Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports are created by recipients of research travel stipends and by many others who have conducted research at the RAC. The reports demonstrate the breadth of the RAC's archival holdings, particularly in the study of philanthropy and its effects. Read more about the history of philanthropy at resource.rockarch.org. Also, see the RAC Bibliography of Scholarship, a comprehensive online database of publications citing RAC archival collections.
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Searching for Female Agency among Documents: Postwar Japanese Female Intellectuals and Their Network

May 11, 2021

Since the late 1980s and 1990s, the research field of the cultural Cold War has flourished and produced numerous works in the United States and in other countries. This development has inspired studies on Japanese culture during and after the occupation in the context of Cold War cultural policies, which, programmed and conducted by various US agencies both public and private, provided the arena of hegemonic negotiation. Representative works include: Fumiko Fujita, Amerika Bunka Gaiko to Nihon: Reisenki no Bunka to Hito no Koryu [U.S. Cultural Diplomacy and Japan in the Cold War Era] (2015), Takeshi Matsuda, Soft Power and Its Perils: U.S. Cultural Policy in Early Postwar Japan and Permanent Dependency (2007), Yuka Moriguchi Tsuchiya, Military Occupation as Pedagogy: the U.S. Re-education and Reorientation Policy for Occupied Japan, 1945-1952 (2005). This scholarship has treated cultural policies as something functional and instrumental in the reconstruction of post-war Japanese subjectivity. In the field of American literary studies as well, this vantage point has been shared since the 2000s.  What has not been fully explored, however, is the fact that there were women deeply involved in this process, working as a kind of agent: as translators, librarians, and others who had mediating functions. The aim of this research project is to explore and to trace this network of "book women," which was generated and reinforced in the process of the Rockefeller Foundation's philanthropic projects for US-Japan cultural relationship.  What has not been fully explored, however, is the fact that there were women deeply involved in this process, working as a kind of agent: as translators, librarians, and others who had mediating functions. The aim of this research project is to explore and to trace this network of "book women," which was generated and reinforced in the process of the Rockefeller Foundation's philanthropic projects for US-Japan cultural relationship.

Saiki Tadasu and the Making of the Global Science of Nutrition, 1900-1927

December 2, 2020

This paper examines the activities of Saiki Tadasu, a leading Japanese nutrition scientist of the early twentieth century.  According to his American counterpart, Dr. Victor G. Heiser, Saiki's work was "of great benefit to the human race."  Using a variety of sources in Japanese archives, the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the League of Nations Archives, this paper focuses on Saiki to explore Japan's role in the making of a global science of nutrition, and to map out an international network of intellectual cooperation and knowledge circulation on nutrition science during this period. Inspired by the work of Iris Borowy and Tomoko Akami, it illustrates a world of scientific knowledge-sharing about human well-being which extended geographically beyond the Atlantic world, and thematically beyond disease control. Following Saiki's lead, from 1900 to 1927, Japanese nutrition scientists contributed to growing public recognition of the importance of nutrition science and championed its global development.

Japanese Participants at the International Studies Conference and the Institute of Pacific Relations in the Twenty Years’ Crisis

November 19, 2020

The proposed project for the research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) was "a re-assessment of the discourse of the International in the twentieth century." It was to examine how the idea of the "International" was formed. By the "International," I meant the counter-communist notion of the "International," which became the core of what we often term the "liberal international order" of the twentieth century. This research now forms a part of my broader book project. What follows here are my findings on one of the three focuses in this recent research at the RAC, which were also synthesized with documents from the League of Nations Archives and the Unesco Archives, and my thoughts on them.

Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller: Muse of the Museum of Modern Art

March 15, 2018

"The role of women in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has been a vital one from the day the idea was first conceived," observed David Rockefeller to a small gathering in a newly dedicated gallery on the recently expanded third floor of New York's MoMA on December 7, 1987. "[And] we are here today to give thanks and praise to [an] amazing and dedicated lady who . . . since she became President of the Museum for a second time in 1972, has probably had a greater impact on the evolution of MoMA both internally and externally than any other one individual."The setting, in fact, was the dedication of a gallery designated for abstract expressionist art in whose honor the space was named, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller. Thirty years after that ceremony, thousands of patrons continue to mill through the delicately lit space, some soothed by the muted cardinal color of an outsized Barnet Newman canvas, others stirred by a Jackson Pollack oeuvre, most unaware of the singular influence of the gallery's namesake on the museum's history itself.

Collaboration between the Philanthropic Sector and Government on Public Diplomacy between Japan and the United States in the 1930s-1960s: Its Implications for Current U.S.-Japan Public Diplomacy and Influence on Japanese Philanthropy

January 1, 2013

In my previous research, I examined the contributions of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) to the development of the Japanese healthcare system during the post-World War II period. That work led me to the question of how the RF contributed to the development of Japan's cultural exchange with other countries during the same period. The role of philanthropy in areas of public policy, such as healthcare and international cultural exchange, has not been examined in great depth, although there has been research on the role of philanthropy in U.S. diplomacy. My research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) examined several aspects of the RF's contribution to international cultural exchange policy in Japan. In particular, I focused on: 1) the role of Charles Burton Fahs as the director of humanities at the RF 2) the role of collaboration between the U.S. State Department and the RF and 3) the role and profound involvement of John D. Rockefeller 3rd (JDR 3rd) in the creation of the International House of Japan, which in 1955 became the first international cultural exchange center in Japan.

U.S. Field Seminar on Library Reference services for Japanese Librarians: Naomi Fukuda's Activities in the Late 1950s

January 1, 2010

Looking at the modern history of U.S.-Japan relations, it can be said that the United States made tremendous contributions in support of Japanese libraries. Cases often cited include assistance for restoration of the Tokyo Imperial University Library after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and the establishment of the National Diet Library and the Japan Library School at Keio University after World War II. However, the U.S. Field Seminar on Library Reference Services for Japanese Librarians (USFS) has attracted less attention from historians of Japanese libraries or students of U.S.-Japan cultural relations, in spite of its influence on various aspects of library and information services in Japan and in the United States.

The Transnational Politics of Public Health and Population Control: The Rockefeller Foundation's Role in Japan, 1920s-1950s

January 1, 2009

The research conducted at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) will form an important part of my dissertation on the transnational politics of female reproduction in the context of U.S.- Japan relations before and after World War II. My study starts from the period right after World War I, notably the events surrounding Margaret Sanger's first tour around the world, which began with her trip to Japan in the spring of 1922. Sanger's visit not only stimulated the modern birth control movement in Japan, but it also brought about the rise in transnational birth control and population control movements. Sanger, however, was not the first person to notice the special need for population control in Japan. Her transnational activism represented a broader interest in the United States concerning the rise of Asian populations and the threat that it posed to world peace - more specifically, to the status of "white supremacy" in the world.

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