One evening in 1915 Toshi's brother, a student
in Waseda University in Tokyo, invited one of his
Japanese professors to dinner and Toshi met for the
first time an outstanding scholar both of Englis h
and Japanese. He had attended Yale University in
the United States and had earned a degree of Doctor
of Philosophy with high honors. He was fourteen
years her senior. As she grew to know him she look-
ed on him as a father with his ways and manners.
She was twenty-three .
He was a lonely man living in Tokyo with a
house boy , his family removed to the country where
his wife, an invalid, and his three children were in
a traditional family rural setting.
He was surprised to meet a young Japanese woman
like Toshi , an English-speaking Japanese woman with
a questioning mind and independence of thought .
Eventually he found that he had an open two hours of
teaching time twice a week before he went to a night
school to teach and he offered to come and direct
her learning in English classical literature. There
was , of course, the usual provision that a third
person be present at such study sessions.
Toshi readily accepted, and had a girl friend
attend lessons wi th her. She improved greatly in
vocabulary and fluency. This arrangement for study
went on some years.
In order to avoid any public aspersions that
might be cast on this professional man, Toshi pre-
ferred to refer to him as Mr. X.
The family life of Mr. X. was an example of
ruinous results that sometimes follows Japanese ar-
ranged marriages. When Mr. X. was a college student

in Waseda University and nearing graduation he went
home for a vacation. There he was told that his un-
cle, a "go-between man" , had arranged his marriage
with a next-village , rich farmer's daughter. The
engagement ceremony had already taken place while he
was gone . The girl was uneducated and said not to
be beautiful. He had never seen her.
He begged and begged to be excused from this
marriage but the uncle insisted that he go through
with it, otherwise the uncle would lose face. It was
suggested that if the girl was not satisfactory he
could divorce her at any time .
The young Mr. X. was the only son of a wealthy
farmer family and had been known as "Tendo" , heaven-
ly child. He had long planned to go to the United
States for graduate work after his university gradu-
ation. His father knew all this and presented him
・ith a hard decision . If the son went through with
the marriage all the expenses at Yale University
would be paid for; if he refused, the father would
not give either permission or funds . The son after
serious thought yielded to the family wishes and the
arranged marriage plans and married the girl and his
married life was to be ruined.
After he came home from Yale with a diploma of
highest honors he and his wife lived completely un-
happily for a few years in Tokyo where she became
ill with tuberculosis. She had to be sent to her
home area and he was left with a house boy and saw
his family of three children during summer vacations .
He had planned to become a statesman but with his
family situation as it was, he gave up that plan and
accepted a professorship at Waseda University. He
became very popular among the students, an interest-
ing lecturer and a wi ィdely known scholar .

As time went on Toshi continued with Professor
X. in the reading of English literature . Her
translation steadily improved. When she accepted
her second position the study of literature proved
to be a poor preparation, she did not know the tech-
nical terms used in the office of the Hydrolic En-
gine Company (something like General Electric in the
United States) . She was expected to be stenographer ,
translater, filer and typist as the one person in
the office. She had three employers, an Englishman
and two Swiss. Letters written by one of the Swiss
had no punctuation and were poorly spelled and had
to be corrected and sent on to the Englishman.
She felt overburdened with the work but heart-
ened by the size of her salary. The usual typist's
salary was 15 yen a month but her salary was 200 yen
a month . Very few workers, even men, could get that
high a sal 'ary. Now she could afford a room of her
own and she found it restful and satisfying to study
and read. She began to teach English at home on
Saturdays in afternoons and evenings. This she en-
joyed .
She had saved her money in the years of her of-
fice work and when Mr. X. said to her, "Why don't
you give up your office work and start teaching ?"
She gave the idea serious consideration. He told
her that she knew enough English and that he would
help her start.
She had enough money to rent a big house and
buy the necessary school equipment. She hired two
Aerican teachers and a few Japanese teachers and
with all these she founded the English Play School,
the first of its kind in Japan. It was for young
school children in mornings. Many children were
sent f rom families of all walks of life, statesmen,
business men, artists, etc. The school caused a
great sensation in Tokyo and it was a great success.
Mr. X. continued his suggestions and guidance and
Miss Takata was deeply grateful for his helpfulness.
She had found her life work.

Meanwhile famous people from abroad were visit-
ing Japan such as Amy Johnson, an English aviator.
Miss Takata was asked to broadcast on the radio as
interpreter in an interview with Miss Johnson with-
out previous conversation . She also interpreted on
radio in prograrms with an English professor for a
number of months . She became rather popular and was
called on from time to time. All this she did as
she directed the flourishing English Play School.


Early in the 1920's a deep tragedy developed in
the Takata family. The mother became ill with can-
cer and suffered greatly. She was only fifty-seven
years old. Toshi wrote: "When my mother was ill for
a year my father used to look after her tenderly.
Day in and day out he sat by her bed and sometimes
cooked her food for her.
"Just before she died he held her in his lap
for many hours to make her more comfortable than on
her bed. On her deathbed she thanked him for the
happy life he had given to her. vFather said, 'I'll
follow you soon. Then we can unite together never to
part again . ' She passed away peacefully."
The year following her mother's death a second
tragedy came not on 僕y to Toshi but to the area. The
great earthquake of 1923 struck Tokyo and Yokohama
and the buildings of the region were flattened. The
thriving English Play School was destroyed.
Years later she wrote, "As I look back on those
past years there were many ups and downs but I was
grateful that I never collapsed. Whenever I was
down I used to hope for the ups and say to myself,
'What kind of higher luck is waiting for me? This
kind of hope must have come from my faith in God."
As time went on and luck would have it Toshi
found a very fine lot near the Imperial Palace in
mid-Tokyo and managed to build a school again, this
school to be a junior college for girls, a school
with an English emphasis. Her life work of teaching
was again launched.
It was about this time that her learned friend
and advisor, Mr. X. , decided to leave Tokyo. His
mother had been. l 。eft alone in the country and needed

his help and he could also be with his family. He
gave Toshi all of the books that he had studied and
with his full comments written in during his student
years of great effort.
Soon after he arrived in his home community he
was appointed president of the university there, be-
ing a learned man both at home and abroad. He also
became president of a newspaper and wrote articles
for it from time to time . He was much sought after
as a leader in the conununity. Toshi sent him maga-
zines printed in English to keep him informed as to
Western thought .
Miss Takata, now approaching the age of forty-
in her late thirties- had during her adulthood op-
portunities to marry both Japanese and outstanding
Americans . As she advanced in age her family, and
especially her father, became very concerned that
she took no notice of these chances. One day her 1
father spoke to her of the matter.
Toshi responded with a question, "Do you wish
to be rid of me by removing me from the Takata fam-
ily ?" He answered, "I would love to keep you in the
Takata family but for your own future happiness when
I am gone. You will be alone and very forlorn.
While I still live, you should get married."
Toshi considered and then declared her stand-
ards for a husband. "If I ever come across a man I
could love and respect and who could be my encyclo-
pedia, then I would marry. Otherwise I would rather
be an old maid and be independent."
"What a conceited girl you are ! Look at your-
self in the mirror. If you will not listen to me,
someday you will blame me for not forcing you to
marry, and you will weep under the covers of your
bed. . / . . But if you promise never to regret no matter
how hard and lonesome it is to live alone, I shall
never tell you to get married until you find someone
for yourself. "

Toshi promised, "I shall never, never regret.
Please leave me alone . "
Years later she added, "And he never repeated
the same problem. "


In the past from time to time Mr. X. had sug-
gested to Miss Takata that she study abroad and make
a circle trip around the world as well. He was able
to help her plan; he had previous experience himself
of foreign travel and three years of experience at
Yale University as a graduate student in the United
States .
It was about 1929 when she gathered all her
courage and travel i nformation and ventured forth.
She spent a number of months in England and then
came on to the United States with plans for study .
Later she explained, "Before I left Japan I was
asked by Mr. X. that if I ever went near New Haven,
Connecticut, to go and visit the grave of his class-
mate in Yale who passed away while in the University.
Mr. X. had had a tombstone enscribed in beautiful
Japanese and it stood in a part of the church yard
especially set aside for foreign students. He also
asked me to visit his classroom where he used to
study, and he gave me instructions."
Miss Takata had made plans to again see and
visit Madame Ernestine Schumann- Heink,the dramatic
contralto singer whom she had known in Japan during
the singer's co 渡cert there. Madame Schumann- Heink
had invited Toshi to come to her hotel in New York,
then later to join her at Boston where she had a
two-week engagement during that city ' s tercentenary
observance. Years later Miss Takata called to mind
the memories of that visit. She wrote:

"On the train to New York I was seated
in the same compartment with Mrs. Marie
Murray, a pupil of Madame S . , and also with

Madame S . ' s accompanist, and we three be-
came friends. At the hotel I went with
Marie Murray to make Madame S . comfortable.
"But Madame S. said to me, 'You look
tired, Toshi. Go and lie down on my bed. '
Later she told me with a twinkle in her
eye that I was the first person who ever
slept in her bed.
"After the concerts and all the fuss
made over Madame S . , she and I would re-
tire to the hotel suite where we enjoyed
fellowship alone. ' I wa ラnt Toshi with me ,'
Madame S . said and would request the ac-
companist to go to another room. The ac-
companist was so pleased and relieved and
thanked me many times for taking her place
with Madame S . Madame S . was such an ex-
citable person that she would want to play
and sing and play the piano even at mid-
night. It was hard for the accompanist.
"Madame S . explained that since she
was famous there was no freedom to be
alone. She said, 'Also, eighteen people
are hanging on my throat. The money goes
out before I know it. '
The society women asked what color
dress Madame S . would be wearing on vari-
ous concert nights and many wore the same
color. This displeased Madame S . She
commented, " 'My dress is eighteen years
old and theirs are far better than mine. '
Famous gentlemen came to meet her and
ask what they could do for her and she
asked one for beer. It was still prohibi-
tion then but they brought all kind s of
bottles to the banquet after the concert.
I was surprised but relieved to know that
Japan was not the only country to do dark

business among powerful people.
"The band played for her and also for
me . They asked Marie if I would be embar-
rassed and not know how to respond but
Marie said not to worry, that I would be
all right , and she told me to say some-
thing in Japanese along with the English.
This was a very exciting experience for me.
"One night Madame S . asked a general
who came to see her to tie the strings of
her shoes and this gentleman knelt down
and did the job. Madame S . was such a
stout person that she found it hard to
manage her shoes.
"However, when I saw the dignified
gentleman kneel down I felt very sorry for
him. I wouldn't do such a thing to make
myself cheap to fix one's shoes even for
such a famous lady. If she were an inva-
lid, that would be different. Maybe this
is the spirit of the Japanese samurai.
"Afte r the banquet the party got
very gay with drinking. One of the guests
asked Madame S . how many times she was
married, and she answered 'Five times. '
Then she was asked why so many. She put
her finger against her nose, thinkingr
then said, 'For my health.' Everybody
laughed. I was very amused.
"Finally Madame S . said. ' How terri-
ble for me to have mixed blood boys (in
opposing armies in World War I. ) who had
to fight against each other ! That's why I
am singing for America. ' That touched me
very much . "

Toshi read all the newspapers and kept informed
of what all the music critics were saying about the

concerts but she showed only the favorable ones to
Madame S . During their stay in Boston Madame S. and
Miss Takata both signed autographs one afternoon at
the Boston City Hall. There they sat - the very
small lady from Japan and the very large lady from
Germany and both now in the United States.
Madame S . asked the mayor of Boston to writ
e a
letter of introduction for Miss Takata to the Pres-
ident of Yale University. With this letter of in-
troduction and with flowers and a large wreath for
the grave , Toshi entered the train, the hotel porter
with the wreath. People looked surprised; such a
tiny Japanese followed by a porter with such a large
wreath! Years later she wrote of it all.
"As it was vacation time I couldn't find the
President of Yale but his secretary received me
kindly and showed me around the school, the grave ,
and Mr. X.'s classroom. I went in and wondered
where he could have sat while there. I took a pic-
ture of the grave of his friend and sent one on to
him. "
Miss Takata's world travel continued westward
to California and Oakland College where she studied
and graduated. She then studied English literature
and child psychology at the University of California
at Berkeley. It was at Berkely that she became ill
at the time that Asians were not admitted to hospi-
tals in the United States. Mrs. Ruth Tooze of
Berkely heard of the serious illness of the little
Japanese woman student who was noted for her beauti-
ful Japanese kimonos. Mrs. Tooze promptly took her
car and brought the ill student to her home and
cared for her until she became wel &l. From that year
of 1930 until 1947 Ruth Tooze well remembered her
Japanese guest and became the go-between for Miss
Takata and Professor Ruth Strickland, both then in
Tokyo after the end of World War II.
Miss Takata's homecoming in 1930 was noted in

the newspapers with articles about her. In those
days few women studied abroad. She gave a broadcast
program about her experiences with Madame Shumann-
Heink, and various reports to friends.
Her arrival was saddened by the news of Mr. X .
being ill from a stroke some time before, and soon
came another. He was forced to give up responsibil-
ities formerly held. His wife had passed away after
twenty years of suffering. His family responsibili-
ties had increased but he was unable to meet them
all. He died soo /n after.
She realized anew that over the past twenty
years he had guided her choices and that his breadth
of knowledge greatly enriched her life.

Yokohama Cemetery for Foreign People