Marius Jansen

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  • Born: 1922
  • Died: 2000/12/10

Marius Jansen was a long-time professor at Princeton University.

Born in the Netherlands in 1922, Jansen came to the United States as an infant, and grew up in Massachusetts. He attended Princeton as an undergraduate, majoring in European History with a focus on the Reformation and Renaissance, and graduating in 1943. He then entered the US military, serving during World War II, and in both Okinawa and mainland Japan during the first year of the Allied Occupation.

Jansen then pursued his PhD at Harvard University, studying under John King Fairbank and Edwin O. Reischauer. After receiving his PhD, Jansen taught at the University of Washington beginning in 1950, before moving back to Princeton in 1959, where he was hired as a professor of History and Oriental Studies. When the university established its department of East Asian Studies in 1969, Jansen served as its first head, and remained at Princeton until 1992, when he retired and became Professor Emeritus.

Over the course of his career, he was also prominent and active in a number of major organizations, including involvement in the Fulbright Commission, and terms as president of the Association for Asian Studies and as chair of the American Committee of the Japan Foundation. He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1985, and in 1999 became the first non-Japanese to be awarded the Prize for Distinguished Cultural Merit (Bunka Kôrôshô).

He passed away in 2000, at age 78.

Selected Bibliography

Jansen published over 20 works on Japan over the course of his career.

  • The Japanese and Sun Yat-sen (1954)
  • Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration (1961)
  • Studies in the Institutional History of Early Modern Japan (co-edited with John Whitney Hall, 1968)
  • Japan and China, From War to Peace: 1894-1974 (1975)
  • Japan and Its World: Two Centuries of Change (1981)
  • China in the Tokugawa World (1992)
  • Warrior Rule in Japan (1995)
  • The Making of Modern Japan (2000)