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"Hawley and His Collection"

Dr. Yokoyama's portlait
Dr. Manabu Yokoyama is a notable Hawley scholar at the Notre Dame Seishin University, Okayama, Japan. 
The following article was written for the Japanese Studies (British Library Occasional Paper II), British Library, 1990. The permission of reprinting and editing the article was granted by the author. Should you have any questions regarding the content, please contact Dr. Yokoyama directly. 



The Frank Hawley Collection

The Frank Hawley collection is very important for those who are interested in the study of Ryukyu or Okinawa. The collection, which is now housed in the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library, contains books and documents related to Ryukyu from Hawley's originally larger collection. These books and documents were transferred to the University of Hawaii after Hawley's death in 1961. 

Who was Frank Hawley?
1906 - 1930
Frank Hawley was born on 31 March in 1906 in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, in the north of England. In 1924, he entered Liverpool University, where he majored in comparative philology and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927. From that time, remaining enrolled in Liverpool University, he also studied at Berlin University and Cambridge University as a research fellow. In 1930, he became a lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London University. 

1931 - 1941
In the summer of 1931, Hawley became acquainted with a Japanese philologist. He traveled to Japan as an English teacher for the Tokyo College of Foreign Studies from 17 September 1931 to 31 March 1934, serving concurrently as an English teacher at Tokyo Higher Normal School. On 11 April 1934, he married Minoda Toshiko, and taught English at the Third Higher School in Kyoto for one year. When the contract with the school expired, he returned to Tokyo, where he engaged in editing dictionaries as well as in some translation work. In 1941, he was serving as Managing Director of the British Library of Information and Culture.

1941 - 1945 (World War II period)
On 8 December, 1941, with the outbreak of the war, he was detained in Sugamo Prison. He was released on 29 July 1942 and the following day he left Yokohama for England aboard the repatriation ship, Tatsuta-maru, via Lourenco Marques. The Tatsuta-maru arrived in Liverpool on 10 October. At the time of his repatriation, almost all of his books, plus 383 books belonging to the British Library of Information and Culture were seized under the Enemy Property Administration Law. They were later purchased by Keio University through the Mitsui Trust Company. On returning to England, Frank Hawley was employed as a lecturer in Japanese at London University and was also involved in establishing the Japanese Language Section of the BBC.1 After that, he worked for the British Foreign Office. 

1946 - 1961
In February 1946, Hawley joined The Times, and in July that year he left for an assignment in Japan as its special correspondent. He arrived in Japan in August and worked for The Times until February of 1952. He then accepted a position with The London Daily Telegraph for about six months as a special correspondent. In the autumn of the same year, he moved to Yamashina in Kyoto and devoted his time entirely to research work and writing. At the time of his death on 10 January 1961, he had published two books at his own expense.

History of the Hawley's Collection

During his first ten years in Japan, he collected more than 16,000 books. When Hawley returned to Japan after the war, he made a great effort to get back those books and successfully retrieved most of his collection. Fortunately, details of this affair were put on record so we can find approximate numbers of the books seized and all the names of the books returned to him. Under the application of the Enemy Property Administration Law, Hawley's collection was entrusted to the Mitsui Trust Company, as Civil Property Custodian on 27 August 1942. It was sold to Keio University Library for about 60,000 yen on 10 May 1943. On 4 November of the same year, Toshiko, Hawley's wife, wrote a letter to the Swiss Legation which represented British interests during the war, and asked them to preserve all the books.2The letter gave details of his collection as follows:

  • Materia Medica 
  • Papermaking 
  • Japanese language
  • Botany
  • Fauna and flora
  • Early Christianity in Japan
  • Japanese cultural history
  • A special collection dealing with the Loochiu Island
  • Religion
  • Architecture China (mostly linguistic)
  • Art 
  • Dictionaries and general linguistic material
  • Bibliographical material Noh drama
  • A special collection dealing with Mongolia and Manchukuo

The letter indicated total number of volumes approximately 21,000, of which some 1,500 are in European languages (mostly English and French), the remainder being in Japanese and Chinese. Furthermore, a letter written by Hawley himself dated 15 September 1946 and addressed to the Civil Property Custodian, contained thirteen claims and listed the following number of books: 

"When, after my release from Sugamo prison (July 29, 1942), I left Japan for England on July 30, 1942, I was compelled to leave behind in my house at 45 Minamicho, Gochome, Aoyama, Akasakaku, Tokyo, my collection of European, Japanese and Chinese books, amounting to some 1,470 European items (in some 2,630 volumes) and some 3,261 Japanese and Chinese items (in some 15,000 volumes). The part which was not seized consists of some 207 European items and some 554 Japanese Chinese items, amounting in all to some 1,600 volumes.3 "

According to an agreement4 concluded on 1 July 1949 between Hawley and the Japanese government, the number of books Hawley ultimately retrieved was as follows:

  • Japanese and Chinese books: 2,483 titles, 1 0,835 volumes
  • Japanese and Chinese incomplete volumes: 91 titles; 1,933 volumes
  • damaged Japanese and Chinese books: 14 titles; 26 volumes
  • Japanese and Chinese books not returned: 11 titles; 23 volumes
  • Western books: 438 titles; 748 volumes
  • incomplete Western volumes: 7 titles; 22 volumes
  • damaged Western books: 1 title; 1 volume
  • Western books not returned: 7 titles; 8 volumes

Total 2,919 titles 11,571 volumes

In short, the Library which Frank Hawley left in Japan when he was repatriated comprised '3,261 titles, about 15,000 volumes of Japanese books' and '1,470 titles about 2,630 volumes of Western books'. Of these, 2,707 titles of Japanese books and 1,263 titles of Western ones, totaling 16,030 volumes were confiscated under the Enemy Property Administration Law and sold to Keio University Library through the Mitsui Trust Company. A part of the collection was destroyed in air raids and the number of books finally returned to Hawley was 2,483 titles of Japanese and Chinese books plus 438 titles of Western books, totaling 2,919 titles composed of 11,571 volumes.

This was the Hawley Library collection before the war. After the war, it grew to a much greater collection until it was put up for sale at the auction of the Library of Frank Hawley held in April of 1961. At the auction there were 730 titles listed on the catalogue and total sales amounted to more than 24 million yen.5

The above mentioned agreement between Hawley and the Japanese government was accompanied by two catalogues of books; one for Japanese and Chinese books with a title of Inventory of the books in Japanese and Chinese languages on the cover, and the other for Western books with a title of Inventory of the books in European languages. We can obtain a synoptic view of the contents of Frank Hawley's Library before the War from these two catalogues. The catalogue for Japanese and Chinese books lists 177 titles of books related to Ryukyuan studies.

1. Ohkura Yunosuke This is London BBC (Saimaru Publishing Company, Tokyo, 1983).
2. Letter from Toshiko Hawley to Swiss Legation, 4 November 1952. This letter was prepared by John Morris, a friend of Hawley. The draft was written on 4 July and on the loth its clean copy was sent to Toshiko. The actual date of mailing to the Swiss Legation was 4 November
3. Memorandum: Library of Frank Hawley, British subject
4. Receipt for Restitution to United Nation National of Wrongfully Transferred Property in Japan, File No.05264
5. It is not easy to grasp the real state of Hawley's library which grew after the war. After resigning from the post of correspondent for The Times, he made a living from a balance between selling his old books and purchasing new ones. He traded his books concerning whales and Ryukyu separately from those sold in the special sales at the Tokyo Bijutsu Club. 

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Contact: Tokiko Yamamoto Bazzell
Japan Specialist Librarian
e-mail: tokiko@hawaii.edu
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