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Joseph Hardy Neesima (AC 1870) Collection, 1870
1.8 Linear feet 1 records carton box, 1 half archives box, 1 quarter archives box, 1 volume
Collection number: MA.00355

Abstract:
The material in the Joseph Hardy Neesima Collection consists mostly of secondary source material created about Neesima in the twentieth century.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Joseph Hardy Neesima Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Joseph Hardy Neesima Collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical / Historical

Shimeta Niijima (see note on names below) was born February 15, 1843 in Edo, Japan. His father, Niijima Tamiji was recording secretary to Itakura Katsukiyo.

In 1861, Neesima entered the Tokugawa Naval School. In 1864 a ship's captain, William T. Savory, smuggled Neesima from Japan to China and helped to secure his passage on the Wild Rover, a schooner en route to Boston, Massachusetts. The Wild Rover was owned by Alpheus Hardy and the family sponsored Neesima upon his arrival.

Neesima entered Amherst College in 1868 and graduated as a member of the class of 1870. He was awarded an LLD by the Andover Theological Seminary in 1874. The next year, Neesima returned to Japan and founded a school in Kyoto which grew to be Doshisha University. He married Yamamoto Yaeko in 1876. Amherst College awarded Neesima an honorary doctorate in 1889. Neesima died in 1890.

A Note on Names: The most common form of this name in the United States appears to be Joseph Hardy Neesima. His childhood name was Niijima Shimeta and on occasion one can find this alternative spelling of the surname. He appears to have changed his name to Joseph Hardy Neesima in the mid-1860s. It is important to note that the Library of Congress subject heading for Neesima is Niijima, Jō, 1843-1890.

Scope and Contents

The material in the Joseph Hardy Neesima Collection consists mostly of secondary source material created about Neesima in the twentieth century. Examples of this material include: correspondence about portraits of Neesima; examples of his legacy in Japan and continued collaboration between Doshisha University and Amherst College; contemporary and twentieth century newspaper clippings documenting Neesima's activities or other items related to him. The small amount of primary source material in this collection includes: two letters written by Neesima; photographs; ephemera from graduation and ordination ceremonies, and a watercolor sketch.

The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series 1: Material Concerning Joseph Hardy Neesima
  2. Series 2: Material Created by Joseph Hardy Neesima

Series 1 is divided into four sub-series. See series scope and content note below for a detailed description.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Joseph Hardy Neesima Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Joseph Hardy Neesima Collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

The finding aid was revised in 2017. The Neesima Collection had originally been part of a collection titled the Neesima and Uchimura Collection. The collections were separated to preserve the integrity of the material. A new arrangement was imposed to separate primary and secondary source material. Every attempt was made to make note of reproductions and other non-original materials.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
Language
English
Language
Materials in the collection appear in English and in Japanese.
Related Materials

The Julius Hawley Seelye Papers (see separate finding aid) contains correspondence written by Neesima and addressed to either Julius Hawley Seelye or his wife, Elizabeth Tillman James Seelye.

The Amherst Student contains information on Neesima (see 1870 issues). Amherst and Springfield newspapers also contained accounts of the 1870 commencement ceremonies.

The Doshisha University Collection (see separate finding aid) contains information related to Doshisha University, the school founded by Neesima, and its connections to Amherst College.

Separated Materials

Correspondence regarding the exhibition of an image of the Wild Rover and the loan of a Neesima portrait was moved to the control file. Photocopies of unidentified 19th century photographs and a photocopy of Neesima's handwriting is in the control file. (Oct 2017)


Contents List
Series 1: Material Concerning Joseph Hardy Neesima



Arrangement:

Arranged into three sub-series:

  1. Sub-series A: Biographical Information
  2. Sub-series B: Portraits of Neesima
  3. Sub-series C: Additional Information
  4. Sub-series D: Modern Ephemera
Scope and content:

Sub-series A contains secondary source material regarding Neesima's biography.

Sub-series B consists of material relating to two portraits of Neesima painted after his death, including a portrait of Neesima presented to Amherst College in 1903 by the class of 1870. The sub-series also contains correspondence between Arthur Black and Stanley King as well as other ephemera regarding the gift of a portrait of Neesima to Amherst House at Doshisha University.

Sub-series C holds other more tangential information related to Neesima including an image of the ship that brought Neesima to the United States. An obituary from the Springfield Republican and other newspaper clippings are also included. One folder contains articles and advertisements from the Cape Codder in 1978, offering a reward for information on the whereabouts of lost drawings done by Neesima. The drawings depict the Taylor homestead (Horace Taylor was the captain of the Wild Rover).

Sub-series D contains evidence of continuing 20th century interest in Neesima including a concert held in his honor and modern photographs of sites related to him. Also included are sheets of a commemorative stamp.

Each sub-series is arranged chronologically. A number of fragile items may be restricted, but use copies are available to researchers.

Sub-series A: Biographical Information



Biographical information on Joseph Hardy Neesima
1870, 1890, 1895, 1929, 1990s, undated

Box 1: folder 1
Scrapbook - Doshisha University and Joseph Hardy Neesima
[1880s]

Box 1: folder 2
Reference data on Joseph Hardy Neesima
ca 1993

Box 1: folder 3
Research paper on Joseph Hardy Neesima by Yukata Dohi
ca 1993

Box 1: folder 4
Research volumes "The Young Technocrat of Tokugawa"
[circa 1993]
5 Volumes
Box 4
Sub-series B: Portraits of Neesima



Clipping and program - presentation of portrait by the Class of 1870
1903

Box 1: folder 5
Correspondence - portrait at Amherst House (Doshisha)
1933-1936

Box 1: folder 6
Clippings and facsimile - portrait at Amherst House (Doshisha)
1936

Box 1: folder 7
Sub-series C: Additional Information



Clippings
1870, 1885

Box 1: folder 8
Clippings and articles
ca.1903-1961

Box 1: folder 9
Typescript - Takahira address at Amherst College
1909

Box 1: folder 10
Clippings - Neesima lost drawings
1978

Box 1: folder 11
Facsimile image - Wild Rover (ship)
undated

Box 1: folder 12
Sub-series D: Modern Ephemera



Japanese commemorative postage stamp
1950

Box 1: folder 13
Japan-America Friendship Concert programs
1993

Box 1: folder 14
Japan-America Friendship Concert banners
1993

Box 2: folder 1
Niijima Gakuen High School Catalogs
1990s

Box 2: folder 2
Photographs of Neesima-related sites
1990s

Box 2: folder 3
"The Manga Story of Jo Niijima"
2009

Box 2: folder 4
Exhibition ephemera - "Doshisha's Cultural Heritage for the Future" Neesima Room
2011-2012

Box 2: folder 5
Scroll
undated

Box 4
Series 2: Material Created by Joseph Hardy Neesima



This series contains a variety of material, including: photographs, one drawing by Neesima, and ephemera related to his graduation from Amherst College and his ordination ceremony. The series only includes a small amount of correspondence - one original manuscript letter written to "Mr. Smart" and photocopies of letters written to Captain William Savory. Any original correspondence to Julius Hawley Seelye is included in Seelye's papers (held at Amherst College). The copy of Seelye's introduction and preface to "The Way, the Truth, the Life" appears to be in Neesima's own hand. One photograph album is not located in a folder but is in its own box at the end of this series.

Correspondence by Neesima
1869-1881

Box 2: folder 6
Location of originals:

Photocopies in this folder are of unknown provenance. Location of originals unknown.

Amherst College commencement program
1870

Box 2: folder 7
Autograph signature
1874

Box 2: folder 8
Ordination - ephemera and letter
1874

Box 2: folder 9
Typescript and manuscript - Introduction and preface to Seelye's "The Way, The Truth, The Life"
: Includes a typed transcription.
1881

Box 2: folder 10
"Gods of Thunder" drawing
ca.[1870s]

Box 2: folder 11
Photographs of Neesima and family
ca. 1880s

Box 2: folder 12
Photograph album
ca 1880s

Box 3

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Amherst College
  • Dōshisha Daigaku--History.
  • Niijima, Jō, 1843-1890 (AC 1870)


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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