FOREWORD The Boston firm of Houghton Mifflin Company first published Life and Letters of Joseph Hardy Neesima in 1891 and it went through many subsequent editions. The compiler, Arthur Sherburne Hardy (1847-1930), was the third son of Neesima's great benefactor the Honorable Alpheus Hardy and had careers as a professor, writer and diplomat. After the father first met Nee sima in October 1865 he read with absorption the account of his secretly escaping from isolationist Japan in order to devote himself to Christianity and to communicate its message to his countrymen. Hardy determined to effectuate Neesima's earnest desire and arranged for him to attend Phillips Academy, Andover, Amherst College and Andover Theo­logical Seminary for which institutions he was a trustee. During Neesima's nine years of study in America and after his return to Japan Hardy continued to extend spiritual and financial help. Arthur Sherburne Hardy first met Neesima when he was 18 and Neesima 22. He knew well that his parents loved Neesima as a son. Nee sima returned to Japan as a mis­sionary to devote his life to the education of Christian gentlemen by the establishment of an institution of higher learning. His devotion was so single-purposed that it resulted in his untimely and early death in January of 1890 at the age of 47. Soon after Neesirna's passing, Hardy, who was on the faculty at Dartmouth College, came to Japan to collect materials to compile a life of Neesima. Here he met the Reverend Jerome Dean Davis, an American Board mis­sionary and since 1875 Neesima's colleague and trusted friend, who was writing a biography. He doubtless met Neesima's widow, various missionary and Japanese col-