Asakawa Kan’ichi 朝河貫一 (1873-1948) was the one of the pioneering figures of East Asian Studies in the United States. He was a distinguished historian who taught at Yale for thirty-five years and was the university’s first professor of Japanese history. Building the premier Japanese collection (representative of the full sweep of the recorded history of the Japanese archipelago), he served as the first curator of Yale’s East Asia Library for 42 years. Asakawa is also known for his involvement in public affairs, most notably in efforts to promote peace and to narrow the gap of understanding between the peoples of Japan, the United States, and the world.
Because of the nature of Asakawa’s cosmopolitan life, the correspondence in the Asakawa papers include materials in multiple languages: English, Japanese, French, and Latin, as well as some auxiliary languages, such as Esperanto and Occidental. This project will enable the transcription process to be crowdsourced and translations of handwritten letters in various languages.