Richard Arthur Brabazon Ponsonby-Fane (8 January 1878 – 10 December 1937) was a British public servant, colonial administrator, academic, author, specialist of Shinto and Japanologist.
Richard Arthur Brabazon Ponsonby was born at Gravesend on the south bank of the Thames in Kent. As a youth, he lived in London and at his grandfather's country home, Brympton d'Evercy in Somerset.
He added "Fane" to his name in 1916.
Ponsonby was educated at Harrow School.
In 1896, Ponsonby became the private secretary to the Governor of the British Cape Colony. Over the next twenty years, he was private secretary to the Governor of Natal (1896), to the Governor of Trinidad and Tobago (1898), to the Governor of Ceylon (1900), and to the Governor of Hong Kong (1903). He was re-posted to assist the Governor of Natal in 1907 and the Governor of Fiji in 1910.
In 1915-1919, he was re-posted as private secretary to the Governor of Hong Kong.
Ponsonby-Fane began lecturing at the University of Hong Kong in 1916. He continued to be a university lecturer until 1926.
In 1921, when the Japanese Crown Prince Hirohito visited Hong Kong, Ponsonby-Fane was his interpreter.
When Emperor Shōwa became Emperor of Japan, Ponsonby was the only non-Japanese guest who was invited to witness the ceremonies from a special place in front of the palace's Kenreimon gate.
In 1930, when Prince Takamatsu and his wife travelled to Europe, Ponsonby-Fane sailed on the same ship; and he was invited to attend all the welcoming receptions for them in England.
After 1919, Ponsonby-Fane became a permanent resident of Japan. In later life, he was always photographed with a long woolen scarf. It was hand-knit by Dowager Empress Teimei, the widow of Emperor Taishō.
In an overview of writings by and about Richard Ponsonby-Fane, OCLC/WorldCat lists roughly 74 works in 136 publications in 2 languages and 1,443 library holdings.
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- The Imperial Family of Japan, 1915
- The Viciissitudes of Shinto, 1931
- The Nomenclature of the N. Y. K. Fleet, 1931
- Kamo Mioya Shrine, 1934
- Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, 1956
- The Imperial House of Japan, 1959
- Sovereiegn and Subject, 1962
- Studies in Shinto and Shrines, 1962
- The Vicissitudes of Shinto, 1963
- Visiting Famous Shrines in Japan, 1964
- Order of the Rising Sun
- Order of the Sacred Treasure, 1921
- University of Hong Kong, Honorary Doctor of Laws, 1926
- ↑ "A Biographical sketch of Dr. R. Ponsonby-Fane," Studies in Shinto and Shrines, p. 517.
- ↑ Britton, Dorothy. (1997). "Richard Ponsonby-Fane, A Modern William Adams" in Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits. p. 193.
- ↑ Ponsonby-Fane, pp. 517-518.
- ↑ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 518.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Britton, p. 194.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Britton, p. 195.
- ↑ Ponsonby-Fane, pp. 518-519.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Ponsonby-Fane, p. 520.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Ponsonby-Fane, p. 519.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Britton, p. 203.
- ↑ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 522.
- ↑ WorldCat Identities: Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon 1878-1937 ; retrieved 29 October 2012.