Biography Starr, Fredrick (1858 - 1933)
The American anthropologist Fredrick Starr was born in 1858. Once a professor in biology, he switched his interests to anthropology. He performed fieldwork in several countries such as Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, Africa, and with various Native American tribes in the USA. As an anthropology professor at the University of Chicago, Starr began to visit Japan to arrange an Ainu village for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. He became an avid and tireless traveler in Japan, visiting at frequent intervals. Within Japan he always wore formal Japanese clothing, and this, along with his outspoken opinions, made him a favourite with newsmen. For several years his speeches and travel impressions had a following in Japan. Some of these articles appealed so much to the publisher Kanao Tanejir˘ (Bun'endo) that he sought book publication rights. Starr's first book in Japanese was San'y˘ Angya.
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The five artists contributing designs to the 1916 landscape series Hanshin Meish˘ Zue, also published by Bun'endo, were all associated with the ďsaka Asahi News where Starr's travel columns originated. Each of these artists contributed a colour woodcut to San'y˘ Angya; Nagai Hyosai's woodcut is a portrait of Starr in formal attire, with a star motif as his family crest.
Dr. Fredrick Starr died on August 14, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan. The obituary states how he was very enthusiastic about his fieldwork; he was always trying to identify himself with his subjects, which was an attraction for the students in his classes.