The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Omori, Anna B. Shepley, 1857-1943
Anna B. Shepley Omori (1857-1943)
0.75 linear feet (2 boxes)
The Anna B. Shepley Omori
papers contain correspondence, guidebooks and maps, souvenirs, receipts, diaries,
and other miscellaneous items.
SERIES I. Correspondence SERIES II. Charles Baldwin Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Anna B. Shepley Omori papers contain correspondence, guidebooks and maps,
souvenirs, receipts, diaries, and other miscellaneous items. It has been organized
into two series.
Series I. Correspondence primarily contains letters
from Annie Shepley Omori to her close friend, Mrs. Oliver Edwin (Bella) Williams of
Boston, Massachusetts. With the exception of two early letters, the series begins in
1907, after Annie's marriage to Hyoso Omori. The letters chart her introduction and
gradual adjustment to Japanese life and are filed chronologically.
Much of the correspondence is personal. However, Annie, particularly in the
early years, meticulously records her impressions of Japanese daily life, culture
and customs. There are intermittent references to Japanese architecture, history,
philosophy, and religion, the international community in Tokyo, and current national
international everts. Also of particular interest are the passages devoted to the
social and educational work undertaken by the Omoris within the Japanese community.
Annie often refers to the growth and development of the Yurin En, the settlement
house that the Omoris established in Yodobashi in 1910.
Included in the series are typed copies of Annie's correspondence to other
friends and family members. Contained in a miscellaneous folder (B1 F6) are
pamphlets, newspaper articles, pictures, and a manuscript translated from
Series II. Charles Baldwin Papers is comprised of
items relating to Charles Baldwin's trip to Japan in 1909. These materials include
letters, guidebooks, maps, ephemera, diaries, and travelogues describing Baldwin's
perceptions and opinions. The material is arranged chronologically. The diaries,
which document the trip in considerable detail, follow their own internal order.
Folder 4 in box 2 contains two postcards to Baldwin, two letters to Mrs. Williams,
and photocopies of photographs of Charles Baldwin.
Finally, this collection contains four letters sent by Edward S. Morse to Mr.
and Mrs. O. E. Williams (B2 F5).
Anna Barrows Shepley was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
in 1857, the child of James C. and Mary Barrows Shepley. She studied art in New York
under Harry Siddons Mowbray and in Paris at Académie Julian. After that, she
established studios in New York and Connecticut, where she worked as a portrait
painter and children's book illustrator. Two paintings were exhibited at the 1893
Chicago World's Fair and Exposition: Work and Play and
The Wonderful Story.
While living in Boston, Annie met and fell in love with Hyoso Omori, a Japanese
man studying in the United States. On October 1, 1907, they were married quietly and
within a year settled permanently in Tokyo. Here Hyoso, an educator interested in
introducing American methods of physical training into children's education, pursued
projects at various institutions, He also wrote articles, gave lectures, and was
eventually employed by the government to oversee sport facilities in Tokyo.
Annie, who worked occasionally with her husband, established a fledgling
settlement house, the Yurin En, in 1910 at Yodobashi, a poor suburb of Tokyo. The
Yurin En's activities focused on young people's needs and included playgrounds,
clubs, and classes. After the death of her husband in 1913, Annie chose to remain in
Japan and continue the work that she and Hyoso had begun. It was not until 1935 that
Annie retired from the Yurin En. In 1938 she was decorated by the government for her
service to the country. Annie Omori's years in Japan were the source of inspiration
for two books. One was a translation of medieval court ladies' diaries and the other
was a history of the life of Prince Shotoku. Annie's last years were taken up by her
family and her farm in Hirose. She died in Japan in 1943.
Charles Baldwin was the father of Mrs. O. E. (Bella)
Williams to whom most of these letters were sent. He was also a friend of Annie's
and in 1909, undertook a voyage to Japan to visit her. Born at Mount Vernon, Maine,
in 1938, the son of Dexter and Lavinia Howard Baldwin, he came to Boston and grew
prosperous in the meat-packing industry. A prominent member of the local business
community, Mr. Baldwin was a charter member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce. In
1861, he married Esther Allen Cole, the sister of the artist Joseph Cole, with whom
he had three children. He died in Winchester, Massachusetts, on October 13,
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Morse, Edward Sylvester, 1838-1925
Omori, Annie Shepley
Omori, Hyoso, 1876-1913
Williams, Esther Bella
Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945
Yurin En, Yodobashi
Japan--Social life and customs
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex
Anna B. Shepley Omori (1857-1943) Papers, E 1, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex
Museum, Salem, Mass.
This material was donated by Mrs. Esther Williams McKinney on February 3, 1970 (acc
#19,197) and March 4, 1971 (acc #19,562) and given in memory of her mother, Mrs.
Oliver E. Williams.
Collection processed by Clara Rubinstein and Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, August 1984.
Updated by Tamara Gaydos, April 2016.
Wikipedia contributors. "Annie Shepley Omori." Wikipedia, The
Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 6 Aug. 2015. Web. 26
Diaries of court ladies of old Japan translated by
Annie Shepley Omori and Kochi Doi, DS824 .O413