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Cultural Exchange Project: Mito Second High School and Daini Senior High School, Mito, Japan with Central School, Greensboro, N.C.


It appears that these papers are the result of a cultural exchange after the close of World War II among a school identified as Central School, Greensboro, N.C. (the now defunct Central Junior High School), and two Japanese schools, Mito Second High School and Daini Senior High School, Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. One postcard identifies a librarian at Central School, Miss Mary Robert Seawell (1905-1980), who may have had major responsibility for this exchange.This collection, circa 1939-1946, contains two albums, one with narrative and photographs of girls in classes, cultural and school activities, and one with post cards including Japanese scenes and landmarks; two hand written and il ... (more below)

Title

Cultural Exchange Project: Mito Second High School and Daini Senior High School, Mito, Japan with Central School, Greensboro, N.C.

Collection Number

PC.2024

Date(s)

1939-1946

Language

English

Physical Description
Box
1
Physical Description
Boxes
1.00
Abstract

It appears that these papers are the result of a cultural exchange after the close of World War II among a school identified as Central School, Greensboro, N.C. (the now defunct Central Junior High School), and two Japanese schools, Mito Second High School and Daini Senior High School, Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. One postcard identifies a librarian at Central School, Miss Mary Robert Seawell (1905-1980), who may have had major responsibility for this exchange.

This collection, circa 1939-1946, contains two albums, one with narrative and photographs of girls in classes, cultural and school activities, and one with post cards including Japanese scenes and landmarks; two hand written and illustrated manuscript story books; artwork, and other material indicating a cultural exchange between the schools. Of particular interest are the album with photographs and narrative, and the two manuscript books depicting Japanese folk legends, handwritten in English with illustrations apparently painted in watercolors.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Public Services Branch, North Carolina State Archives.

Creator

Seawell, Mary Robert.

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Arranged by type of material.


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by Fran Tracy-Walls, 2011

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, May, 2011


Mary Robert Seawell (1905-1980) was the librarian at Central Junior High School, also known as Central School, Greensboro, Guilford County, during the 1940s and perhaps beyond. A graduate of Meredith College, she was a native of Carthage, Moore County, and one of at least seven children born into a farming family headed by John Wesley (1863-1936) and Florence Jackson Seawell (1867-1919). The obituary of Miss Seawell stated that at the time of her death she was a retired librarian living with her sister, Miss Cecil A. Seawell, in Cary, Wake County.

Central School was built probably during the first quarter of the 20th century, prior to the Great Depression, and demolished probably after 1975. On the site of the school, the Guilford County Board of Education opened in 1978 an innovative center (the Philip J. Weaver, Jr. Center) featuring vocational courses and advanced offerings in science and the arts. It is adjacent to the southeastern boundary of the main campus of Guilford College.

Central School was apparently well supported in its cultural exchange efforts by a chapter of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA, founded at the national level in 1897, has been for decades possibly the largest of all volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States.

Mito, the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, has roots going back centuries. The modern city of Mito was formed around 1889, and was soon named as the prefectural capital. Although more than half of the town was burned during World War II, the city rebounded within a few years.

 Sources:

1910, 1920, 1930 United States Federal Census;  City Directories of the United States: Greensboro, N.C., on microfilm, 1942-1945; Obituary,  Raleigh Times, May 2, 1980;  Social Security Death Index provided online by the United States Social Security Administration. Consulted web pages of the National PTA.org; the Facebook page of Central Junior High School; and Wikipedia article on Mito, Japan. Helpful information from Ms. Tomoko Cole, Collections Management Branch, N.C. State Archives.


Mary Robert Seawell (1905-1980) was the librarian at Central Junior High School, also known as Central School, Greensboro, Guilford County, during the 1940s and perhaps beyond. A graduate of Meredith College, she was a native of Carthage, Moore County, and one of at least seven children born into a farming family headed by John Wesley (1863-1936) and Florence Jackson Seawell (1867-1919). The obituary of Miss Seawell stated that at the time of her death she was a retired librarian living with her sister, Miss Cecil A. Seawell, in Cary, Wake County.

Central School was built probably during the first quarter of the 20th century, prior to the Great Depression, and demolished probably after 1975. On the site of the school, the Guilford County Board of Education opened in 1978 an innovative center (the Philip J. Weaver, Jr. Center) featuring vocational courses and advanced offerings in science and the arts. It is adjacent to the southeastern boundary of the main campus of Guilford College.

Central School was apparently well supported in its cultural exchange efforts by a chapter of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA, founded at the national level in 1897, has been for decades possibly the largest of all volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States.

Mito, the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, has roots going back centuries. The modern city of Mito was formed around 1889, and was soon named as the prefectural capital. Although more than half of the town was burned during World War II, the city rebounded within a few years.

 Sources:

1910, 1920, 1930 United States Federal Census;  City Directories of the United States: Greensboro, N.C., on microfilm, 1942-1945; Obituary,  Raleigh Times, May 2, 1980;  Social Security Death Index provided online by the United States Social Security Administration. Consulted web pages of the National PTA.org; the Facebook page of Central Junior High School; and Wikipedia article on Mito, Japan. Helpful information from Ms. Tomoko Cole, Collections Management Branch, N.C. State Archives.


[Identification of item], PC.2024, Finding Aid of the Cultural Exchange Project: Mito Second High School and Daini Senior High School, Mito, Japan with Central School, Greensboro, N.C., 1946, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Received as a transfer 12 December 2008 from the State Library of North Carolina, via Joyce Throckmorton, Collection Management Librarian and head of the Collection Management Committee.


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://mars.archives.ncdcr.gov/BasicSearch.aspx.


This collection contains two albums, one with narrative and photographs and one with post cards of Japanese scenes and landmarks; two hand written and illustrated manuscript story books; artwork, and other material indicating a cultural exchange between a school identified as Central School, Greensboro, N.C. (the now defunct Central Junior High School, located at 226 South Spring Street, Greensboro) and with Mito Second High School, and Daini Senior High School, Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It appears that the Parent-Teacher Association (P.T.A.) of Central School was a sponsor of the exchange and sent books to the Japanese schools. The year probably is 1946, but could be as early as the late 1930s. Of particular interest is the album with photographs and narrative as it documents girl students in classes and school events, such as plays and sports, and traditional Japanese activities such as flower arrangement in interior decoration, apparently in the aftermath of World War II. Additionally, there are two manuscript books depicting Japanese folk legends, handwritten in English and with illustrations apparently painted in watercolors.

Additionally, there is one post card dated 12 April 1939 mailed from Stone Mountain, Georgia to Miss Mary Robert Seawell, living in Greensboro. Miss Seawell was a graduate of Meredith College, and a teacher and librarian. It appears that Miss Seawell was probably instrumental in the cultural exchange and in maintaining the papers from these Japanese school that survive from this exchange, apparently not long after the close of World War II.

Arranged by type of material.


This collection contains two albums, one with narrative and photographs and one with post cards of Japanese scenes and landmarks; two hand written and illustrated manuscript story books; artwork, and other material indicating a cultural exchange between a school identified as Central School, Greensboro, N.C. (the now defunct Central Junior High School, located at 226 South Spring Street, Greensboro) and with Mito Second High School, and Daini Senior High School, Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It appears that the Parent-Teacher Association (P.T.A.) of Central School was a sponsor of the exchange and sent books to the Japanese schools. The year probably is 1946, but could be as early as the late 1930s. Of particular interest is the album with photographs and narrative as it documents girl students in classes and school events, such as plays and sports, and traditional Japanese activities such as flower arrangement in interior decoration, apparently in the aftermath of World War II. Additionally, there are two manuscript books depicting Japanese folk legends, handwritten in English and with illustrations apparently painted in watercolors.

Additionally, there is one post card dated 12 April 1939 mailed from Stone Mountain, Georgia to Miss Mary Robert Seawell, living in Greensboro. Miss Seawell was a graduate of Meredith College, and a teacher and librarian. It appears that Miss Seawell was probably instrumental in the cultural exchange and in maintaining the papers from these Japanese school that survive from this exchange, apparently not long after the close of World War II.


  • Central School (Greensboro, N.C.).
  • Mito Second High School (Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan).
  • Arts, Japanese.
  • Calligraphy, Japanese.
  • Cultural relations--Japan--20th century.
  • Cultural relations--United States--20th century.
  • Folk literature, Japanese--Themes, motives.
  • Girls' schools--Japan.
  • Humanitarianism.
  • Intercultural communication.
  • Japan--Social life and customs--20th century.
  • Parents' and teachers' associations
  • School librarians--North Carolina--20th century.
  • Students.
  • Greensboro (N.C.).
  • Mito, Japan (Ibaraki Prefecture)
  • Seawell, Mary Robert.

Consists of two albums, postcards, two manuscript handwritten and illustrated stories, and additional folders of material, including eight water colors.

Box: PC.2024.1  
Album: Photographs and Narrative, circa 1946

Scope and Content

Photographs of school with narratives of scenes, events, clubs, activities, classes, and staff and students at the school. Shows picture of the school principal and president of the P.T.A. Last pictures make reference to the "miserable barracks being built hurriedly after the air-raid," and a tall ginkgo tree that "escaped from the disaster by the air-raid."

Folder: 2  
Small Red Postcard Album

Scope and Content

Contains postcards of scenes in Japan with handwritten labels.

Folder: 9-16  
Paintings: Watercolored

Scope and Content

There are eight paintings. All are of flowers except for one portrait and one combination painting of a portrait and floral arrangement. Each painting measures about 10 1/2 x 15 inches.

Folder: 3  
Postcards of various scenes, Japan and elsewhere

Scope and Content

There are fourteen post cards. There are no messages written on the cards.

Folder: 4  
Postcard addressed to Miss Mary Robert Seawell, Greensboro, N.C., 2 April 1939

Scope and Content

The card is from a friend named Sarah and depicts Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Folder: 5  
Manuscript Booklet, Number 1

Scope and Content

Entitled:  "Famous Story in Japan." This Japanese folk legend is handwritten in English and the illustrations appear to be painted in watercolors. Drawn/painted by Chielko Nagai; written by Chieko Nagai and Ayako Uclida. The inscription is as follows:  "Dear members of P.T.A. of the Central School. Greensboro, N.C. from Mito second high school."

Folder: 6  
Manuscript Booklet, Number 2

Scope and Content

Entitled:  "Kintaro." The book is also based on a Japanese folk legend. The front cover is composed of the front page of a musical score of a song entitled Kintaro, named after a character in Japanese folk literature and legend. The narrative is handwritten in English and the illustrations appear to be painted in watercolors. Drawn/painted by Haruko Ota; written by Chieko Nagai and Ayako Uclida. The inscription is as follows:  "Dear members of P.T.A. of the Central School. Greensboro, N.C. from Mito second high school."

Note: In Japanese folk literature and legend, the character, Kinataro, is a boy of extraordinary strengths.

Folder: 7  
Shodo: Japanese Calligraphy (examples of)

Scope and Content

Folder: 8  
Samples of Surveys

Scope and Content

These all forms written in Japanese and ask questions about the school.

Box: Letter Box  
Scroll: Illustrating Shodo: Japanese Calligraphy

Scope and Content

This scroll is highly fragile. It should not be opened, unless necessary.