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Haverford College
Quaker and Special Collections
Ayusawa, Iwao Frederick, (1894-1972) Papers, 1918-1964

Ms. Coll. 969
ca. 431 items (2 boxes)

Table of contents

Biographical background

Iwao Frederick Ayusawa was born Oct. 15, 1894, and died Nov. 30, 1972 in France. In 1911 he went to Hawaii as a recipient of the Friend Peace Scholarship. He graduated from Haverford College in 1917 where he concentrated his studies in the fields of sociology and social service (especially social and labor problems). After graduating from Haverford, he attended New York School of Social Work affiliated with Columbia University. His major field of study was labor problems and his Phd dissertation [dedicated to Margaret Loring Thomas] was titled "Inter-national Labor Legislation" which was finished after he attended the First Session of the International Labor Conference held at Washington, D.C., in 1919. After graduating from Columbia in 1920, he went to Geneva, Switzerland to serve the Japanese Delegation to the International Labor Organization, later working there as an ILO staff member. In 1934 he returned to Japan to take the position of Director of the Tokyo Branch Office of the ILO until 1939 and the advent of WWII. After the war, he served on the Central Labor Relations Board until 1948 when he left to attend international conferences. In 1952 he joined the faculty of International Christian University in Japan.

[sources for above: Dictionary of Quaker Biography; Haverford College, Haverford PA, Ayusawa papers; his books "A History of Labor in Modern Japan" (c1966) and "Postwar Developments in Organized Labor" (c1953)]

Using links

In order to aid navigation within this finding aid, links have been provided at the beginning of each box description: to the table of contents, collection summary and to all other boxes in the collection .

Links to images

The following list brings together all of the image links found throughout this finding aid.

Scanned Image Letter dated October 2, 1922, Geneva, to "Mother" in which Ayusawa discusses his marriage plans to Tomiko Yoshioka whom he marries Oct. 14, 1922. Page 1 | Page 2 (each approximately 60K).

Scanned Image Letter dated 4 July 1938, Tokyo, to Mrs. Thomas. Ayusawa encloses a family photograph and mentions, Rufus Jones, Mr. Winant, Tamon Maeda. Mr. and Mrs. Kirakawa and Maxfield Parrish . Photograph | Page 1 | Page 2 (each approximately 60K).

Summary of collection

ALS, TLS, cards, clippings, photographs, printed items.

Vast bulk of collection consists of his letters to Mrs. Margaret L. Thomas (Mrs. Edward Thomas), who is frequently addressed as "mother" or "sister." Almost all the letters speak of the friendship Ayusawa has with the Thomas's, which grew out of their taking him "under their wing" and looking after him while he was a young student in N.Y. City. Primarily personal in nature, the letters give insights into his beliefs (pacifism, etc.) and include information on his work in Geneva and Japan. They also frequently mention mutual friends (and Friends). Includes a few letters from members of Ayusawa's family; other correspondents are H. [Kashinage?], Yasutaro Misawa, Shuichi Harada, Lois Kellog Jessup, Esther B. Rhoads, Seiju and [Ume] Hirakawa.

Arrangement and description of collection

Some of the topics discussed are listed for each folder in order to give an idea of what may be found in the letters, this list is not all-inclusive and should be used as a suggestion to their contents.

Letters are chronologically arranged in folders.

Box 1 | Table of contents | Summary | Box 1 | Box 2

(12 folders)

  1. n.d.
    (2 ms. items [or 2 pieces?], in Japanese)
    [note: in ALS of Oct. 28, 1919 he writes "You will find enclosed the letter which my mother wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas. It is I am sorry written in Japanese but I hope you understand the reason and pardon her."]
  2. 1918 (July-Dec.) (9 items: ALS, Christmas card)
    letters written from Pocono Lake Preserve, Pocono, Pa.; Mount Kisco, N.Y.; N.Y. City topics include:
    • annual Y.M.C.A. meeting, Northfield, Mass.
    • his plans (to go to Union [Seminary?])
  3. 1919 (22 items: ALS, memorandum)
    letters written from N.Y. City; Pocono Lake Preserve, Pocono, Pa.; Paterson, N.J.; Washington, D.C. topics include:
    • invitation from Mr. Suzuki [President of Federated Trade Unions of Japan, Technical Advisor to the Japanese Peace Delegation at Paris] to Ayusawa to accompany him to Labor Convention at Atlantic City and later to Washington for the International [Labor] Conference in Oct.
    • his work in factories in N.J. (mentions labor strikes, union talk, etc.)
    • attends Washington, D.C., International Labor Conference (detailed letters of happenings)
    • also: memorandum "Why I should leave Union," [11 p. of reasons and arguments of why he should leave Union and go to Columbia now, or stay at Union]
  4. 1920
    (40 items: ALS, cards, memorandum)
    letters written from Haverford; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Niagara Falls; Chicago; N.Y. City; on board RMS "Imperator" at sea; London; Lyons; Genoa; Rome; Venice; Milan; Strasburg; Lausanne; Paris, etc. topics include:
    • accepts appointment from Japan Dept. of Agriculture and Commerce
    • goes to Europe in employ of "Mr. T" [Tsukamoto] of China, Japan and South America Trading Company, complains about his treatment of him and difficulties of working for Mr. T
    • worried that his mother is dead in Tokyo
    • also: memorandum "Notes on the Labour Situation in England" [9 p.]
  5. 1921
    (27 items: ALS, cards)
    letters written from Lausanne; Paris; London; Germany; Denmark; Sweden; Geneva, etc. topics include:
    • sympathy at death of Prof. Thomas [father of Edw. Thomas]
    • stay in Paris and London, will meet famous scholars, etc.
    • beginning his work for the ILO, tells about Labor Conference
    • also: - memorandum "Austrian notes" on social conditions there [28 p.]
  6. 1922
    (10 items: ALS, cards)
    letters written from Geneva; Italy. topics include:
    • his life plans, personal life, proposal of marriage he has received
    • work for ILO
    • attends Summer School of the International Women's League for Peace and Freedom
    • Scanned Image Letter dated October 2, 1922, Geneva, to "Mother" in which Ayusawa discusses his marriage plans to Tomiko Yoshioka whom he marries Oct. 14, 1922. Page 1 | Page 2 (each approximately 60K).
  7. 1923-1925
    (7 items: ALS)
    letters written from Geneva. topics include:
    • work for ILO (increasing responsibilities)
    • birth of his children and other personal news
    • return to Japan after 15 years
  8. 1926-1927
    (8 items: ALS, children's drawings)
    letters written from Geneva. topics include:
    • news of his family
    • his health problems
    • his work with ILO and doings of the League of Nations
  9. 1928-1929
    (29 items: ALS, children's drawings, clipping, photographs, card)
    letters written from Geneva; Tokyo; San Francisco; Chicago
    includes ALS addressed to Dr. Scudder (Oct. 29, 1929). topics include:
    • news of his family
    • his work for ILO
    • trip to Japan and then on to U.S.
    • financial problems of Quaker student hostel (he is on committee in charge of it) [letter to Dr. Scudder]
    • also: 2 ALS to Mrs. Thomas from Tomiko (1 in French)
  10. 1930-1931
    (16 items: ALS, children's drawings, photograph)
    letters written from Geneva; Vancouver, B.C.; at sea. topics include:
    • news of his family, illness of his mother
  11. 1932
    (14 items: ALS, TLS, TD)
    letters written from Geneva. topics include:
    • his views on situation in Manchuria, Japanese reaction to position of League of Nations, reaction in the U.S., etc.
    • typed report "Impressions of Japan, China and the Pacific Conference," marked "confidential" [19 p.]
    • typed report "The world order and tolerance" [12 p.]
    • letter intended for publication on the "Manchurian situation" [2 copies]
    • "Extracts from a personal letter from I.F. Ayusawa, January 10 [7], 1932" [extracts from above letter [2 copies, 5 p.]
  12. 1933
    (13 items: ALS, cards, children's drawings, poem)
    letters written from Edinburgh; Geneva. topics include:
    • news of family, plans to return to Japan
    • Japan and Germany leave League of Nations
    • death of Dr. Nitobe
    • Quaker Student Hostel in Geneva (he is chairman of Executive Committee)

Box 2 | Table of contents | Summary | Box 1 | Box 2

(11 folders)

  1. 1934
    (16 items: ALS, cards)
    letters written from Geneva; Singapore; Pocono Lake Preserve; Wash., D.C.; Tokyo. topics include:
    • news of family and plans to visit the Thomas's
    • his mission to Japan in March-April
    • U.S. joins ILO
    • also: ALS to the Thomas's from H. [Kashinage?]
  2. 1935-1936
    (17 items: ALS, TLS, photographs, cards)
    letters written from Tokyo; Geneva; Akakura, Japan. topics include:
    • will be staying in Japan, now in charge of Tokyo Branch of the ILO
    • his work in Japan, gives an account of a typical day's work
    • family news, building a house
    • recommends a Japanese student to their care in N.Y.
  3. 1937-1938
    (18 items: ALS, TLS, photograph, certificate, cards)
    letters written from Akakura, Japan; Wash., D.C.; at sea; Tokyo
    Scanned Image Letter dated 4 July 1938, Tokyo, to Mrs. Thomas. Ayusawa encloses a family photograph and mentions, Rufus Jones, Mr. Winant, Tamon Maeda. Mr. and Mrs. Kirakawa and Maxfield Parrish . Photograph | Page 1 | Page 2 (each approximately 60K). topics include:
    • traveling to U.S. for International Textile Conference
    • worsening world situation, anti-ILO feelings in Japan, sanctions against Japan from League of Nations
  4. 1939-1941
    (14 items: ALS, TLS, cards)
    letters written at sea and from Geneva; San Francisco; Tokyo; New Orleans. topics include:
    • Dr. Hachiro Yuasa, former President of Doshisha (first Christian Univ. in Japan) looses job because of pacifist beliefs, Ayusawa suggests he visit Haverford College Library
    • closes down Tokyo Office of ILO, looses his job, but remains very busy with speaking and writing articles, plans to write books
    • news of family
    • Nitobe Memorial Lectureship
    • employed by Foreign Relations Bureau
    • his daughter, Tsuyuko, is in Honolulu attending school
  5. 1946-1947
    (17 items: ALS, TLS, TL, card)
    letters written from Tokyo. topics include:
    • copy of TL to Passmore Elkinton
    • Ayusawa now Director of the Central Labor Relations Board (Chuo Rodo Iinkai), tells of hard work and great labor problems he has had to deal with in post-war Japan
    • news of his family, illness of son Leman, difficulty of obtaining sugar and other food at reasonable prices
    • also: ALS from Yasutaro Misawa; ALS from S. Harada; 2 ALS from Tsuyuko Ayusawa
  6. 1948
    (45 items: ALS, TLS, cards, clipping)
    letters written from Tokyo; Philadelphia; Chicago; Ogden, Utah; Seattle; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C., etc. topics include:
    • list of people interested in Japan
    • his trip to America with many speaking engagements and conferences, will visit Haverford, Washington, N.Y.C., Wellesley Seminar, AFSC, TVA, Indiana Labor Conference, includes itineraries
    • comments and suggestions on proposed book by Margaret Thomas ("I married a Quaker")
    • news of his family, daughter Tsuyuko to marry, attend Earlham, son Jun to attend Haverford, both to America
    • comments on Taft-Hartley Act
    • also: 4 TLS, ALS from Tsuyuko Ayusawa; ALS from Jun Ayusawa; TLS of Lois Kellog Jessup to Ed Peacock re: meeting I.F. Ayusawa at Quaker House, N.Y. City, May 1948, w/ list of those invited; TLS from Esther B. Rhoads
  7. 1949-1951
    (24 items: ALS, TLS, Christmas card with photograph)
    letters written from Tokyo; San Francisco; Geneva; Munich; Philadelphia. topics include:
    • news of family, Tsuyuko to return to Japan, Jun to continue studies in U.S.
    • discusses his work, plans to devote rest of life to teaching, writing and lecturing; revising Trade Union Law and Labor Relations Adjustment Act, resigns as Director of Central Labor Relations Board
    • goes to Geneva to attend the Diplomatic Conference for the Revision of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War
    • also: TLS from Tsuyuko Ayusawa Kanoh
  8. 1952-1953
    (17 items: ALS, TLS, speech, newspaper clippings, printed items, Christmas card w/ photograph)
    letters written from Tokyo. topics include:
    • "How I joined I.C.U." biographical information on how life's work prepared him to join staff of International Christian University [typed speech, 3 p.]
    • clippings on International Christian University
    • printed items re: International Christian University
    • his work for ICU
    • news of family
    • also: ALS from Shuichi Harada w/ note of IFA; ALS from Seiju & U[me] Hirakawa
  9. 1954-1956
    (24 items: ALS, clipping, printed item, cards)
    letters written from Tokyo; Seattle; N.Y. City; Nebraska, etc. topics include:
    • his activities, lectures, plans to come to U.S. for academic year of 1955-56 and teach at Columbia U.
    • printed lecture description and schedule for "The Buddhist Academy Lectures" by IFA "The impact of new Asia on the Western World" 1956
    • news of family, friends
  10. 1957-1962
    (28 items: ALS, TLS, New Year's Day card w/ photograph, Christmas card w/ photograph, cards)
    letters written from Tokyo; Honolulu, etc. topics include:
    • death of S. Harada
    • requests the Thomas's aid and advice re: several Japanese students in the U.S., letters of introduction to the Thomas's for var. persons
    • sympathy letter on death of Edward Thomas
  11. 1963-1964
    (13 items: ALS, Christmas card)
    letters written from Tokyo. topics include:
    • friendship, concern over health of Margaret Thomas
    • modest over deposit of letters to Margaret Thomas going to Haverford College library
    • his work and activities, involved in a number of organizations (Union for World Federal Government, preparing for World Congress for World Federation, etc.)
    • his book "A short history of labor in Japan"

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