John Whitney Hall Photo

John Whitney Hall

Born: Sep 13, 1916

Death: Oct 21, 1997

Birthplace: Kyoto

Nationality: Japan

John Whitney Hall

Date of Birth : Sep 13, 1916
Date of Death : Oct 21, 1997
Birth Place : Kyoto

John Whitney Hall, the Tokyo-born son of missionaries in Japan, grew up to become a pioneer in the field of Japanese studies and one of the most respected historians of Japan of his generation. His life work was recognized by the Japanese government. At the time he was honored with Japan's Order of the Sacred Treasure, he was one of only a very small number of Americans to have been singled out in this way. John Whitney Hall became an authority on pre-modern Japan; and he helped transform the way Western scholars view the period immediately preceding Japan's modernization as well as the thousand years before that. Professor Jeffrey Mass, a one-time student and later colleague of Hall's on the Yale faculty, described him as a quiet, self-contained man—and a master punster. Hall was a great admirer of Japanese culture and he amassed a large collection of prints, folk art and pottery; but in addition to being a dedicated academic, he was also an experienced mountain climber who had climbed extensively in the Japanese Alps.

Also known as


  • John Hall

Awards Won


  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
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