Chamberlain, Basil Hall [1850-1935]

One of the foremost Western interpreters of things Japanese. Born of a distinguished family in Southampton, England, on 18 October 1850. Educated in Europe and England. His father intended him to be a banker, but at age 18 he became ill. His physician recommended travel, and Chamberlain landed in Japan on 29 May 1873.

He taught at the Imperial Naval School in Tôkyô from 1874 to 1882. His most important position, however, was as professor of Japanese at Tôkyô University beginning in 1886. It was here that he gained his reputation as a student of Japanese language and literature. His many works include the first translation of the Kojiki into English (1906), A Handbook of Colloquial Japanese (1888), Things Japanese (1890), and A Practical Guide to the Study of Japanese Writing (1905). With W.B. Mason he wrote A Handbook for Travellers in Japan (1891), which went through numerous editions. He retired to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1911.
Japan, An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kodansha Ltd. 1993