Roger F. Hackett, professor of Japanese History at the University of Michigan, peacefully passed away in Ann Arbor, Michigan on October 26, 2017, shortly after his 95th birthday.
Our colleague Frank Shulman has compiled a obituary for Prof. Hackett, including many tributes and reminiscences from colleagues and former students. In view of its fullness and importance I have opted to publish it as the second of our "H-Asia Essays", which will keep it prominently featured for future readers.
Frank Shulman writes,
"Roger Hackett went on to study about East Asia at Harvard University, where he earned an M.A. in Regional Studies in 1949 and his Ph.D. in History in 1955. Written under the direction of Edwin O. Reischauer, his 417 page Ph.D. dissertation, "Yamagata Aritomo: A Political Biography," was a study of the life and career (1838-1922) of one of the foremost leaders of Meiji Japan in which he "determined the sources of this oligarch's political strength, examined the scope and direction of his influence, and evaluated the extent to which that influence shaped the character of the post-Tokugawa era." It was published as Yamagata Aritomo in the Rise of Modern Japan, 1838-1922, by Harvard University Press in 1971 (ix, 377p.) as volume 60 in its Harvard East Asian series.
Hackett was "among the postwar generation of scholars who brought East Asian Studies into the curriculum of American universities." He taught undergraduates East Asian history at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois from 1953 until 1961. He then moved to Ann Arbor to join the History Department of the University of Michigan as an associate professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1967 and served terms as the department's associate chair and chair (1975-1977). In addition, he was a core member -- including director from 1968 to 1971 and again during the late 1970s -- of the university's Center for Japanese Studies ..." (see more)