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James Murdoch

教師でもあり歴史家でもあるジェームス・マードック氏は、その生涯の多くの時間を日本とオーストラリアで過ごした。 ヴェルサイユ条約(パリ講和会議)に於いては、白豪主義真っ只中の豪州国内で、日本が提案した議題、人種的差別撤廃の数少ない支持者であったが、結果的には同条項は採択されなかった。

James Murdoch, a teacher and historian who spent much of his life in Japan and Australia, fought an ultimately losing battle as one of the few supporters in White Australia of Japan’s proposed equality clause in the Treaty of Versailles.


He was born in Scotland and emigrated to Australia in 1880, aged 24.


Murdoch held a series of teaching posts in Australian schools during the 1880s. He then became a journalist.


In 1889, Murdoch became a professor at the First Higher School in Tokyo (today’s University of Tokyo), where one of his pupils was Natsume Soseki. He also launched a weekly magazine and wrote novels and non-fiction works.


In 1893 Murdoch left Japan to join “New Australia,” an experimental commune in Paraguay, but it failed.


He returned to Japan in 1894, working as a teacher until 1908, when he became a full-time writer. He published a series of books about the history of Japan.



Murdoch went back to Australia and became an advisor to the Australian Government on Japan relations. He spoke out strongly against the Australian opposition to Japan’s racial equality clause in the Treaty of Versailles. Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes was influential in defeating the proposal. In a country where the White Australia Policy was at its strongest, Murdoch’s stance of advocating racial equality was both rare and brave. Australia’s opposition to Japan’s proposal worsened relations between the countries and probably contributed to them going to war over 20 years later. Murdoch died in Australia in 1921.


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Japan During World War I
James Murdoch
James Murdoch [1856-1921]
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New Australia