Haru Matsukata Reischauer (C’37)

Journalist, diplomat, crucial cultural connection

In her book, Samurai and Silk: A Japanese and American Heritage, journalist, diplomat, and Principia alumna Haru Matsukata Reischauer tells the story of her two grandfathers: one a prominent Japanese businessman in New York City, the other Japan’s two-time prime minister. It is a book about dichotomy—east and west—and for much of her life, Haru felt uneasy in both.

But in Japan’s post-war period, Haru settled into her role as the “first lady of the US Embassy” to Japan. Thanks to her innate understanding of both eastern and western culture, she was instrumental in building an enduring diplomatic rapport. Haru “came to be known as Japan’s most popular woman,” after the Empress herself. 

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