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In the summer of 1877 four Japanese young men arrived in Greencastle, sent to study at the university by Asbury alumnus John Ing, who directed a mission school in Hirosaki, Japan. All were professed Christians of the samurai class with little financial resources, but willing to work.

They were given rooms in the attic of the Edifice, hoisting coal for heating and cooking to their rooms by block and tackle. (They managed to escape the burning building during the great fire but without their cooking stove, which one of them explained afterwards "was too hot!") Japanese Students




Fluent in English from their training under Ing, they also earned some of their expenses by lecturing and preaching in the neighborhood. They found general acceptance in the college and the community, and were pledged by social fraternities. A fifth Japanese arrived a little later but became ill and died in Greencastle in 1878 and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.

Two who attained international distinction were Sutemi Chinda and Aimaro Sato, who also became brothers-in-law when Chinda married the latter's sister after graduation. In the best Asbury oratorical tradition, Sato was making an impassioned speech in Meharry Hall advocating the election of James Garfield to the American presidency in the fall of 1880, when President Martin interrupted him to halt the proceedings as inappropriate to the occasion!




Both Chinda and Sato entered the Japanese foreign service, and both served as ambassadors to the United States as well as in other important posts. Another, Izumy Nasu, translated the Iliad into Japanese.

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People, Events & Traditions

Cyrus Nutt

The Edifice

Tommy Goodwin

Matthew Simpson

John W. Ray

William C. Larrabee

Rebellion of 1856- 57

Literary Societies

Thomas Bowman

The Civil War

Joseph Tingley

Alexander Martin

The Edifice Fire

Bettie Locke (Hamilton)

East College

Japanese Students