Trevor Leggett

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Location: United Kingdom

Trevor Leggett

Post by chchan45 » Thu 01.11.2007 5:30 pm

I am currently skimming through a Japanese book (translation from English) called 紳士道と武士道 by Trevor Leggett. It is about how British (English?) culture differs from Japanese culture.

I find his observations very precise and recommend it to anybody interested in European culture. Unfortunately the original in English is extremely difficult to obtain, although the Japanese translation is still widely available if your Japanese is good enough.

Trevor Leggett was an extraordinary individual. He was fluent in Japanese, a 5th dan in judo, a very good shogi player, a scholar proficient in Sanskrit specialising in the Buddhist scriptures, the head of the BBC Japanese service for 24 years, and apparently was nearly good enough to be a concert pianist when he was young. He has a beautiful Japanese name made out from his surname, 麗月塔 (beautiful moon tower). I wonder if he was a fan of Tolkien because I think its meaning is too close to Minas Ithil (meaning Tower of the Moon, a city in The Lord of the Rings) for coincidence.

Sadly Trevor Leggett passed away in 2000. I became more interested in him after reading about his obituary:
When the Second World War broke out in Europe, Leggett was attached to the British embassy in Tokyo. In 1941 Japan entered the war and he was interned along with the other embassy staff…… He left Japan as part of an’ exchange with London-based Japanese embassy staff.
It crosses the path of another book 日米交換船 which I am studying (i.e. not just reading) with another member on this forum. Trevor Leggett probably travelled on the exchange ship although his name was not mentioned in the book.

Last edited by chchan45 on Thu 01.11.2007 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reading 李香蘭 私の半生

Please note that:
1. English is not my first language.
2. I am not Japanese. I am prone to making mistakes so please point them out if you see any.

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