continue to be connected with it, he would be glad to keep you indefinitely so long as he is at the head of it.  He and Dr. Nakajima are very anxious to have more foreign ideas instilled into the school and for this a person of highest education and culture is needed who will be willing to work with them to this end..You know Mr. Takamine stands foremost among the educationalists of Japan and I have more respect and admiration for him than for anyone else. I do not think you will fair badly in his hands and as far as my opinion goes you will be safer in that school than any other in Japan...Takamine is a man of very advanced ideas and he will be very sympathetic in your work.  He says he wishes to introduce reforms into the school, only he cannot do so at once and he hopes to do so gradually.  He is very conservative in some ways, but he undersatnds about education better than any one I know."

March 4, 1899 Sutematsu to Alice (property of Vassar University)

"I have been asked by Mr. Takamine through Shige to write to you more definitely about the offer the Normal School can make you...the salary is only 100 yen per month which is certainly not very large but on the other hand you are required to teach only two hours daily.  Mr. Takamine hopes to enlarge the school every year and in time raise your salaray, and also to build a house...His idea is not to get so much your actual work in the school room, though that is valuable, as your strong character which will influence the students in the right way and to lead them to higher ideals---in short to form their characters on the broader basis.  It seems Mr. Takamine wishes to make you the central figure of the school around which the girls will rally and to set you as an example for them to copy.  Both he and Dr. Nakajima feel the need of some such person in the school, for though the teaching is good enough as it is, the students need a higher moral teaching and broader ideals not so much by lectures and textbooks as by daily example...but any rate you are very much admired by them and they are very anxious to secure your help."

May 25, 1899 Sutematsu to Alice (property of Vassar University)

"It is nearly three weeks since Mr. Takamine asked me to write to you, but you know I have been nearly standing on my head with my daughter's trousseau for she is to be married in June.  Mr. Takamine will wait for you till next year if it is impossible for you to come this year;  but if you can, could youYou see Japanese education is dependent on politics, and if the government changes, the head of Mombusho changes, and if a cranky old conservative happens to be the Minister of Education, the heads of different schools naturally come to clash with him and resignations, suspended work and general hubbub follows. When you get here you will understand all the difficulties that stand in the way of our educationalists. Still Mr. Takamine is such an able man that Mombusho will not be able to find another to displace him even if their ideas come to collision. So I think you may safely place yourself in Mr. Takamine's hands and I am sure that so long as he takes a thing in hand he will carry it through thick and thin..."

"They are enlarging the Normal School just now and they are in a dreadful confusion.  I went to see Mr. Takamine there and saw him as as Mr. Nakajima who happened to come in."

Sutematsu's personal sentiment was shared by many people in the field of education both during that era and amongst present day researchers. The clash of ideas and resignations suggests Sutematsu's awareness in a severe conflict between Takamine and the minister of education which did result in the former's dramatic resignation. The school known as Tokyo Women's Normal School, Tokyo Higher Women's Normal School present day Ochanomizu was an ongoing project for Takamine. Descriptions of that school may be found [here]. Research on the woman's progressive movement in the late nineteenth will often discuss the school and its alumni. It should be noted that the school was not radical in its views, due to close supervision by the Ministry of Education, however it did attract negative attention and at times ridicule. The chronology below will also illustrate his work at Tokyo Normal School or Tokyo Higher Normal School (they are the same institution) for men. You will notice the constant appointment or reappointment to various jobs. Although he was not always on location at the school he continued to exercise considerable influence at the school.

Takamine Hideo