Gerald Curtis in Conversation with James Morley
James W. Morley Interview
December 18, 2015
GERALD L. CURTIS: When did you come to Columbia and why? How did that happen?
JAMES W. MORLEY: Oh, well, I was teaching at this small college in upstate New York, Union College in Schenectady, and I had not expected...
CURTIS: You knew Don Thurston? Wasn't he at Union?
MORLEY: He was a student of mine.
CURTIS: I helped him get that job.
MORLEY: Oh did you know Don?
CURTIS: Yes. And he invited me up there to speak. So you got your PhD at Harvard?
MORLEY: I got mine... No, at Columbia.
CURTIS: You got the PhD at Columbia in History?
MORLEY: Yes. I came down to... I have to think back now. What was I doing? I had left Harvard as an undergraduate after three years because of the war, and so, in order to finish, I thought I may never be back again, and so, in the third year I took two years work and finished.
CURTIS: And, so, you did the undergraduate degree in three years?
MORLEY: Yeah. Just to do it, I thought I better do it because the war is too big for all of us. Then I wasn't drafted immediately, and so, I... And I didn't enlist immediately, I was kind of exhausted. I went over, and for one semester, at the Fletcher School, which had only been formed over a decade or two before. But the dean invited me there to be his assistant so they paid my bills, and that was terribly important. So I spent a semester there and then decided I just can't keep sitting around wondering what I'm doing. I just left and enlisted in the navy. And...
CURTIS: What year was that? It was during the war?
MORLEY: Oh yes. Heavens, yes. Let's see, I would have been class of '42. I would have been class of '43 at Harvard, but I finished in '42, so that would have been in 1943.
MORLEY: Yeah. And then I enlisted in the navy, and was sent off to Japanese language school in Boulder, Colorado. And that lasted for more than a year. And then after that, the assignment, many people got sent to Hawaii, where they went with... A few went with the fleet, but most of them were at Hawaii. But I was sent to Washington.
CURTIS: To do what?
MORLEY: To work on Japanese codes. And so, I spent two years in Washington working at a kind of secret annex in the town. It's a large staff; they're trying to break into the code...the messages that are coming out this time. Our unit was on the capitol ships; that is the carriers, the largest of the Navy. And so, the messages were picked up all the time, but they're all in numbers. So there were various stages of breaking this code, but my role was like the several others that had come out of Boulder, Colorado, was to see if what they were breaking into made sense. Or if it didn't, then they got the wrong... So we would check on the message and say, "No, that's Japanese, man. This is what it ought to say and it says it."
CURTIS: No kidding.
MORLEY: So it was a very limited role, but... And so, we worked shifts. Every week we changed; night shift, day shift, all that. Did that for...
CURTIS: Twenty-four hours?
MORLEY: Yes, for two years, yeah. Because you see, when the code was broken, then you immediately knew where the ship was, which was the central issue in naval warfare, to know where the enemy is. The ocean's too large, you know. So as soon as they knew that, then it would be relayed, the message to the chief of naval operations who was right downtown in Washington. And the CNO would then pick it up, and if he checked it, ship it out to Hawaii. And then from Hawaii, they would launch either vessels or they would launch planes and try to get this, now that they've discovered where the object is. And it worked pretty well.
CURTIS: Pretty successful at breaking the codes?
MORLEY: Pretty successful. All that we would know is that suddenly the messages stopped. And if the messages stopped, the chief of our section... You could hear, he'd lift up a chair. And we'd all perk up, "We got him!"
CURTIS: Oh, wow.
MORLEY: And that didn't... It was exciting at first, because it was so removed from reality...
MORLEY: Sitting there at three or four in the morning and all. [chuckle] But, as several years wore on, and then the more I... And especially as the war was ending, it began to get to me in a very different way. And I could only think, how many guys I had helped to kill? And I'd never met a single one. They weren't my enemies. They were poor slobs like me. Either drafted or they enlisted, because they thought they should for their country's sake. And they get shot for it. They'd never met us either. But I thought just... I'm sorry. But it did eat at me. And so, when the war was over and they said they were recruiting people to come quickly in to the occupation and all that, and I... I regretted it later that I didn't do that because that was a very special experience. But nevertheless, I said, "No, I'm going back to school. I want to study Japan and figure out who these people are." Why we... What are... How are we going to prevent this in the future? So that was just in my mind without a career line at all.
So, I had the GI Bill, I was married, children. But then... And decide where to go, and I came up to Columbia. Largely because one of the men who helped to draft the Japanese policy and, actually, the kind of framework of the constitution was Hugh Borton, who was then the first person to teach Japanese history at Columbia.
CURTIS: Was he already the Institute director? Or was George Sansom still...
MORLEY: Oh, no, there was no Institute.
CURTIS: Oh there was no Institute? Oh, sorry. Okay.
CURTIS: Okay. But Hugh [Borton] was here...
MORLEY: But I came up to study under Hugh Borton. I could have chosen Ed Reischauer. They were the choices. And I talked to Ed and he urged me to come to Harvard. And I... Well, that was interesting... But I thought, "I had the Harvard experience. Maybe I should broaden out and see how somebody else does... "
CURTIS: Had you known... Did you know Hugh Borton in Washington?
MORLEY: I met him in Washington. He never came to Columbia while I was there. He remained in Washington.
CURTIS: So you came up to study with Hugh, but Hugh wasn't here.
MORLEY: He wasn't here. There was virtually nobody that was interested in Japan on the faculty. And there was no professor really then, except one. And that was a man in the Chinese and Japanese department as it was then, and that was Tsunoda Ryunoskue, a Zen Buddhist scholar who had brought the library over, the library of Japanese books that the emperor had given to the university. He came with it. So that he knew that library terribly well. He just fed me what I needed. He's the most important man in my intellectual life, still is. It wasn't that we talked about the war, we never did, but Japanese culture.
CURTIS: So you, Donald [Keene], and Ted de Bary?
MORLEY: Donald was here, but he was a year or two older, and so I wasn't in courses with Donald. I knew Ted, and he was a couple years older. I was in class with Ed Seidensticker. We had both sat in Shirato’s Japanese language, but Tsunoda taught the courses in Japanese thought. So we went all through the great thinkers and writers and so on in Japanese history. It overwhelmed me, that's all, and it still does. So Tsunoda sensei made it worthwhile to stay at Columbia, even though there was no instruction really in subjects I was interested in.
I studied Russian a little while at Columbia, both language, and took courses in Russian history, and that was my minor. Eventually, the Institute was founded while I was there, but I didn't know what it was. And Sir George Sansom was brought in, and everyone knew who Sir George was.
CURTIS: Do you know how that happened? How that happened that he came to Columbia?
MORLEY: I don't, really. He was the most prominent scholar of Japanese history and subjects Japanese. And I don't really... I was too junior. I was said to be under his care. I regret to say he never invited me to his office. I only had one conversation directly with him all the time I was there. You'd sit and listen to his lectures on Japanese history, and he would come in with a big folder, lay it down on the platform. And then Shimizu, who was, I guess, a graduate student, I'm not really sure what Shimi was, but he did a lot of things in the department. He would get up on the board and he would put characters on the board for different people or events. Sir George never did that. Never seen his calligraphy. Shimi would always get up. He would do this for him. Sir George would come in and simply read the pages. He didn't look up, and then when he finished the pages, he'd close the book and walk out. So it's a very different experience from academic life today, I guess.
So all of that meant to me, I enjoyed my life at Columbia, but it wasn't because I was absorbing a great deal that I thought I could use except a real feel for Japan that came from Tsunoda sensei. He's like a father to me almost. And so, when I went to Japan to do a dissertation, and I had decided I wanted to do something that involved Russia as well as Japan if I could. So I did that, and decided that we didn't have... Nobody knew any sources. I wrote an essay that Sir George read, but I never had a comment from him. So I have no idea what he thought. But I didn't have access to any Russian or Japanese sources.
And so, when I said, "Well, I got a grant to go to Japan to do research," but no one could suggest how to do it or who to talk to. So I didn't know exactly, and I didn't... My use of the language had been all in this code work, and so, the ability to speak it was pretty poor. I remember how desperate I... I had a family with me on the ship going over, and I became... I just got colder and colder and sweatier and sweatier because I thought, "I don't know anyone. What do I do when I get off the ship?"
CURTIS: When you land, yeah.
MORLEY: There we are. Anyway, we did that and got off the ship. Do you want to hear about this?
CURTIS: Yes, it's great.
MORLEY: You do? All right. So the first day we got off the ship, didn't know anybody. It was cold, very cold. It was winter, and we were hungry. So we said, "Well, I think the first thing we've got to do," I had these little kids, "We gotta find someplace to eat." And so, we wandered around Yokohama, and finally found a place where a lot of foreigners were lined up. And I thought, "Hey, maybe they can help me out." And so I said, "Can I get in the... " "Oh yes, you get in the line, just... " So we got in the line. We went all through, had trays, all the food was put on the trays, it was a warm room and I thought, "Oh, we made it, man." We got to the end of the line and the woman said, "You don't have any occupation currency." I said, "occupation what?" "I can't let you have the food." They took the trays away and showed us the door. I was getting hungrier and hungrier at that point. So we wandered around a little more, and before... And then I saw a sign up here, the "British Consulate." I mean, I didn't know enough Japanese to ask anything. And so, the Consulate, I knocked on the door and went in and I explained my dilemma. They were very nice to me, because we could finally talk, and they told me, "Well, there's a Japanese restaurant just around the corner. You can handle it with just Japanese currency, you just go in." So we did. And then when I got in, I thought, "I don't know the words for any of the food! What are we gonna do?" The only word that came to me from some story was Oyako Donburi. I wasn't quite sure what an Oyako Donburi was.
[laughter] But I non-nonchalantly said, "We'll each have an Oyako Donburi." And so, we did, and we survived that, and then came out and I thought, "Now what?" It's colder than hell. And I thought, well, maybe we can get warm. There was a movie house. I thought, "Oh, that's the salvation." So we bought tickets, went in the movie house, but of course, it was a cement building without heat.
CURTIS: Yeah, yeah, I was going to say, it's as cold inside as outside.
MORLEY: It was just like a refrigerator in there. Well, and so, life went. I was rescued by a missionary friend, and we finally got on the train, went down to Kyoto and got an apartment from a very young professor at Kyodai, who came to be good friends after a long time. I helped him come and study in the US later. So we survived. But it was a brutal beginning.
CURTIS: And you did your dissertation research in Kyoto?
MORLEY: No, I didn't know where I would do it, or whether I could do it. And I didn't know who to ask. But I knew I couldn't speak well enough to ask. And so, we stayed there for about two, three months, during which time, I spent all day wandering about town, visiting shops. And there were several shopkeepers, especially one I remember very well, a tea merchant, who was just terribly agreeable. And so, I would sit there and try to have a conversation, and gradually got enough so I could actually get on the streetcar or I could go... [chuckle] I was supposed to know more than that, but I really hadn't had the experience.
So I tried to practice while we were there, and I said, "Well, obviously there's nothing here I can learn. Kyodai had... There's nobody to go see." So I said, "We'll move to Tokyo. There must be something in Tokyo." And I went up there, stayed at the YMCA, and finally rented a place out in Seijo Gakuen.
It turned out to be with a woman whose husband had been the minister of education. I didn't know that at the time. And she really had not much time for Americans. But she had this big home, and she needed money; husband was dead. And so, she had rented the top floor to an American family, and she rented to us the back part of her house.. And so, we stayed there and made many friends in Seijo. It turned out to be a place where many Japanese lived who had studied in the West, who knew the West. We'd have Sunday parties together. And it just... Suddenly, life improved in that way.
But... So I just then, "How am I going to study to do the dissertation?" And all I could think of was, well, maybe the foreign ministry must have a lot of material. So I inquired where it was. It was then in the Mitsui Bank building, and I just simply knocked on the door, and tried to explain to the man who came to the door, "Could I come in and read your materials?"
I'm sure they must have thought I was somebody from the Occupation and probably in the Intelligence Service, and so on. Because the Intelligence, they were going over all that. But they were very kind and invited me in. And through that, I got to know several people in the Ministry, in fact, quite a few. They were all interested in the Siberian Expedition, and so they opened up the archive to me.
CURTIS: Could you read that text in Japanese?
MORLEY: I could read most of the ordinary stuff, but what I had a lot of fun with, I thought... What are they called now? When the men in that generation wrote a signature, like the prime minister and so on, or the foreign minister, they'd write with a big special kind of seal. I can't think of the name for it now. Anyway, these seals would be all over the documents. They came in, a guy came in and explained each one to me, showed me just how that's from so-and-so. They were just terribly nice. Set up meetings to meet with diplomats and all that. But I didn't know anything about Japan, really, today. So that was the dissertation anyway, and so...
CURTIS: How long did you stay in Japan that time?
MORLEY: Oh, that was about a year-and-a-half, two years maybe. Before that... I'm sorry, I left out a little phase. I thought, perhaps, I had learned before I went to Japan that the Japanese military archives were in Washington. So I went down to Washington, found the archive, only to discover there was no catalog for them. It was just a big building full of this stuff. So how was I going to find something on the Siberian expedition, if it existed? So I spent all summer and had them bring out, systematically, I forgot now it was every tenth or every hundredth volume, and they did it, of this collection, and I made an index to the whole military collection. I found a couple of things that I could use, which turned out to be very useful. But the rest of it... And I brought it back and it was the Russian Institute people were very interested in it, and I published it through the Russians, that index. I thought a lot of people would want to get into this. I don't know of anyone else as you. I don't know why, it's very technical, terribly detailed stuff that the military had collected and so on. But I found several volumes that were very good and very helpful, and loose papers. So I did that before I went to Japan. Then I did the dissertation, came back, and I taught at Union College for several more years.
CURTIS: Oh, I see, then you went back to Union?
MORLEY: Yeah, and then for about three years I guess, I can't remember. And then I was offered several other jobs, which I didn't take. I was invited to Northwestern, and I thought, "I don't want to live out in the middle west." [laughter] Stanford...
MORLEY: But Stanford wanted someone who would do mostly the American side of relations with Asia, and that isn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to know the Japanese side of it. So I thought that's not the life I want to lead. And then Columbia invited me down on this visiting assistant professor. [laughter]
CURTIS: So you were trained as a historian? And how did it happen... So you didn't go to history here at Columbia. You went to Poli Sci...
MORLEY: Well, that's what offered me a job.
CURTIS: So they wanted a Japan person.
MORLEY: Well, I was brought in and did China as well, mind you. [chuckle] I don't know whether my Chinese colleagues ever knew that, but anyway, I did, I opened up the subject of Chinese communism, politics, and then we brought in Doak Barnett. But I taught both on the graduate school, and there just wasn't any... There was no literature, there was nobody else around in the country.
CURTIS: Do you remember what year that was, when you came to Columbia? '54?
MORLEY: I don't remember. It must have been early '50s.
CURTIS: But when you came, the Institute had not yet been established?
MORLEY: I guess it had been... Well, Sir George, I think it must have been. I'm sorry, I'm vague on that. I knew all the founders because the founders of the institute within the university, it was a group of people essentially just like the founder of the Russian Institute. They had known each other in Washington, and they had known each other, some of them, before that at Columbia in some way. Grayson Kirk, who was President of the University, his doctoral dissertation is a book on the Philippines. So he always had this interest, something to do with Asia. It was US policy that set up the Philippines. I mean, that's what he did. He didn't talk about who the Filipinos are. But anyway, he had an interest in this that Columbia should be involved, and that was very useful. But the man who was chiefly behind in the politics and all of the social sciences was Skylar Wallace. Skylar Wallace is the one who established the school of international affairs.
Skylar was...I don't know what he was as a scholar. He was in the department, senior, but he's the one who negotiated, to my understanding with the Ford Foundation to say we needed to set up somewhere, a place to study international affairs. And they couldn't go around hiring a whole new faculty for it, but he and the foundation worked out an arrangement and that set up the school. There were others like me who were in departments, but nevertheless, had a joint appointment in the school and then put together with that, then institutes were set up. They said, well, they've got to have... Separate that.
The clientele was very different from today, because the students that came in, basically speaking, were all American, knew nothing about Japan when they came. They wouldn't have had it anywhere, even in college or anywhere else. So they were purely green. The necessity was what do you do with people like that? They're intelligent, they've had a good college career, but nothing. The institute was set up originally, and I don't know whether it was when you were there, but it had very specific things. It was dedicated to the idea that you needed to know the whole culture.
So a student, in order to get a degree or a certificate from the... The departments didn't want degrees coming out from the Institutes. You got a certificate from the Institute, you would need two years. I don't know whether that was true when you were there or not, but it took two years, and you would go through intensive Japanese. So we had to create an intensive Japanese language course, which was taught by Ichiro Shirato, and he was dedicated to it. Great teacher, strict as a devil.
It was very time-consuming for students, demanding, but that was so they would have enough Japanese to get going. That had to be done.
And then: what about knowing something about Japan? Well, you had to choose from courses as we tried to set them up then, and take courses on Japan, not only in politics if you were in that department, but you needed also to have... You had to take Japanese history. Eventually, that seemed to be too onerous, and so we cut down the length of it to just modern history. And then as other departments opened up, you had to take some courses with them so that you got a more rounded, total feel for this culture.
CURTIS: That was true when I was there.
MORLEY: Is that still going on?
CURTIS: Because I remember I was politics, but I had to take the history. So I took the history for Herschel Webb, and I took sociology with Herb Passin.
MORLEY: Herb, yes.
CURTIS: And then you had to take one course outside of Japan, so I took Chinese politics with Doak Barnett.
MORLEY: Gee, well, you had some good people.
CURTIS: Oh, it was wonderful. And then, I was going to ask you about this, then there was the East Asian Institute seminar.
MORLEY: Oh, yes.
CURTIS: That was fantastic. Of course, when I was in it, Hugh Borton and you and HerbPassin and Doak Barnett, Dorothy Borg, John Lindbeck, and Marty Wilbur.
MORLEY: Oh, we all believed that was...
CURTIS: Everybody was there.
MORLEY: We thought that was the way to go, so you would have a full conversation from all points of view and not get locked up in some narrow something or other. I'm glad you got something out of it.
CURTIS: Yeah, that was wonderful.
MORLEY: Because, eventually it was scrapped, and said it was hard to portion what credits you got for teaching being in that seminar. But that could be overcome. But whether the student got enough out of it or not... Various people began to object. Anyway, it was given up. But that was, for the first 10 years or more, 10 or 15 years, I don't know, of the institute, that was the central place, and the faculty, we all knew each other reasonably well. Even I as a very junior member... It was kind of a club, I guess. I only knew some of the seniors by reputation before that. It was interesting, yes. Well, because we were training greenhorns. I gather that's all gone as I hear today people are coming in that have lived in Japan, they speak the language. It's a whole different society. That was the kind of combined undergraduate as well as graduate preparation all in one heavy dose.
CURTIS: When the Institute was set up, the Russian Institute students, they were all about the same time?
CURTIS: Was this true at other universities too?
CURTIS: We were kind of first?
MORLEY: I think so.
CURTIS: Was that from, was that foundations, or government, or from Columbia itself?
MORLEY: Well, it's this little team of people, you see it... Skylar Wallace spoke for the university, I'm sure. And he was a man who knew how to raise money. Very widely known in the city, and Skylar was very interested in this.
CURTIS: What was his formal position? Was he chair of the political science department?
MORLEY: I don't really know what he was. I don't know. Political science then... We all knew each other in a different way because we all had lunch together at regular intervals, the political science department, over in the faculty club. And so, there was a common discussion around lunch and all of that, which disappeared later. Nobody has time for it after awhile, and we said, "Oh well, I guess we have to give it up."
CURTIS: When I first got to... When I first started teaching, maybe it was only maybe two years, that still existed. There was the table, and... Well, there were two things. One, I don't know if there was a periodic department lunch, but there was a faculty table, so if you went to the faculty club alone, you could sit at this table, and then people would talk. But remember, it was the men's faculty club.
MORLEY: Oh, yeah.
CURTIS: No women.
MORLEY: Oh, indeed. [chuckle] Yes, and we all complained about the food, said, "The women's club is much better, get your invitation over there." [laughter] But the faculty club was... It was also, when I came, it wasn't a place to do business. So you didn't... You just walked in. And you could sit anywhere you wanted and it was understood. And I very often sat with a couple of the economists and the lawyers. I don't know why, but I would never have met them in any other circumstance. It was terrific. But later, you can't do that now. Everybody seems, "I'm dated up for this date and that date and the other date, and no, I can’t talk to you."
CURTIS: That's right. And there is no open table.
MORLEY: There isn't any way just to walk in, say hello. But the subject, when I started there, let's say... Nat Peffer was the newsman who had been hired to teach what was then called, far eastern something. Maybe it was international Relations. And he had no PhD. But you see, that wasn't... There was no other solution but that. He had extensive experience, and he knew the old warlords. [laughter] Just wonderful stuff. But Herb Passin, he didn't have a degree in the subject he was hired in. But did he know a lot about Japan? Oh, incredibly so. But that Doak Barnett? No, he didn't have a degree either.
CURTIS: He was another journalist.
MORLEY: Yeah. So they knew a lot, that's all. And they taught themselves. They taught what they knew, and were... And it attracted lots of students. It was good stuff.
CURTIS: It was very good stuff.
MORLEY: It's a very different environment today, 'cause they were... That word isn't amateur, is it? That isn't the right word. I don't know what it is. They're just people of worldly experience.
CURTIS: Sure. Where did the money come from, in the beginning?
MORLEY: Oh, in the beginning? Ford, largely, I think. But then, I can't remember now. Every year, we used to apply, didn't we, to Washington, and get a grant? What were they called? I'm sorry. But that was through after awhile around the country, that all these centers got established. And everyone was financed by Washington. And you had to put in your annual report to them. And so, I think Ford backed out. But Ford is the one I think, who started it.
CURTIS: Rockefeller was involved? Rockefeller? No?
MORLEY: Oh, yes. But I don't know... Rockefeller paid my salary. [chuckle] That's how I got to know him. He paid for me as a visiting assistant, and I guess he paid for me when I was in the hospital. So, I got to know him later.
CURTIS: Wait, which Rockefeller are we talking about?
CURTIS: Oh, John. So John was the one on the philanthropy side.
MORLEY: Oh, yes.
CURTIS: He set up the I-House in Tokyo , funded I-House...
MORLEY: Yeah, that's the same man. Yes, and he was a... Hugh Borton knew him very well, because Hugh had been over there in the Friends Service Committee. And so, he had a lot of friends. But yes, he and the Rockefellers. He was Rockefeller's man really, kind of, on Japan.
CURTIS: What you were saying before for lunch, I just want to get it on the tape. So you were hired as a kind of first... But on this kind of visiting assistant professor basis, so they could get rid of you after a year if they didn't think you were gonna work out.
MORLEY: Well, I don't know. I was so enormously excited, and that I... Because they didn't tell me how to teach it, man. You're just coming in. Teach! [laughter]
CURTIS: But you did so...
MORLEY: I mean, it was just exciting, that's all.
CURTIS: But that first year, you didn't teach because you got TB.
MORLEY: No, but then when I did finally got in, yeah. But I mean, it was teaching yourself, is really what it was. But, obviously you did the same thing. It was a generation, don't you think? It certainly wasn't mine. When you had to go out in the place and get the information, [chuckle] and you only asked the questions you were interested in.
CURTIS: That's right. That's what we taught our students.
MORLEY: Yeah, and so I think that is kind of the hallmark of the Columbia... As I watch them up there [at the Curtis retirement symposium], and I thought, "By God, I think maybe it worked." They really all... They all seem to be... They just totally immersed in this people, culture, all the rest, not in divisions of whether this is an academic subject or a political subject or what it is, but... It's just interesting.
Yeah, and I thought that, that's kind of the Columbia hallmark. I think now, but I think you established that in the Japanese field because they... That's what they got from you. Anyway, I don't know where we were in trying to trace the money and all that. But as far as...?
CURTIS: Did you have students in those early years?
MORLEY: Oh yes. In fact, well... Right at first, it was the China field that had the students.
CURTIS: Yeah, really?
MORLEY: Oh, here I was, who had never had a course on China, teaching these graduate students. And they would... I mean... The class... I don't... You could probably find out the numbers of those classes, but I would assume they were up in the hundred at least. I mean, we'd be in a big lecture place and there'd be... And a lot... They were all ages and there were a number of Chinese, as well as Americans in that group, kind of experiencing the war and of the old China. So, it was a very interesting bunch of people. Yeah. And I would bring in lecturers when I could. I remember one especially, did you know Harriet Mills?
CURTIS: I did know Harriet. She was a very close friend of Dorothy Borg.
MORLEY: Oh yes. Oh, indeed. Well, Harriet went to study China over there in the communist period and then was arrested. You know her story? But I mean, she was arrested as being a spy and put in prison for a year. And when finally she was released and came back, gosh, it was hard to recognize her. She was just like a skeleton.
CURTIS: Oh my God.
MORLEY: That's all. And the hair was all... I don't know. She had been a graduate student when I was at Columbia, so I had known her then. And I... She was always nice. She was then asked to write some chapters for a book on Asian politics, and when she left, she asked me if I'd like to do it, so I did. I contributed some chapters. We were very good friends. By God, when she came back, it was just... It was appalling. But she agreed to come in and speak to the class and it was electric, I can tell you.
MORLEY: Those were days when the Chinese communists were not thought of very well. [chuckle] And there was Harriet, oh my. Anyway, that's life.
CURTIS: When did Dorothy [Borg] come to Columbia and how did that happen?
MORLEY: I don't know the date, but I brought her.
CURTIS: You brought her.
MORLEY: Yes. I had known her book. I didn't know she lived in New York. I had known her book. I was all... And then I discovered she lived in New York. I think because John Fairbank invited her up to Harvard for a year, and when I heard that, I thought, "She's a New Yorker. What's he doing? Where are we?" So, I came down to see Dorothy. I had known her, and asked her if she'd like to come up, and we didn't have a post. Harvard didn't either. But I said, "I'll see that you get an office. So, you can use it as your office, if you'll just... And if you'd like to do some teaching, we'll do some teaching, or if you don't want to do that, you just can advice students, and so on. That's okay, but just whatever you want to do with your life on this, why don't you come up and do it with us?" And so, she did. And so, she came up there... She wasn't hired and didn't really need that at the time, but she had the office. She always thought you were one of her gems. [laughter] But she got to know a lot of people, and she did her best in the field to encourage US historians to work seriously on Asia.
CURTIS: She did, she made a great contribution.
MORLEY: And so she, around the country, had a little club of people, and that's when... Persuaded her she ought to do some teaching to our students. And so, that seminar you took was the first time she'd ever taught a class. And she was terribly uneasy about it, and I said, "Alright, I'll join you." I said, "So don't worry about it." Anyway, I was very junior. She wasn't terribly old then. I don't know what it was. So that's how that class began. And then after that, she didn't really want to be in the classroom. That isn't what she did, but she really liked to talk to them.
CURTIS: She loved... Yeah, she was great. Talk people... Her door was always open and a lot of us would just go in and...
MORLEY: Yeah. Well, it wasn't just pure intellectual.
MORLEY: I mean, she got involved... I don't know how it was with you but I do know others. She got involved with their lives.
CURTIS: Well, she was the house psychologist, a psychiatrist.
MORLEY: Yeah, I guess so.
CURTIS: We'd all go in and talk about our lives with Dorothy.
MORLEY: Yeah. Well, you see, I did too. [laughter] I mean, she'd advise me on a backache and all that and, "How are you today?" So she was kind of the mother of the place.
CURTIS: Yeah, no, she was a very important person in my life. She did teach one more... She taught once more.
MORLEY: Did she?
CURTIS: By herself, and I took that course. It was very demanding.
MORLEY: Oh, I don't remember that.
CURTIS: She wanted... She basically expected us to read everything she had ever... The total of what she's read. I read so much that semester. But she was so interesting. And I got an awful lot out of that.
MORLEY: I didn't... Gee, I'd forgotten that. I must've arranged it.
CURTIS: Yeah, I'm sure you did.
MORLEY: But I'd forgotten it. I just... She was more, to me, a personal person. But that... We were always concerned what the university would inquire "What are we doing giving her space," but nobody did. And I realized then I'm... You just do what you think you ought to do, then if the university wants to interfere, they'll have to interfere. But don't go ask for permission.
CURTIS: Sure. So where was the Institute located when it first was established—in a brownstone, was it?
MORLEY: On 118th Street.
CURTIS: In one of these brownstone buildings?
MORLEY: I think it was 118. It was one of the... They were apartment houses all along there. And the institute was on the second floor. A very small... I had a secretary. Sir George had an office, but was not usually there. And then I had an office there. It was a very small place.
CURTIS: And Hugh was no... Hugh Borton wasn't there yet.
MORLEY: Well, after I got teaching, then he came back.
CURTIS: And he came back as director, or...
MORLEY: And he came back as the director of the Institute. Yeah, he followed Sir George.
CURTIS: So Sansom was only there a couple of years.
MORLEY: That's right. And I think he was largely... That wasn't his forte after all. He was there because he gave prominence to the place. Because he was in all of our minds... In my mind, certainly. It's his history of Japan, which I read while I was in the Navy. About one of the very few things I read about Japan before I came here. But he was it. That's all. And he did... I don't think as a teacher, I don't really think that was his forte at all. And then he left here because he said he couldn't climb the stairs over in the main... Like what was then...
CURTIS: The Low library?
MORLEY: Low Library, yeah. He said, "I just can't do that anymore."
CURTIS: Was that... You mean it was still a library in those days?
MORLEY: Yeah. The East Asian Library was there.
CURTIS: Was in Low?
MORLEY: In Low, yeah. Oh yes. That's where I remembered it. We used to go and sit there, And all the... Ted would be at one table, and Donald at another, and a little group of people that I knew. Arthur Tiedemann... Did you know Arthur?
CURTIS: Yeah, sure, sure.
MORLEY: Arthur was there. Anyway, it was different. So yes, we...
CURTIS: And when the Institute was set up, it was... Was it mainly... Was it the thought that it would do social science? Because, and...
MORLEY: The Institute?
CURTIS: So it was very different from EALAC?
MORLEY: Oh indeed, indeed.
CURTIS: And that relationship was kind of tense, wasn't it?
CURTIS: Well, not tense, but there was a very different...
MORLEY: I would say... I'm trying to choose my words carefully because I've had many experiences with EALAC. [chuckle] You see, they were East Asian culture there before we showed up.
MORLEY: And so, this is kind... Why weren't we in there?
MORLEY: So what were we doing is setting up a second Social Science Center. And that meant getting money, faculty, and all the rest of it. But we were absolutely dependent on them because, at least in my opinion, everybody should know some history. And that was one thing we insisted on when I was there. But the other is the language. And so, we were populating it with language people and insisting on the spoken languages. What we want taught, and we gotta get it within a couple years, whatever you can do, and we'll give the students all the hours they've got to have.
Well, see, it revolutionized the nature of EALAC. And so... There's always an issue if some faculty member's gonna be hired. Do we need somebody over there or do we need them over here? And there's always this competition going on, which couldn't be avoided after all. I don't know whether it still exists, maybe it's gone by now, one hopes so. But, yes. But, see, originally, the institute membership, the faculty included Ted de Bary, Donald Keene. Who else? I'm not sure if there's... Hugh Borton was in their department after all. He was in... He wasn't in history, he was in EALAC.
And so, the social sciences were developed with people that also were brought together in the conversation. And so, that if when you're trying to... If you're trying to say how are we gonna develop, there's always this issue of "Is this the way to do it?" Which is obvious and not unreasonable. And so, there's always a question of where do we need more faculty like when you brought the man in on economics, which was a very important move. There's always the question, why economics? Why not literature? Or why not, whatever it might be. And it's serious, and so, we'd have serious discussion. Eventually, it was decided under Lindbeck's period.
I was in Japan that year, and he came in and he didn't know the university well, but he was an administrative type. So he liked to clarify things. And he clarified them by clearing house a little and persuaded the department to ease out of the direction. And so, Ted de Bary agreed to leave the Institute. Donald Keene elected to stay within it, and so we always included literature as one of the courses. But it... We had... I can only remember one literature person who was also an Institute student: Marlene Mayo. But basically speaking, they weren't... Or as Herschel Webb was in that department, but he was in the Institute.
So the Institute was kind of hybrid of both humanities and social sciences when it began, and inevitably had to be because we needed all of those disciplines. But gradually it became much more separate, and gradually, the needs changed. What the students knew when they came in, they knew much more than they used to know. So that could all be somewhat shifted in the way that seminar was changed, and the faculty members, gradually, we acquired faculty members who knew something about the subjects they were teaching. So it just took time, that's all.
CURTIS: And then... So it became pretty much social science-oriented for a long time, but now... Now it's...
MORLEY: By the time you were there, it was social science.
CURTIS: Social science. Now it's much more of the... If anything, the humanities types outnumber the social scientists.
MORLEY: Well, that's what I... I've read that in literature, but I don't understand it exactly. Is that what's happening?
CURTIS: That's what's happening.
MORLEY: Well, what is it, institutionally or just what? I mean, is there still a certificate?
CURTIS: There's a certificate, but I think very...
MORLEY: Nobody takes it.
CURTIS: Very few students take it, and the requirement... We don't... I think the whole idea that you had and when I was there was still thought, that if you're gonna be a specialist on Japanese politics, you had to know about Japan more than the politics. And you had to know something about some, about the other countries of the region, at least one of them. But that's all gone by the boards, and now we have... So any... Just about anybody who teaches about Asia, whether it be art history or religion or EALAC, they all have... They all can be members of the Institute. And they are. So the Institute...
MORLEY: And what's the purpose of the Institute?
CURTIS: That is a good question. And I don't know that we have an answer to that. Well, I mean the purpose is to provide the kind of synergies I guess of having people with different interests, but in the country, but all interested in the country or the region. Being able to interact and supporting research and so on. But it's not what it once was.
MORLEY: Well, it maybe... I wouldn't know. It’s maybe the right way to go. At least as I see it, the institutes were created because we were trying to create a generation out of nothing. And that student body is no longer there. You got students now who come in who know something and have some skills and all the rest. And so, that it strikes me that bringing people up to speed so they can really do graduate work and so on, maybe that role is gone.
CURTIS: That's gone. That is really gone, because now... When I started, when I came to the institute, I was a graduate student and had not had any background on Japan. I didn't know the language. I started everything there. But now, I think anybody who comes into the institute to graduate school has already, and works on this area, has already had Chinese or Japanese. And we have a lot of Chinese and Japanese students.
MORLEY: Yes, you do!
CURTIS: A lot.
MORLEY: And that's different.
CURTIS: So in my Japanese politics class this semester, probably 80 percent of the students were from Asia.
MORLEY: Is that right?
MORLEY: Coming here because they're getting a different point of view and...
CURTIS: They're getting a different point of view, and the Chinese... I've had this really big increase in the number of Chinese students. And they... Because they don't learn anything about Japan except they're the devil back home, and there's a lot of interest. So that's... That's great, but it's very different from anything before.
MORLEY: But you don't give a certificate anymore?
CURTIS: We do, I think... No, we still give a certificate.
MORLEY: But there's nobody to take it?
CURTIS: Very few people take it 'cause now we have this one year, what we call the MARSEA, the Master's of Regional East Asia Studies. That's kind of... It's a successor. It's a real degree. It's a Master's degree and we offer it at the Institute, which you couldn't do when you were there. It was... We all had the certificate. So I guess the certificate is gone, but we give the Master's.
MORLEY: But that you could take literature, arts?
CURTIS: Yeah, but most of the kids who come to the institute for the Master's degree, they do social science, they do politics. Otherwise, they go into EALAC. So this... It's in a kind of... Some kind of a transition, but I'm not quite sure where it's going.
CURTIS: So, were there research programs or things that the institute sponsored in the early years in terms of research that would be useful to the policy community or were ground-breaking, path-breaking in some way?
MORLEY: I don't think so. Not in the earliest years. No, we were too busy informing ourselves, I think, and also taking greenhorn students. It just wasn't at that level.
CURTIS: But I guess by the time I got there in the early '60s, you had already about a decade of the institute being of existence. And so, it already started to change, right?
MORLEY: Oh yes. Yes. The number of people in the institute, they had made contacts abroad. They knew the people too. I knew a lot of them actors in those early days, that was just different.
CURTIS: Yeah. And we had... You had Japanese visitors?
MORLEY: Oh, yes.
CURTIS: And visiting scholars from Japan?
MORLEY: Oh, indeed. But I don't know what the director's role is now in the Institute, but what yours was is probably different from mine, but I'm not sure. But it was handling visitors. We took a good deal of time, because if they came they weren't shipped over to see the president, they were shipped over to us. And so, you got to be the person who came to Columbia to find out about something about Asia, they're gonna wind up in your office. And so, we were... I thought that was a major role that the institutes were playing for awhile is greeting and establishing relations with the visitors that kept coming. We set up a... Well, there's one little episode, you were probably there. Were you there when I set up a relationship with the Korean military?
CURTIS: Yes I was.
MORLEY: It was just an attempt to do something different, that's all. See what we could learn from the military.
CURTIS: So the Korean military paid for these guys to come over?
MORLEY: Yes. And I don't know that we learned a great deal from it. I'm not sure that they did. But I don't know, because most of them had never been abroad into the west before. So it was all new, just living in the west.
CURTIS: Right. You didn't do anything like that with the Japanese military?
CURTIS: But I remember there were some Japanese scholars who came and spent time at Columbia, right? Was Hosoya [Chihiro, Hitotsubashi University] one of them, or Ishikawa Tadao [Keio University]?
MORLEY: Hosoya was not. Because Hosoya's chief interest was US foreign policy. He was my closest friend for awhile in Japan. Because we had written books in the same subject. He came all the way over here to see what I was writing. And I gave him the sources I had. Anyway, we were good friends, he and his family. But his interest was chiefly in the US side of it.
MORLEY: And that isn't what we needed. And so, I never invited him. I did invite others, so I felt a little embarrassed about it afterward. Remember... Oh, gee, can't think of his name. China expert.
Eto Shinkichi at Todai came over for a year. But his interest was China. Which was fine. And then so he established a relationship with... Oh, gee. Who's the man beside Doak Barnett that taught Chinese politics?
CURTIS: Mike Oksenberg.
MORLEY: Mike, yeah. He and Mike established a good relationship and so on. And I think he got a lot out of that. I hope so. I hope the China side... We actually experimented with the idea of hiring him and offered him a job half a year, then he could be half a year professor at Columbia, half a year professor at Todai. But he decided not to do it.
MORLEY: Yeah. That was Mike's thought, and he pushed it through the university. So I thought that was going to be fun.
CURTIS: Yeah, that would've been great.
MORLEY: He didn't want to do it.. But we had other scholars, though. what's... We had a military historian, Hata Ikuhiko. He was over for a year. He lived with Burt Watson, which seemed to be a rather odd combination. But anyway, they got a place together.
MORLEY: Burt said, all he ever wanted to do together was he wanted to play warship. You know that game, where you have a...
MORLEY: You play on one side, and I play on the other, and it's a wall between us, and you're moving ships around... Anyway, Hata's written a lot now.
CURTIS: Yeah, he has.
MORLEY: But he's chiefly interested in the military, and we didn't have any one that seemed to be that. Well, I wasn't that deeply interested in how the army was structured, but he could've helped someone, he still could, to get into how the army really works and who the people are and all that. Oh, well. But there were others. His name just happened to pop into mind, but we had others.
CURTIS: Some of the other people who were around in those days that you knew well, tell me a little bit about Marty Wilbur.
MORLEY: Oh! Yeah. He was a very good friend. I first met Marty because he was my instructor. And when I came to Columbia and the graduate school, you took what you could on Asia. And he was invited here to teach a course on modern China history. His dissertation had been on the Han dynasty, slavery and the Han dynasty. And so, he was from a missionary family, I don't know whether you know more of his background, but he'd grown up in China, and then they had to move out because of the war and so on. He came over to Kobe. And so, he was very, also interested in Japan, although his heart was in China, and particularly in relationship to the old group of Chinese leaders which he got to know; Wellington Koo, and others who are here, the foreign minister. He invited me, we'd go down to have dinner with Mr. Koo. So Marty knew a lot about the modern period, but that was not his study, but there was no one, and so, he'd got his degree here, and Carrington Goodrich in the... You knew Carrington?
MORLEY: He took Carrington's courses. They were all of that missionary generation. That's the missionary generation that preceded mine. So he gave a course in modern China and modern Chinese history, and he gave a seminar in it in which I took, and it was all about what the future of China would look like. But I got to know him very well just as a person. Often had dinner with him at his home, and visitors in and all that, knew his family.
CURTIS: Was he director before you or after you?
MORLEY: Martin? It's about the same time. He was senior to me in that class, I'd sat in his class, but that wasn't the relationship we had after I came here. We were just good friends, that's all. He introduced me to lots of people, and I introduced him and so on. his research interests were chiefly trying to get material on the republican period in China.
CURTIS: Is your family a missionary family?
MORLEY: No. My family, no.
CURTIS: But Bobby [Morley, Jim’s wife]?
MORLEY: My father was a Methodist minister in small Jersey towns in the rural part of southern New Jersey, and I grew up in those farm towns.
MORLEY: No. He had no contact or no interest. He never heard of Asia when I grew up. There wasn't anything to do with my life.
CURTIS: But Bobby's family was a missionary?
MORLEY: Her family is... No.
MORLEY: But her father was an engineer, and one of his first jobs, he got hired and sent to Tokyo as an engineer, and they were building... He stayed at the, what was then the hotel now, I don't know what it is today, but it was a railroad station in Tokyo that had a big hotel in it. He stayed there, and so he was there for a year alone. He left just before his wife had a child, my wife. So he didn't see her until she was a year old. But he had Japanese friends and he had all kinds of funny trinkets picked up in the 1920s, just funny pictures of geisha and all that stuff. He'd do that to tease his wife. [chuckle] He was no scholar. He was an engineer. And then in later life, he was a ship builder. He's really worked in New York harbor here and he helped to build some of the warships and so on. But he wasn't involved, really.
CURTIS: Are there particular, when you were at Columbia, particular people that you thought were especially interesting? I mean, this Asian area or that you're particular close to? Who would they be?
MORLEY: You mean all the time I was here?
MORLEY: Probably you've mentioned a couple. Tsunoda is the most important person in my life, and so, there's no question about that.
CURTIS: I've talked with Donald about him too, and Donald says exactly the same thing. What was it about him?
MORLEY: He knew an awful lot, but he was a gentle soul. He was really interested in the students. He wasn't just teaching courses. I would be sitting in the library, and he would come up to me and he'd beckon with his hand. That was in the library in the central building there.
CURTIS: Oh, in Low.
MORLEY: In Low. And we'd go downstairs in the shelves, and he knew all the books, and he'd say, "I know you're gonna write a paper for some course on these subjects. You see this book? That's the book you ought to read." And I'd think, "God, can I read it?" "Well, make an effort." But he was just involved in your life, and that's all. And then he would come to me, he'd call me and say, "What did you think?"
MORLEY: "What do you think about that?" And do you know what he did in his spare time at Columbia? He studied American history. He took every course in the university on American history, and so, as... I was later joined the faculty and so on, very often, Sensei would... He was called Sensei by everybody. Sensei would catch me coming out of lunch or somewhere and, "I wanna ask you something," and then we'd go sit down somewhere. And it was some question about US history, because he had long ago discovered that I'd studied that at Harvard. And so, we would sit there and have a long discussion about it. Treating you as an equal and a close friend who understood. [chuckle] I don't know. I can't explain it exactly well, but that's what he was. He just... Intimate in everybody's life without probing or anything else. He just was there for you. He seemed to know what you were thinking, what you were doing, and then give you a little hint to do that. And he loved the old classics of Japan. So he made them just alive, that's all. I...
CURTIS: Was he important for Ted also? Ted de Bary?
MORLEY: Oh yes. Those... I don't know whether you've looked at them, but you know the big books that Ted and Don and others have put out on readings on the...
MORLEY: The one on Japan is basically Tsunoda’s course. The selection of topics and all the rest, that's what it is. And a lot of it is what he had to say.
CURTIS: The other Japanese that was long involved with us is Miwa, Miwa Kai.
MORLEY: I'm sorry. I didn't even mention Miwa. When I came to Columbia to study, she was in the library and she attended all the courses too. So it was just like a fellow student, and so, we'd all go to lunch together, and Miwa and Phil Yampolsky, and Ed Seidensticker... Anyway, we'd all go out to lunch. So she was just like one of the graduate students in a way, and so, I got... She was kind of like a sister, I guess. I never had a sister, but kind of like that. I mean you could always joke with Miwa. We always joked with her about how when she made the files for a Japanese collection. She made those files originally, and she'd have the author's birthdate, and so, we'd always kid her about, "Did you find any that's the right age?"
CURTIS: And she was a concert pianist or something before she...
MORLEY: Indeed, indeed. Yes, and performed outside of Japan. Because she was performing in Manchukuo at one time through the empire. She was just a young girl. She's an Issei you know? Born in California.
CURTIS: No, I didn't realize that.
CURTIS: Oh really?
MORLEY: And then sent to Japan to study. And so, she's got this dual kind of feeling. Yeah. But she was a concert pianist, and I can remember when... Gee, what's his name? Peter, Peter Berton. Did you know Peter?
CURTIS: Yeah. Peter. Sure, Russian man, Russian specialist. Yeah.
MORLEY: Yes. Bershtein. Pyotr. When I first met him, he was Pyotr Bershtein. [chuckle] So I've always called him Pyotr when we're together just for fun. And I've known him all my life now. But Peter was also then playing violin. Do you know he was a very good violinist?
CURTIS: No, I didn't know that.
MORLEY: Yeah. And he expected to be a concert violinist. And so, he was playing in the Manchukuo orchestra as a young man.
CURTIS: What was he doing in Manchukuo? Of course...
MORLEY: Playing the fiddle.
CURTIS: Was he Russian?
MORLEY: Well, if you mean born in Russia, yes. But you know that the musicians that came over, then... I can't remember their names now, but... Who's the woman who wrote the women's section of the constitution now? Her father was a great conductor and was invited over. All those musical families knew each other.
CURTIS: Yes, Beate Shirota Gordon.
MORLEY: And so, Peter grew up there and went to Waseda. He's a Waseda graduate. And in the war, he was in Japan. And in Japan, he was a young man, he got a job as a watchman for the embassies, variety of embassies, checking on them to see that they were all safe. He and... Did you know there's another student, Klaus Pringsheim?
CURTIS: I didn't know... I may have met him once, so I know...I know the name, of course, I've heard a lot about him, but I didn't know him.
MORLEY: Well, Klaus was a nephew of Thomas Mann, great author. Klaus is skilled with language, was absolutely incredible. Russian, Chinese, Japanese... Just terrific. And when he showed up, I thought, "My God, we have something here." That he simply couldn't write and he never came through. His skills were linguistic, but they were not intellectual in that sense. But he and Peter Burton, and Paul Langer... Did you ever know Paul?
MORLEY: They grew up together partly in Tokyo during the war. Klaus was involved in the war and he was accused of being a spy.
CURTIS: For which side?
MORLEY: For America, against Japan.
CURTIS: He was an American spy?
MORLEY: Yeah. He's accused of that. And they put a torch to his hand, to his arm. So he had an interesting history, three of them did. All three knew the secret police in all of that area. Paul... Peter did, too. When I first, I don't know when, but at one point in Japan, Peter said, "Would you like to meet... " I forget what they're called now, but anyway, what amounted to the secret police in Tokyo. And I said, "Sure, I don't know anything about them."
CURTIS: The Kempeitai.
MORLEY: And he said, "Well, if you'd like to, I think you'd find it interesting." And I said, "Yeah, I would." I didn't know he could do that, but he could. And we went in the building and went downstairs, and there was a room with books all around the place. They were on the US Constitution. And I thought, "But this is a place that other things happened here, and the man I'm looking at is [laughter] suspected." But anyway, Peter knew them all. Peter said, "If you'd like to meet some of the Russian specialists, war time specialists," he said, "I can introduce you." And so, we did. And there was a little club of people who had been in the South Manchurian railway establishment, and they were the Russian specialists. And they, of course they lived there after the war. And to get to their place, I don't know how many buildings we went through. You'd go through a place and Peter seemed to know them, "Now you go through this door, and then you go up this corridor, now we turn left here, and we go here," and finally we got to them. And they were fascinating, telling old stories.
CURTIS: Oh, I bet. Did he grow up in Japan?
MORLEY: I don't know Paul's birth. I assume they came over from Eastern Europe, but I don't know that for sure.
CURTIS: Did he have a Columbia connection?
MORLEY: Paul? Yes. He worked for a PhD in the Political Science department, and they wouldn't give it to him.
MORLEY: He wrote a book before he came. And the book, I don't know whether you've ever read it, Red Flag or something like that.
CURTIS: Right. Yeah.
MORLEY: He wrote it with Roger Swearingen. And Swearingen decided to go to graduate school at Harvard, and Paul chose Columbia. At Harvard, they accepted the book as his dissertation and gave him the degree. So Swearingen went off and became the professor at Southern California. Columbia wouldn't do it and said, "I'm sorry, but that's joint work and we don't do that. And so, you've got to produce your own." Paul never did. He wrote a very long, I would guess 800 or 900 pages, on the youth movement in Japan. That's what he really was interested in, and the communist party. And he knew the communist party guys and collected documents. And he wrote that, but he would never present it.
I wrote to him many times. I actually went out to California to see him. I said, "Paul, give me the damn manuscript. I'll get it through, somehow." "No." And I said, "Well, if you don't like the manuscript as it is, cut it any way you want, but give it to me, and I will get you the goddamn degree." He wouldn't do it. He said, "I'm not interested anymore." And so, he put on his trench coat and looked like an international spy, and headed off to Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
CURTIS: Did he?
MORLEY: Oh, you didn't know about Paul? I always think of him, he's got his trench coat on, he looks like the very classic movie type, not saying much. [chuckle] And he lived a marvelous life in California, you know.
CURTIS: Did he?
MORLEY: He had a house, was it, kind of a summer house, but it was on the beach at Malibu. So he stepped out of his front door onto the beach and dove into the water.
CURTIS: Kind of a movie type.
MORLEY: So he said, "I don't need a degree, I don't, none of that stuff." He said, "I got my life."
CURTIS: I never met him, of which I'm sorry.
MORLEY: You didn't know Paul. Well, this is... It's a generation before and there weren't many like that, you see. They knew Hugh Borton; he was the one who worked with him. I worked with him later 'cause I was trying to get Swearingen. Although, we brought Swearingen when I was away one year to teach the course on Japanese politics. He wasn't the scholar, really. But, anyway...
CURTIS: Wasn't Langer at RAND for a long time?
MORLEY: Oh yes., he was RAND man, all right. Just like, you did know the guy at RAND for a long time, though. He was a student of the Japanese military at Columbia while you were there.
CURTIS: Japanese military?
MORLEY: And he lived across the Hudson. He and his wife lived on the other side.
CURTIS: Marty Weinstein? No?
MORLEY: No, not Marty.
CURTIS: Not Norm Levin?
MORLEY: Levin, yes. I don't know what happened to him. He was very bright, in my opinion. He was a bright man. Well, you worked with him too. I remember: we did together. Now it comes back to me.
CURTIS: Yeah, I was close friends with him.
MORLEY: You know, one thing I always thought, when I think of Norm... I was passing through California on my way to Japan, so I stopped to see them. It was at the time of a Jewish holiday; I don't know whether it was Passover or which one it was. And they invited me in to share it. The family sitting around the table, the ceremony. I don't know, what really touched me... I thought, by God, this is... I don't know. It just did. It did. I thought, this is a man I really like, and his family to have invited me in to something that's quite private... I couldn't get over it.
CURTIS: Oh, that's so nice. Yeah. Well, their daughter became a rabbi.
MORLEY: Is that right? I'm sorry I got you off what you wanted to talk about.
CURTIS: Peter Berton died a couple years ago. Did you know that?
MORLEY: No. Well, I'm a little angry that nobody out there had me on their list to inform.
CURTIS: You know, the problem... Probably people who knew his connections probably are not around. I heard about it because he was very close to... Mike Blaker very close to Peter.
MORLEY: Oh, yeah. I was visiting him [Peter Berton] one time at his home in Southern California, and we went out in the evening, I thought we were going out to dinner, but we went to a kind of supper club. And he said, I said... And they weren't... Nobody was coming by to serve food. I thought that was rather odd, but they didn't. And finally I said, "Are we going out somewhere, Peter?" "No, this is it, this is the man I want you to hear." And then a guy came on to play the violin, and he was terrific. And Peter says, "That's the best violinist I've ever heard. I want you to hear him."
CURTIS: Ah, so no dinner.
MORLEY: Yeah. Well, anyway, I'm sorry. Get on with what you want to know.
CURTIS: We just want, again, these kind of... Everybody's interested in kind of who was around and what kind of people they were, like Doak.
MORLEY: Doak? What kind of people were they?
CURTIS: Doak, Burton, Watson...
MORLEY: Well, to know Doak, you had to know China. His heart was in China, and his mind was in China. And it was full-time. And he worked like a fiend, he did nothing else but China, as far as I could see. He wrote almost a book a year. It was always on the contemporary, analyzing the immediate circumstances, but he was busy at that all the time, and the students poured in. He had enormous classes, and he had an enormous number of graduate students and that's... He finally said, "I don't really want to give my time like this. I want to get on with my study of China and writing," and so went he down to Brookings and that was the end of that for us. I don't know what else to say about Doak. We were good friends, but he had very little interest in any other. He wasn't interested in Japan, Korea. It's just all China, all China. Because he lived his youth, he traveled all over, and it was just where his heart was, that's all.
CURTIS: Did you bring Mike Oksenberg onboard?
MORLEY: I suppose so.
CURTIS: Because he got his degree...
MORLEY: He got his degree under Doak.
CURTIS: Right. Just a year or two ahead of me, I think. So we overlapped.
MORLEY I remember him in class. And what I remember about Mike when he was a student, because he took a class on Japan too. He went to Swarthmore, I think, and he had studied politics and political science so he had real ideas, which I didn't know anything about, about organizing bureaucracy and all of that sort of thing. And that impressed me when he was the student. "My God, this guy's got something to teach, I got to listen now." And Mike... But he was just like Doak, wasn't he? Absolutely, 100 percent China. He just couldn't do anything else. That's all, he just couldn't. Except he loved Michigan, and he liked Michigan football. So when they offered him a job, he's like, "I got to go out and see the football games." He was trying to get three people on China, you know, at one time, on Chinese politics.
CURTIS: Where? At Michigan?
MORLEY: No, at Columbia. He went to the president and all around the place. They... It didn't work out, but... And then when he left is when we went to Tom Bernstein.
CURTIS: I see. What did we do on Korea? What did you do on Korea?
MORLEY: Well, who was the first Korean-ist?
CURTIS: Gari? It was that guy, Gari Ledyard
MORLEY: Well, Gari, but he's a historian. Oh indeed, as a historian, Gari was a serious man. I traveled all over China with Myron [Cohen]. This has nothing to do with what you're asking me, but anyway, you might find it amusing, I had been giving a lecture course off, somewhere on the island, just extra to make some money. And the university got involved saying, "Well, we ought to set up a tour of China, and have somebody, a lecturer to go along." So the whole thing was set up, and who would lead the tour? And…I got an invitation to go. And I know... I liked the history of China and all of the rest of it and I thought, "Well, if that's the best they can do, that's their problem. I'd like to travel through China, I really haven't seen it." And Myron, the two of us, all through China. It was great.
CURTIS: How long was the trip?
MORLEY: Gosh. I don't know, I guess it lasted about three, four weeks, a month or so. So we traveled a lot, and the most interesting one to me then, politically. Historically, there were lots of other things that were interesting.
CURTIS: Andy [Nathan] remembers you sticking by him when he got in trouble during your group tour of China in 1973. What was that about?
MORLEY: Oh, he's never told you?
MORLEY: The Chinese government apparently told the US government that they would admit a group of educators to tour China. And up to that time, nobody was getting in. And they went to the New York State, and said would they, New York State Education Department, would they organize a group? And so, they did. And it was... Was it Mike? I can't remember now. I was asked if I would like to go. And I said, "Of course, man." This is unknown land. Terrific.
So I got invited. All the rest were really Chinese specialists from up and down the state. A couple of high school teachers from out in the western part of the state were included, but mostly they were economists and political scientists and so on. And Andy. And so, we toured and we went to many places. We visited hospitals, we visited collective farms and all the rest, and had long interviews and conversations and so on. One place we stopped... Is that Nanjing? Anyway, it's where the... I think it's Nanjing, where the leaders of China often spent summers. They often spent them too up on the shore on the Yellow Sea there. But this is another place.
And so, they all had a whole section up there in the hills of walled areas with big mansions and so on. And it was a very old town so it was a really interesting place, and we toured around town to see it and the history of it, and Andy and I spent time together crawling around. This was a time when there was... What were they called? The great character posters where students were writing critical comments...
And so, Andy of course was very eager to see if he could learn something about this, which of course, none of the guys knew anything about, didn't exist. Anyway, he went downtown one day and was by himself, and while he was down there, he found a big bulletin board, and here was some stuff on it. So he came back and said, "Hey, this was exciting." And that evening, the secret police came in, and we were all put in a room around in a big circle. Andy was told to sit alone, and they said, "We have observed you, and you did something illegal. You took a picture of one of these posters. We want that film." Andy said, "I didn't take a picture." They insisted on it, and so Andy finally said, "Well, I guess they insisted." None of us were with him so they then said, "Well, we want your camera. We'll take the film ourselves."
They took his camera. There was no picture on it. "Well, you've obviously taken the film off and hidden it, and we're going to sit here until we find it." Well, it was a long session, and the next day they showed up again. What were we to do? So I spoke up. I guess others did. But I certainly did and said that, "That's absurd. If he says he didn't do it, he didn't do it. If you don't know Andy Nathan, you don't know that he's a man that speaks the truth." And they said they were going to show this film that they had taken on a screen and show it to us., So they put the film up.. [laughter] It had some marvelous shots.
He and I, the day before, had been hiking around through the hills, and there was a cave, and we thought that's kind of fun. And so, we climbed in the cave and looked around. So I had a picture. This scene comes up on the screen. It's Andy Nathan's big fanny sticking out of the cave. [laughter] It was great. It was great and it had us all roaring and laughing, not the secret policemen. Boy, that was trying to ridicule them. It was hard going, and I didn't... None of us knew we were going to be allowed out of the country or not until they found out or what the problem is, but I insisted, and when we met privately, I said, "Andy's telling the truth. That's all. We've got to stand by him and this is not a time to chicken out. This is the time to stand up. We've been invited here. If he says he did nothing wrong, he did nothing wrong. Period. And we stick by it." And we all did. And finally, they let us go, but Andy was not allowed back into China for a year. I don't know whether he still is.
CURTIS: It's a shame about Andy that he can't go to China.
MORLEY: It really is. I remember when we hired Andy, 'cause I was centrally involved. In fact, more than that. But what we were looking for someone in Chinese politics. His first job was at Michigan. And what impressed me... I guess I've told him, I don't know. His dissertation was on warlord politics in Beijing. Not current Beijing, but the history behind it. And it was a damn good thing, Since I got my degree in history, and I've always thought, "You got to know some background for people. I thought, "We don't want a theoretician in here. We want a guy who knows the background of people and knows how to analyze individuals and all the rest of it." And so, that's what really convinced me that Andy was the best man out there.
CURTIS: Yeah, well, it was a good choice, I think. Oh, here's an interesting question, 'cause I remember one of these. It says here, "Was it common for you to have faculty come to dinner at your home in New Jersey?"
MORLEY: Oh, I often did that.
CURTIS: And you often did it. I remember it very well going to your place.
MORLEY: Yeah. How can I put it? I was going to say, "I was fortunate in my marriage", well, it's more than that [chuckle], more than fortunate. She liked to meet the people, she liked to have a dinner and all that, so, it's a lot of job putting eight dinners on, and all that, but she just enjoyed meeting people too, and so we often did. But I don't know, I guess it's... I don't know whether other people do that or not, but...
CURTIS: I don't know. I think you were unusual. I don't remember any other professors of mine, when I was at Columbia, inviting students over for dinner. Although Herb would have these crazy...
MORLEY: Well, Herb would...
CURTIS: He would have these parties...
CURTIS: With all the fashion models...
MORLEY: Well, Herb's is a different kind of thing.
CURTIS: Totally different kind of thing.
CURTIS: Susan Pharr was funny last night [at the Curtis retirement dinner] about the parties at Herb's place.
MORLEY: Well, yes. She probably has lots of stories she's not telling.
CURTIS: Yeah, Susan does, that's right.
MORLEY: Herb had some wisdom about Japan, and he also had knowledge and contacts in Japan... It was just a different kind of knowledge than anybody else had.
MORLEY: I was looking for someone in the field, in Japan, and it was the man who put me on... I didn't know his name, Herb Passin’s [friend], but he was the man who was in charge of labor in the occupation.
CURTIS: Oh, sure. His buddy, Theodore Cohen.
MORLEY: About this tall. He had done an MA at Columbia, very deeply involved in labor movement and all of that. Married a Japanese, and afterward made a pile of money.
CURTIS: Oh, did he?
MORLEY: Oh, he did. He lived in Azabu, and had a very nice home there. And when he left Azabu, he retired to Mexico, and we stopped in on him.. My wife and I and family, we were coming back from Japan, we went down... He, lived in one of these giant compounds with a big wall all around it, and a giant mansion. I was astounded. But he liked it. I wouldn't have wanted to live that way, but he did, kind of an enclave in the midst of hostile territory. He had some big dogs that guarded the gates.
CURTIS: He made his money in Japan?
MORLEY: Yeah. Yes, after the war. I don't know whether it was real estate. It must have been real estate. 'Cause he wasn't a wealthy student. It wasn't the family. This is... The occupation did it for him.
CURTIS: Yeah. And then he and Herb, or I guess Herb edited...
MORLEY: Oh, they were terribly close friends.
CURTIS: Yeah. He edited the book on labor...
CURTIS: Occupational labor policy. He's one who influenced me to go to Columbia too, saying, "Oh, that's the place to get your PhD. Don't go to Harvard, they'll make you do all that Chinese stuff."
MORLEY: But then he introduced... And I told him, "I'm looking for somebody, and we just don't find them in the country. Sociology, anthropology, something, and he said, "Well, the guy who knows the most is Herb Passin," and I said, "I don't know Herb Passin." He was then teaching at Washington. And so we set up a meeting with him, and we got to know each other and...
CURTIS: So you're responsible for that?
MORLEY: Yeah. Yes, I really am.
CURTIS: And he was interested in everything. And he had a lot of knowledge. He was a character.
MORLEY: Great photographer.
CURTIS: That's right. He loved photography. What about Ivan? Ivan Morris, did you know him well?
MORLEY: Ivan.... I think... I had first encountered Ivan as a writer of a book. He wrote this book in England, one of the first books was on Japanese, Radical Japanese.
CURTIS: The Right-wing in Postwar Japan?
CURTIS: Yeah, I actually re-read it just a few months ago.
MORLEY: Well, that's all I knew about Ivan when he came. And so, I thought that was, his field was modern history like that, and I had him over and had him lecture once in a course and so on, and I thought we were going to have a lot in common. Well, it turned out that really wasn't his interest at all. I don't know how he got involved. And just the war, you have to do what you think you ought to do. But his whole heart was in Japanese arts and literature.
CURTIS: Yeah, exactly.
MORLEY: Very busy downtown with the dancers. He was a great chess player.
CURTIS: Yeah, he was a very interesting, interesting man. I never got to know him well.
MORLEY: And very dedicated outside of the academy, to prisoners of conscience around the world. And, several times came to see if I would write letters on behalf of somebody, 'cause he was busy with that. So he had that side of him dedicated to... Maybe that's partly related to, having written about these right-wingers, but he really was dedicated there. But other than that, his real interest was really in the Japanese fine arts. And he wrote beautifully; he translated.
CURTIS: I think, among all the translators, his English was just extraordinary. It was just a pleasure to read his writing.
MORLEY: Well, from my observation, the department at C&J.[China and Japan, the former name of EALAC].. The department was interested primarily in translation, trying to make the classics available to English readers. And so, their people all were very good with that language, especially translation. I can't say anything about their spoken capacities. We weren't together on those occasions. But certainly, that was critical. I don't know whether it still... It probably still is, because they put out one of the greatest libraries of translation that we have in English.
CURTIS: That's right.
MORLEY: So it's been an extraordinary group. Well, Ivan didn't have anything really to do with the Institute. I don't know whether he was ever there, except to come over once when he lectured. He first came...
CURTIS: No, he didn't have anything to do with us at the institute, when I was there. Nobody, really not many people in EALAC did. Well, Gari Ledyard was involved a little bit with the Institute. But we never had a Korean specialist in political science.
I remember when I was a young assistant professor, and John Lindbeck was director, he would have people come in; he'd always have a bottle of scotch in his office, and late in the afternoon, people would drop in and we'd sit around and chat. A lot of people on the floor would drop in. So, yeah, times change. When you and I were both there... So there two in political science, Herb was in sociology, there were a lot of people around, quite a few people around. But now we have just me in politics, and I'm retired now, or almost about to be. Nobody in sociology, no one in anthropology.
MORLEY: Oh, is that right? Nobody's picked up after Herb?
CURTIS: No. Yeah. Yeah. So we have to... I mean, I'm concerned about the future. I hope they can figure out how to rebuild, bring some more people. We gotta get... How do we get area specialists back into...
MORLEY: I don't know, because it looks as though it's returning to what it was after World War II. Not quite, because your students come in differently, and your faculty. Then you got them, they know a lot more. But that's too bad.
CURTIS: It is too bad.
MORLEY: So the departments, each one is still kind of, they've gotta become scientific and theoretical?
CURTIS: Yeah, I think the anti-area specialization is probably, that prejudice is stronger than ever right now. It's just terrible. But maybe we could turn it around. Look, you were chair of the political science department?
MORLEY: Yes. I was in Japan when they did that to me. What could I say? Well, what I said was, "When I come back, I don't want to do that right away. My head's going be filled with what I've got here now, so give me another year." And they did.
CURTIS: And how long did you do the chairmanship of the department?
MORLEY: I really don't remember. Not a long time, though.
CURTIS: Was it enjoyable or just a burden? Or...
MORLEY: I don't think, in my period of time, I don't think anybody wanted to be chairman, because it involves you in other things in which you think you're interested in. So it wasn't something I wanted to do, but if it was my turn I did it. I enjoyed it, and I managed, from my point of view, to get Andy Nathan in the department, and maybe there were other...
CURTIS: That happened when you were chair?
MORLEY: I think so.
CURTIS: Well, that was great.
MORLEY: Yes. And I can't remember what else we did while I was chair. You see the department then, I don't know now, I tried to say... I've heard the same discussion many times. And why don't we just settle the question? And so, the way to get it settled, why don't we have someone take notes and give us a little, "Here is where we are." Oh, nobody wanted notes taken on the meetings, oh no. We must always be able to talk freely. And the result of it is, we kept talking for years.
CURTIS: That's right, and never come to a decision.
MORLEY: Yeah. And then guys come in with a new idea…But I don't know whether it still goes that way, but your department now is... I don't know any of those people, they are a wholly different crowd.
CURTIS: Oh yeah, it is. It's a whole different culture somehow.
MORLEY: What happened to Herb Dean? Do you know?
CURTIS: Well, he passed away several years ago.
MORLEY: God, everybody passed away.
CURTIS: He was a Japanese language officer during the war.
MORLEY: That's right. He was, not decoding, but he was doing something also...
CURTIS: He was intercepting communications somehow.
MORLEY: I don't really remember, but I do remember since he was in philosophy, in my stupidity, I guess, I went to him when I became chair and said, "Herb, you're teaching all this Western political theory, and you've studied Japan. Can you possibly put together a course either alone or with somebody over there in C&J, and see if you can relate these Western ideas and the Eastern ideas. What's so different about them?" No, he didn't want to touch that. I guess he didn't see anybody he'd want to work with, frankly. But I don't know. It just wasn't his interest. He was then writing a biography of St. Augustine.
CURTIS: So you know when I was young, when I was a student, there were a lot of people in the department who had real, real experience in government, and in Asia, Roger Hillsman...
MORLEY: Oh, Roger, yeah.
CURTIS: And Howard Wriggins.
MORLEY: He had been ambassador to Ceylon.
CURTIS: Been ambassador, that's right, to Ceylon, to Sri Lanka. It was quite a...
MORLEY: No, we valued, I think, people that had had public experience and thought broadly. Well, there wasn't a lot of other people out there.
CURTIS: That's true, too.
MORLEY: Today you got all these kids coming off with PhDs, and they didn't exist then, really. So, yes. Howard's gone too, I guess.
CURTIS: Yeah, Howard's gone, so is Roger.
MORLEY: And Roger, yeah. Well, Roger always told his war stories, which the undergraduates loved to laugh up. And he was good at it. I don't know what it had to do with what, but except that it was fun to hear. Oh a man you haven't mentioned that was very good for the institute was the dean, the man who had been head of the UN and became president of the university when the crisis occurred.
CURTIS: Andrew Cordier?.
MORLEY: Cordier, yeah. Well, Andy... Did you know Andy?
CURTIS: I knew him, but I didn't know him well. I was just starting out, I met him a few...
MORLEY: He was a sterling fellow, he really was. Terrific man. They were very fortunate to have him. He knew a lot of people, and he took very seriously his role. But he also took very seriously, I guess the institutes, and he was... I think I got to know him rather well. We stood the barricades when the students assaulted us. He and I together. Oh, well. Brought Herb in and I had to go to see the dean, says "Yeah, that's okay." Got disappointment for Herb. Then after Herb was here, then the dean called me in and he said, "Have you raised the money for Passin yet?" And that hadn't come up. And I said, "My God," I said, "No. Frankly, I didn't know that was my responsibility." "Well, put it on your list." And I never could. But regularly, Andy would ask me, "How are you coming on the Passin slot?" "I don't know whether we can keep it if we don't have the money for it." Herb, I don't think Herb I knew this. I hope he didn't.
CURTIS: I don't think he did.
MORLEY: Well, it'd make the man uneasy. But finally, Andy worked it out. I don't know how he did it, but that's what he knew how to operate the university. He'd been president there in that emergency. He knew how to find the money if he had to. And he had to, so...
CURTIS: He did.
MORLEY: He did.
CURTIS: So, but you had raised quite a bit, or at least the institute had gotten quite a bit of money from Ford including Ford Support for Professorship.
MORLEY: No. We didn't get professorships out of Ford. But mostly that was for projects.
CURTIS: Research projects?
MORLEY: Yeah. When I was doing it, I worked especially through the man I brought up to the Institute.
CURTIS: Jack Bresnan.
MORLEY: Bresnan, yeah. And he seemed to know all the people in Asia that I thought we ought to know. [chuckle] Besides, he's a very decent fellow.
CURTIS: Yeah. Jack was...
MORLEY: It was just like Dorothy Borg. No salary, can't do it, but I'll give you office space. And I, at that time, which I think failed, had hoped to get Southeast Asia embraced in the concept of Asia, which I think increasingly is happening, but it didn't happen that fast.
CURTIS: Yeah, me too. And I tried to develop Southeast Asia studies, but it was very... We never really made it. But Jack, he worked hard.
MORLEY: Oh, he did.
CURTIS: I went down to Southeast Asia with him once too. He ran the Southeast Asia seminar. I don't think we have anybody like that now who's.
MORLEY: Did you know Inoki Masamichi ?
CURTIS: Yeah, I knew him a little bit. You knew him well.
MORLEY: Yeah, I knew him well, but... I had a lot of respect for Inoki, tough man. Was willing to take the gaffe, he took a lot of gaffe. He was a solid human being.
CURTIS: I remember he became head of National Defense University, got a lot of criticism.
MORLEY: Picture that at the time. Treated as a right-wing.
MORLEY: Gee, I remember one time I was in the Kansai area, and he was down there and invited me to dinner, and we went. He took me... He was a great food specialist. And they were very serious business. So he took me to this place where they served... What is it, turtle oil, turtle blood?
CURTIS: Oh, turtle blood, yeah, sure.
MORLEY: That was the pièce de résistance. I've never seen it before, and I brought this on the table, he's telling me how great it was, and I almost threw up. And I kept staring and he says "Please, please, don't hesitate." And I said, "Sensei, I'm embarrassed. I can't do it, I just can't."
CURTIS: You couldn't drink it?
MORLEY: I just can't do it. And he smiled and said, "Well, I'm awfully sorry." So he called the waitress over and he said to her, "How would you like a glass?" And her eyes just kind of popped open and she went off and drank it. [chuckle] And I thought, "Gee, you're quite a guy, really." I don't know. Are you... Do you like... Have you had that?
CURTIS: I've had it...
MORLEY: You could get it down?
CURTIS: I could get it down. Yeah. But it's just a little... Like a, like a sake.
MORLEY: Yeah, but it... Well, this was more than just a little sake.
MORLEY: There was a time where Inoki took me to eat fugu. He didn't say what we were going to have.
CURTIS: Yeah. Did you have a problem with it?
MORLEY: No. And we were through the dinner. My good wife was with us, and we both enjoyed it. And then, he said, "Well, since you've enjoyed it, then I'll tell you what you've been eating."
CURTIS: You've just been eating Russian roulette. [laughter]
MORLEY: "Gee," my wife said, "Ooh." [laughter] But it was delicious, I must say.
CURTIS: Yeah. Fugu is good.
CURTIS: Yeah, yeah. Turtle blood, I can do without, but Fugu is really nice. Oh, that's great.
MORLEY: I would say it was for me that... He often took me in places in Japan that I was very pleased. It would never have gotten to... He said, "Oh, I think you want to meet so-and-so", or "I think you could do this and... " We went off to a hot spring with the... Oh, I forgot. He was in the foreign ministry. Anyway... Just times like that, of getting to know the country. He just was great for that.
CURTIS: So, you did a lot of traveling- more than I had realized.
MORLEY: Yeah, I guess so. I really was interested in the place. Every time I went to Japan, I went to Korea also. I made a visit over. And I tried to have every student of mine... I remember I said , "While you're in Japan, make a visit to Korea."You can't go to China. Okay. But if you think Japan is Asia, go to Korea. And then you're going to find out there's another Asia over there that's a little different. And that's a very healthy thing to understand the complexity of this.
CURTIS: You've answered pretty much everything I had on this list, and...
MORLEY: But I don't think I added anything.
CURTIS: Yes, you have. Particularly about the early years of the Institute. But people don't know. And also what the Institute was all about. The Institute was all about... learning about the... modern politics, foreign policy, society, and leaving the literature, all the other stuff over to EALAC.
MORLEY: You had Shirato sensei, didn't you?
CURTIS: No, I didn't.
MORLEY: Oh, you didn't?
CURTIS: I had Marleigh Ryan.
MORLEY: Oh, oh, I didn't know.
CURTIS: And she was terrific. But it was grueling because after you suggested I do this, I did first year Japanese in that summer of 1962. I did second year Japanese in the fall semester, third year Japanese in the spring semester.
MORLEY: Oh, my God. How did you do that?
CURTIS: And then I went to Tokyo. I went to the Inter-University Center. And at the same time, I was trying to do the PhD course work.
MORLEY: I know. I don't know how you did it.
CURTIS: I don't know how I did it either, except I was really... I just... I wanted to do it.
MORLEY: I know. But you always seemed dedicated. [laughter]
CURTIS: I was really... Yeah, it's just something... It triggered some passion that I didn't know I had. And I've had it all along. I never lost it, which is wonderful, so I'm lucky.
MORLEY: But this... They were different years from now that they are for the university, but also for the students that came in.
CURTIS: Yeah, it's very different. So, well...
MORLEY: We lost a good historian. Well, Carol's student in the college, what's his name? He went to Harvard.
CURTIS: Andrew Gordon?
CURTIS: He's terrific.
MORLEY: Yeah. Well, I thought he was... He was an undergraduate here. But then when it was time for graduate school, I don't know whether Carol advised him, too, because she had been teaching him, whether it be good for him to get a different approach or whatever, or whether he just did it himself. But then he went up there, and they soon caught on. They didn't let him go. [laughter]