edited by Young-mee Yu Cho and Sungmin Park
by William Eilliot Griffis
contributions by Fernanda Perrone, Ross King and Soo Hur
Rutgers University Press, 2024
eISBN: 978-1-9788-2880-3 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-2879-7
Library of Congress Classification DS915.15.G75 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 951.902

William Elliot Griffis (1843 – 1928) graduated from Rutgers College in 1869 and taught four years in Fukui and Tokyo. After his return to the United States, he devoted himself to his research and writing on East Asia throughout his life. He authored 20 books about Japan and five books about Korea including, Corea: The Hermit Nation (1882), Corea, Without and Within: Chapters on Corean History, Manners and Religion (1885), The Unmannerly Tiger, and Other Korean Tales (1911), A Modern Pioneer in Korea: The Life Story of Henry G. Appenzeller (1912), and Korean Fairy Tales (1922). In particular, his bestseller, Corea: The Hermit Nation (1882) was reprinted numerous times through nine editions over thirty years. He was not only known as "the foremost interpreter of Japan to the West before World War I but also the American expert on Korea. After his death, his collection of books, documents, photographs and ephemera was donated to Rutgers.

The Korean materials in the Griffis Collection at Rutgers University consist of journals, correspondence, articles, maps, prints, photos, postcards, manuscripts, scrapbooks, and ephemera. These papers reflect Griffis's interests and activities in relation to Korea as a historian, scholar, and theologian. They provide a rare window into the turbulent period of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Korea, witnessed and evaluated by Griffis and early American missionaries in East Asia. The Korea Letters in the William Elliot Griffis Collection are divided into two parts: letters from missionaries and letters from Japanese and Korean political figures. Newly available and accessible through this collection, these letters develop a multifaceted history of early American missionaries in Korea, the Korean independence movement, and Griffis's views on Korean culture.

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