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series description


Series III. Literary Works

Dates: 1955 - 2002
Size: 51 linear feet
This series is divided into seven subseries - Japanese Inn, Black Ship Scroll, Modern Japanese Prints, Shimoda Story, Japanese Pilgrimage, Dazaifu and Other Writings.


Subseries: Japanese Inn

Size: 4.5 linear feet
Published by Random House in 1961. Statlerfs second book spans four centuries of history of a distinguished Minaguchi-ya Inn on the Tokaido Road. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for non-fiction for six months.

The sub-subseries Research notes consists of the contents removed from eighteen binders of Statler handwritten notes and some typed transcripts of translations of research materials originally in Japanese. These were arranged alphabetically according to the labels on the spine of the binder. The Research notes also contain 8h X 6h handwritten notebooks arranged alphabetically by topic.

The sub-subseries Manuscripts consists of both holograph and typed drafts but not all of them are complete.

The sub-subseries Correspondence consists of letters filed in folders and removed from scrapbooks where letters had been glued, taped and stapled onto highly acidic pages. The original order was roughly by date. Some letters from publishers were mixed in with comments from people who read the manuscript. Provenance was maintained with the exception of the letters from James A. Michener. They were removed and placed in the Michener correspondence folders. (Box 10)

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Subseries: Black Ship Scroll

Size: .75 linear feet
Published by John Weatherhill, Inc. in 1963. Statlerfs third book based on the events portrayed in an anonymous Japanese artistfs scroll depicting Commodore Perryfs ships and men at Yokohama and Shimoda. Depicts the American role in the opening of Japan. Consists primarily of drafts of the manuscript and a small amount of correspondence with the publisher. There are mounted photographic blowups of the illustrations for the book stored in Oversize Box 1. Included with these are some mounted photos of the Emperorfs visit to Minaguchi-ya Inn. There are also some beautiful commemorative stamps and postcards issued for the Black Ship Festival in the material.


Subseries: Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn

Size: .5 linear feet
Published by Charles E. Tuttle Company in 1956. Statlerfs first book about a group of living artists whom he knew personally became a classic reference for contemporary art in Japan at that time.

Contents include gModern Japanese Creative Printsh a paper delivered to The Asiatic Society of Japan on February 14, 1955 that includes photographs of the art prints discussed. The book evolved from this paper. Manuscript drafts include the authorfs galley proof. Correspondence includes letters from A. Uchima and S. Yamaguchi. The clippings and reviews were salvaged from a deteriorating scrapbook. Includes some photographs of various print artists. (see Box Inventory 25/9 for names)


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Subseries: Shimoda Story

Size: 15.5 linear feet
Published by Random House in 1969. This book relates on an almost day-to-day basis the actions of Townsend Harris and the reactions of the Japanese in an extremely critical period in Japanese history.

The sub-subseries Research notes are voluminous (7.1 linear feet) and are primarily an accumulation of source materials that Statler used for documentation to insure historical accuracy. They are a wealth of translated materials with photocopies of the originals in Japanese as well as material on Townsend Harris from the National Archives. It reflects the investment of time and money Statler spent in translation and photocopying services. These materials were removed from numbered binders in the order Statler established. Therefore the inventory list does not appear in alphabetical order. The handwritten 7h X 10h notebooks begin in Box 42 and they were labeled A - Z by Statler.

The sub-subseries Manuscripts are handwritten drafts with revisions interfiled with typed versions. Everything was left as Statler arranged it. Each folder was labeled by book chapter. There are numerous notes to hi typist gMary Louh. Boxes 44-48 contain mostly holograph manuscript. The typed manuscript in Boxes 50-51 was removed from six binders.

The sub-subseries Correspondence covering the years 1962-1969 is arranged alphabetically by title on folder except gMiscellaneoush was put at the end like Statler had it. The Miscellaneous folder has an interesting handwritten set of cards labeled gTownsend Harrisf Family Tree.h

The sub-subseries Photographs is a fabulous collection which includes a glass plate negative of Okichi. There are also six photo albums of Statler in the Shimoda area.

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Subseries: Japanese Pilgrimage

Size: 11 linear feet
Published by William Morrow and Company in 1983. An account of a walking pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places of Shikoku. gOliver Statler has woven history, biography, and myth with legend, folk tradition and personal observation in an astonishingly seamless narrative.h - Peter M. Grilli The materials in this subseries probably best illustrate Statlerfs thorough and methodical research and writing abilities.

The sub-subseries Research notes include background source materials. It precedes the notebooks and was removed from binders in the order they were numbered (60-77) so there appears to by no alphabetical or chronological arrangement for Boxes 54-58. The materials contain photocopies of articles in Japanese and their translations, interviews and the 7h X 10h handwritten notebooks. Box 61 begins the folders with information on each shrine on the 88 Sacred Places Pilgrimage. Each folder has a fact sheet with the temple location, chief priest, festivals, historical association, cemetery, settai groups, treasurers, etc. There is usually an account of the legend associated with the temple and some account of Statlerfs walking experience. The folders often have postcards and temple memorabilia such as pieces of cloth.

The sub-subseries Manuscripts reflects two versions of Japanese Pilgrimage. The first version was a lengthy 715 pages divided into four sections. The second published version was a dramatic change in format and a shorter 385 pages. Since the first manuscript was never published, it is interesting to see the extensive detail of description in Statlerfs writing.

The sub-subseries Film contains the filmscript, visuals, and correspondence regarding the production of a film series. Scores of photos of old and new woodblock prints accompany the text.

The sub-subseries Group Tours includes tour arrangements, expenses, participantsf names and accounts of their experiences, and maps of the pilgrimage route.

The sub-subseries Photographs consists of five boxes of photo albums reflecting the various pilgrimage tours. Tour participants gave a couple of the photo albums to Statler.


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Subseries: Dazaifu

Size: 12.75 linear feet
This was an unpublished work in progress. It was a challenging undertaking in which Statler hoped to establish in foreign minds Kyushufs rightful place as the cradle of Japanese civilization. He planned to begin the book in the Ice Age and end it with Toyotomi Hideyoshifs disastrous invasion of Korea. The research was completed and several drafts of a manuscript written when Statler began to face serious health challenges.

The sub-subseries Research notes did not start with Statler usual collection of materials in cloth binders. There are still the 7h x 10h handwritten notebooks numbered from 1 to 42 followed by two oddly numbered 95-3 & 95-4 notebooks. The rest of the material was removed from folders that were arranged alphabetically. They contain photocopies of articles with a few exceptions noted on the inventory list. A separate section of gVarioush was established by the archivist to indicate articles that were stored separately by Statler in large envelopes.

The sub-subseries Manuscripts were removed from binders. One version has a tab for gchapter 9h inferring that Statler had planned to continue beyond the eight chapters in the manuscript material. There is also a disk with a printed copy of the manuscript.

The sub-subseries Correspondence consists of a small amount of material arranged as Statler filed it.

The sub-subseries Maps is a unique and valuable part of the collection. It consists of numerous maps collected while researching the Dazaifu area.

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Subseries: Other Writings

Size: 6.5 linear feet
This subseries illustrates Statler literary versatility in both fiction and nonfiction writing. He wrote articles for newspapers, scholarly journals, and popular magazines as well as filmscripts, and plays. He also wrote numerous introductions, forewords and reviews for other authorsf works. The series also contains his notes for classes he taught and lectures he gave to various organizations.

The sub-subseries Articles consists of columns Statler wrote for Asahi Evening News, scholarly articles for the prestigious journals Monumenta Nipponica and The Journal of Asian Studies as well as more general interest articles for National Geographic, Geo, and Winds magazine among others.

The sub-subseries Books consists of both published and unpublished writing. Notes for Umetaro Azechi are included along with plans for a guidebook for the Shikoku area. Since he spent so much time in the Shikoku area, he filed his correspondence along with the material he was working on.

The sub-subseries Filmscripts consists of scripts commissioned for a television series and for a film on Japanese art prints. Statler wrote the scenario and narrative for Ukiyo-e: Prints of Japan, a thirty minute film narrated by James A. Michener, directed and photographed by Francis Harr, produced by the Art Institute of Chicago with funding from the Japan Society, New York. (see Box 114) He was also commissioned to write for the University of Mid-Americafs educational video-tape series Japan: The Living Tradition conceived by Prof. Edwin O. Reischauer. The collection contains the film, filmscript, viewing notes and course information manual.

The sub-subseries Forewords, etc. consists of introductions and miscellaneous commentary Statler wrote for other authorsf works or art print catalogs. Some book reviews are included. A copy of International Tokyo Tables with triptych prints and a drawing were found in this material.

The sub-subseries Lecture notes pertains to the numerous lectures Statler gave to universities, museums, and other organizations. These often include the correspondence regarding the arrangement of the lecture.

The sub-subseries Plays reflect Statler interest in drama starting as a student at the University of Chicago. It includes original works written by him and production notes he made as a student director of Country Wife. (see also Box 2/6)

The sub-subseries Short story consists of just one item - a holograph manuscript of gThe Danceh written in 1945.

The sub-subseries Teaching notes reflect the classes he taught at Kobe College and at the University of Hawaii Asian Studies Department. The notes for the classes were removed from binders. The courses he taught were primarily in Japanese history but he also conducted a non-credit course on Pilgrimage to the 88-Sacred Places of Shikoku. (see Photo Albums) Some student papers are included in this material and contain Statler comments.


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