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Ronald Stone Anderson Papers

Inventory to the Ronald Stone Anderson Papers

Biographical Sketch

Ronald Stone Anderson was born 1908 in Seattle, Washington. Most of his primary and secondary education, however, took place in Southern California. He attended Stanford University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1929. During a tour of Asia following his graduation, he applied for various teaching positions. He taught at Ayama-gakuin, a Methodist school in Tokyo for one year. He then taught two years at the Fourth Higher School in Kanazawa, Hokuriku district, Ishikawa Prefecture. The severe climate lead him to move to Fukuoka where he taught three years.

After six years in Japan, Anderson returned to Stanford University to pursue a master's degree. During this time at Stanford, he was able to teach at the Munroe School, a feeder preparatory school associated with Stanford. The focus of his graduate studies was on the history of the Japanese occupation of Formosa or Taiwan. The actual date he received his master's is open to question.1

Following his degree, he obtained a position at the high school in Redwood City, California. In 1943, Anderson returned once more to Stanford, this time in the capacity of an instructor in the Civil Affairs Training School (CATS) which trained American civilians in Japanese culture, history and language.2 Anderson did not know Japanese language;3 his instructor activities were in education and the family.

In 1946 with the end of the program at Stanford, Anderson desired to go to Japan. He took the long way around, but probably the only way at that time, by going to Washington, D.C. His application at the Pentagon seemed unsuccessful to him, so he began teaching on a temporary basis in a high school in the District. About one month later, he was offered a permanent position which he accepted. That night upon returning to his apartment, he had a telegram from the Pentagon instructing him that his departure ship would leave Seattle for Japan in three or four days.4

He landed in Japan in January 1946, with an assignment to a military office in Tokyo with the Office of the Coordinator of Counter Intelligence. After one month work at what he considered a waste of time and effort, Anderson went to Kyoto and was able to finesse a new assignment, to the I Corps as Chief of CEI, the Civil Education and Information Officer.5 In this capacity, he supervised the schools, their principals and teaching staffs, in an area stretching from Shizuoka to Kagoshima. Under this arrangement, the American Military Occupation instituted the reform movement in Japanese education.

Anderson returned to the United States in 1949 and began his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1952 he obtained a position at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, he obtained his doctorate from University of California in 1956. He served as the secretary to the Association of Asian Studies for eight years from its initial founding in 1952 until he left Michigan in 1960.6

In 1960, Ronald Stone Anderson came to the University of Hawaii, first as Carnegie Visiting Professor of Education. He remained after the initial appointment as Visiting Professor. In the fall of 1960, he was appointed by the Board of Regents as Acting Director of the Asian Studies Program. He continued with the Asian Studies Program through 1967/68 academic year. Anderson then returned full time to the Educational Foundations department in the College of Education.7 Anderson also started the Teacher Exchange Program of the East West Center. During the seven years it existed, secondary teachers from Asia and the United States Mainland met at the East West Center with the goal of exchanging cultural ideals, values and information. Over 200 teachers participated in this program.8

Ronald Stone Anderson died in Honolulu on 15 February 1985.


1 Two dates for Anderson's MA occur. One date, 1946, occurs in an obituary of him, John Whitney Hall, "Obituary: Ronald Stone Anderson (1908-1985)," Journal of Asian Studies 45, no. 1 (November 1985), p. 209, and in the faculty listings in the official catalogs of the University of Hawaii during the years Anderson was on the faculty. The second date, 1936, comes from Typescript, Ronald S. Anderson, oral interview, 8 February 1980, by Harry Wray; transcript, part I, p. 6.

2 Anderson, oral interview, part I, p. 12.

3 Anderson, oral interview, part I, p. 4.

4 Anderson, oral interview, part I, pp. 18-19.

5 Anderson, oral interview, part I, pp. 19-21.

6Hall, "Obituary," Journal of Asian Studies.

7 University of Hawaii Catalog, 1959/60, 1962/63, 1967/68, 1968/69, University Archives, Manuscript A____:___.

8 "Obituaries: Ronald Anderson," Honolulu Advertiser, 21 Feb. 1985, p. A-10.

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