Hello, My name is Miranda Lawhorn. I am doing the Library Practicum for Fall 2019 and with this, I am going to be posting parts of my research project. My project is focusing on Roanoke College’s early history with Japanese students. So far, I have found roughly 5 students through our Roanoke Collegian between the years of 1888 to around the 1930s. Since some of the first students were the sons of extremely high up Japanese government officials, there is quite a bit of information on them.
Here is a bit of information about Roanoke College’s first Japanese student, Hidei Fukuoka. Hidei attended Roanoke from 1888 to 1889 and was the son of Viscount Takachika Fukuoka. He studied English for about 2 years prior to attending Roanoke. Within the Collegian, he was by far the most documented of our Japanese students since he was extremely active in on campus events at the time. After Roanoke, Hidei attended Cumberland University to study law, went to Yale to get a Masters degree in law, and then eventually, went to the University of Brussels for a Doctorate of Political and Administrative Science. After his education, Hidei became a lawyer in Tokyo.
While there are still a lot of details on Hidei Fukuoka, this is a small amount of information that I have found within my research. It is very interesting to see Roanoke College’s interest in Japan so early on since this was during a time where Japan had just decided to become more open to the world.
Photograph of Hidei Fukuoka from here