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Takeo Arishima correspondence


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Takeo Arishima (1878-1923) was born on March 4, 1878, to a wealthy family in Tokyo, Japan. He was a Japanese novelist, short-story writer, and essayist during the late Meiji and Taishō periods. He was educated at a mission school in Yokohama, where he learned English. After an attempted suicide, Arishima became a Christian in 1901. After a mandatory stint in the Imperial Japanese Army, Arishima took English lessons from Mary Elkinton Nitobe, Inazo Nitobe's wife, and in July 1903, he obtained a position as a foreign correspondent in the United States for the Mainichi Shimbun. In the United States, he enrolled at Haverford College and later Harvard University. After graduation, he briefly worked in a psychiatric hospital operated by Quakers. He recorded his experiences from his journey to the United States in his diary.

During his time in the United States, he became critical towards Christianity, was attracted to socialism, and was influenced by the works of writers such as Walt Whitman, Henrik Ibsen, and Peter Kropotkin. His time and experiences in the United States and subsequent year in Europe also profoundly influenced his writing style and his outlook on the world, resulting in feelings of alienation from Japanese society.

After he returned to Japan in 1907, he re-entered the army briefly before becoming an English and ethics teacher in 1909 at his alma mater. He died on June 9, 1923.

This collection is comprised of the personal correspondence of Takeo Arishima and a single portrait photograph of him.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed January, 2016.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
January, 2016
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1903-1907.
Box 1 Folder 1
Photographs, 1904.

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