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Iwao Frederick Ayusawa papers

Identifier: HC.MC-969

Scope and Contents

Letters, cards, clippings, photographs, and printed items. The bulk of the collection consists of Iwao Frederick Ayusawa's letters to Margaret L. Thomas (wife of Edward Thomas), who is frequently addressed as “mother” or “sister.” Almost all the letters speak of the friendship Ayusawa has with the Thomas family, which grew out of their taking him "under their wing" and looking after him while he was a young student in New York City. Primarily personal in nature, the letters give insights into his beliefs (pacifism, etc.) and include information on his work in Geneva and Japan. They also frequently mention mutual friends (and Friends). The collection includes a few letters from members of Ayusawa's family; other correspondents are H. [Kashinage?], Yasutaro Misawa, Shuichi Harada, Lois Kellog Jessup, Esther B. Rhoads, Seiju, and [Ume] Hirakawa.

Some of the topics discussed are listed for each folder in order to give an idea of what may be found in the letters, this list is not all-inclusive and should be used as a suggestion to their contents.


  • Creation: 1918-1964


Language of Materials

Some materials are in Japanese.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law applies (U.S. Title 17).


Iwao Frederick Ayusawa was born October 15th, 1894, and died November 30th, 1972, in France. In 1911, he went to Hawaii as a recipient of the Friend Peace Scholarship. He graduated from Haverford College in 1917, where he concentrated his studies in the fields of sociology and social service (especially social and labor problems). After graduating from Haverford, he attended the New York School of Social Work affiliated with Columbia University. His major field of study was labor problems and his Ph.D. dissertation (dedicated to Margaret Loring Thomas) was titled “Inter-national Labor Legislation.” The dissertation was finished after Ayusawa attended the First Session of the International Labor Conference held in Washington, D.C., in 1919. After graduating from Columbia in 1920, he went to Geneva, Switzerland to serve the Japanese Delegation to the International Labor Organization (ILO), where he later worked as a staff member. In 1934, he returned to Japan to take the position of Director of the Tokyo Branch Office of the ILO until the advent of World War II in 1939. After the war, he served on the Central Labor Relations Board until 1948, when he left to attend international conferences. In 1952, he joined the faculty of International Christian University in Japan.

[sources for above: DQB; Ayusawa papers; his books “A history of labor in modern Japan” (c1966) and “Postwar developments in organized labor” (c1953)]


.5 linear ft. (1 box)


Iwao Frederick Ayusawa (1894-1972) spent much of his life working with the International Labor Organization, and later served as a faculty member of the International Christian University in Japan. The collection consists primarily of personal letters, speaking of his belief in pacifism and his work in Geneva and Japan.


The Iwao Frederick Ayusawa papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1963 by Margaret Loring Thomas.

Related Materials

Esther Rhoads papers (HC.MC.1153)

Processing Information

Processed by Diane Rofini and Diana Franzusoff Peterson; completion date unknown.

Iwao Frederick Ayusawa papers, 1918-1964
Finding aid prepared by Diane Rofini and Diana Franzusoff Peterson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US