Ryūsaku Tsunoda


Ryūsaku Tsunoda (角田 柳作, Tsunoda Ryūsaku, 8 September 1877 - 29 November 1964) was a Japan academic and Japanologist. He is known as the "father of Japanese studies" at Columbia University.[1]



Tsunoda was responsible for the early growth of the Japanese language and literature collection at Columbia's library.[2]

Tsunoda's best known students was Donald Keene.[3] Keene's opinion of Tsunoda was explaind in a lecture given at Waseda University in 1994:

"His vocation was teaching, not writing. His joy as a teacher lay in communicating knowledge directly and enthusiastically to his students.... "[4]

According to Sir George Sansom, Tsunoda was the "father of Japanese studies in America".[5]

Selected works


In an overview of writings by and about Tsunoda, OCLC/WorldCat lists roughly 50 works in 100+2 publications in 4 languages and 2,000+ library holdings.[6]

This list is not finished; you can help Wikipedia by adding to it.


  1. Columbia University: "Founder of Japanese Studies and the Japanese Collection at Columbia University Honored With Event and Exhibition," Archived 2012-12-21 at the Wayback Machine 2008; retrieved 2012-11-5.
  2. Columbia University: About the Japanese Collection; retrieved 2012-11-5.
  3. Keene, Donald. (1999). World Within Walls: Japanese Literature of the Pre-Modern Era, 1600-1867, p. xi; Shirai, Katsuhiko. "Take Pride in Waseda," Archived 2012-02-10 at the Wayback Machine Waseda Weekly, April 2006; retrieved 2012-11-5.
  4. Keene, Donald. "My Mentor, Prof. Ryusaku Tsunoda," Yomiuri Daily Online (Waseda Online). July 8, 1994).
  5. de Bary, William Theodore. "East Asian Studies at Columbia: The Early Years," Living Legacies: Great Moments and Leading Figures in the History of Columbia University, 2002; retrieved 2012-11-5.
  6. WorldCat Identities: Tsunoda, Ryūsaku 1877-1964; retrieved 2012-11-5.

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