Places, Images, Times & Transformations

Kume Kunitake

(1839-1931). Historian. Born in the Saga domain (now part of Saga Prefecture). In 1871 he joined the Iwakura Mission to Europe and the United States to observe Western institutions. As private secretary to Iwakura Tomomi, he compiled a five-volume account of the journey. He was appointed professor at Tokyo University in 1888. Reaction to his article "Shintō wa saiten no kozoku" (Shinto is an Outmoded Custom of Worshiping Heaven), obliged him to resign from the university. Kume continued to write and lecture at Tokyo Semmon Gakkō (now Waseda University). (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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