This transcript of Edward Sylvester Morse's travel diaries, completed by scholar Hina Hirayama, covers his three separate trips to Japan, in 1877, 1878-1879, and 1882-1883. The diaries are extensively illustrated, and the sketch numbers and a short description are provided here in red. To read more from Hirayama about Morse's diaries and the origins of this transcription project, click here.
In 1877, Morse traveled to Japan for the first time. Having been invited by the Japanese government to join the newly created University of Tokyo, he taught there in the fall of 1877 before returning to the U.S. to fulfill his other lecture obligations. He then sailed back to Japan with his family the following year and remained until 1879. The third trip in the diary documents Morse's return to Japan from 1882-1883. His copious notes and abundant sketches were used to produce books on Japanese architecture and customs, the most notable being his 1886 book, Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings, and his 1917 publication, Japan Day by Day.
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