Alice Bacon (アリス・ベーコン)

Alice Mabel Bacon (1858 - May 1, 1918) was an American female educator. Her father was Leonard Bacon, a clergyman of New Haven, Connecticut, and her mother was Catharine. Catharine was the second wife and Alice was the youngest daughter among their fourteen children.

Her father Leonard served as not only a clergyman but also a teacher at the divinity school of Yale University, and during the Civil War he took the initiative in supporting the campaign against slavery, therefore he was highly respected in the local. It is said that they were in poverty, because they had a lot of children. It is said that because they needed the large amount of the reward from the Japanese Government, they accepted boarding Sutematsu YAMAKAWA, a female student from Japan at the request of Arinori MORI who had been looking for a boarding house for her. However, the Bacons treated Sutematsu as if she was their own daughter, and Sutematsu became familiar like sisters particularly with Alice the almost same age as her.

Although Alice graduated from a local school, Hillhouse High School, she gave up going to college due to their financial situation. However, in 1881, she passed the certificate exam for the bachelor degree of Harvard University; and in 1883, she became a regular teacher of Hampton Institute. In 1884, she was invited to Japan by Sutematsu OYAMA and Umeko TSUDA as an English teacher at Kazoku Jogakko (Peeresses' School, present Gakushuin School). In 1894, She compiled her letters she had written during staying in Japan for one year and published the book titled "A Japanese Interior" (Japanese title was "Kazoku-jogakko-kyoshi ga mita Meiji Nihon no Uchigawa" [A Interior of Japan of the Meiji period that a teacher of Kazoku Jogakko had seen]); and it produced a sensation. After returning to America, she became principal of Hampton Institute, however, in April of 1900 she was once again invited to Japan by Sutematsu OYAMA and Umeko TSUDA, and served Tokyo Joshi Shihan-gakko (Tokyo Teacher's School for Women) and Joshi Eigaku Juku (Women's English School, present Tsudajuku Collage) as an English teacher until her term of office expired and she left Japan in April of 1902. Especially at Joshi Eigaku Juku, she rendered many services as she had worked without salary and even paid the rents for the head of the school, Umeko.

After returning to America, she kept devoting herself to education and she remained single all her life. However, she adopted two Japanese girls, Mitsuko WATANABE and Makiko HITOTSUYANAGI. Although Makiko HITOTSUYANAGI had been expected to become a teacher of Joshi Eigaku Juku, she married William Merrell Vories after she had returned to Japan.

Her books "A Japanese Interior" mentioned above and "Japanese Girls and Women" (Japanese title was "Meiji Nihon no Onna-tachi" [Japanese Girls and Women of the Meiji Period]) written before "A Japanese Interior" are important historical materials that describe Japanese women of the Meiji period without prejudice; and Ruth Benedict referred to it to write "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword." In that connection, in the preface of "Japanese Girls and Women," she had written this sentence ‛to my lifelong friend, Sutematsu Oyama' and she had been exchanging letters with Sutematsu until just before she died.