In October 1917, the collection of the Asiatic Library in Beijing, founded by G. E. Morrison, arrived in Tokyo. In the collection, there were books, manuscripts, various pamphlets, and other materials covering the whole of Asia, with China as its main focus. In total, there were more than 20,000 volumes.
In 1924, Iwasaki Hisaya founded the Tōyō Bunko (Oriental Library) with Morrison’s collection and the Iwasaki collection.
In the 1990s, the collection of Alastair Morrison, the second son of G. E. Morrison, arrived at the Tōyō Bunko. This collection is mainly made up of books and pamphlets on Southeast Asia.
In December 2017, the Tōyō Bunko commemorated the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Morrison Collection with an insightful keynote address by Professor Claire Roberts from the University of Melbourne on 'The Morrisons of Peking: Living History'.
Currently, the Tōyō Bunko holds more than one million books and other materials on Asia, with around 250 research fellows. The whole collection is open to the public.
This lecture will introduce the Morrison collection in the Tōyō Bunko, using examples from its research projects, exhibitions, and digitization program to further understanding of G. E. Morrison and his family’s history.
Professor Takeshi HAMASHITA is a distinguished economic historian of Asia. Since 2011, he has been the head of the Research Department at the Tōyō Bunko (Oriental Library) in Tokyo.
Professor Hamashita majored in Oriental History and graduated from the Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo, in 1972. In 1974, he obtained his MA in Humanities at the Department of Oriental History, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology of the University of Tokyo. He completed his doctorate at the same institute in 1978.
Professor Hamashita worked in the Department of Economics at Hitotsubashi University as lecturer and associate professor from 1979 to 1981. From 1982 to 1999, he taught in the Institute of Oriental Culture, Tokyo University, as associate professor, professor, director, and the head of the Documentation Center for Asian Studies. He was recruited to the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University in 2000 and became the first professor to teach concurrently in the two best universities in Japan. In 2006, he moved to the Faculty of International Communication, Ryukoku University. From 2007 to 2016, he worked at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou as a professor of History and Dean of the School of Asia-Pacific Studies. During his career, he has taught in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, China, and the U.S., as well as Japan.
Researching and lecturing in Japanese, Chinese, and English, Professor Hamashita has worked on banking history in China, remittance practices among Chinese and Indian overseas communities, the tea trade, and treaty port networks. In addition, he engages with wider regional histories of Asia, including how traditional modes of East Asian international interaction have affected modern Asia. In recent years, he has concentrated on the study of maritime networks in Asia and has been heavily involved in research on Ryūkyū as well as its major historical source — the Rekidai Hōan.