PMGenesis: Chapter 31

Peter Milward's Autobiography: Genesis of an Octogenarian (2008)


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Who is Peter Milward?
0. About PM Genesis of an Octogenarian
1. Attempt at an Autobiography
Pre-conscious World
Local Patriotism
Wimbledon in Wartime 
Pastoral Peace
Pastoral Philosophy
7. Life at Oxford
Between England and Japan 
9. A New Language and Culture
10. Rural Japan
Pastoral Theology
12. Teaching Shakespeare in Japan
13. A Missionary in Japan
Student Revolt  
A Floating University  
16. Literary Pilgrimages  
A Scholar's Paradise  
To and Fro in Japan  
Words, Words, Words  
Annus Mirabilis  
21. Renaissance  
Lost Years  
Two Papal Pilgrimages  
Two Peninsular Pilgrimages

More American Adventures
26. In the Footsteps of Hopkins and Newman  
Two International Conferences  
Catholic Shakespeare  
Last Words  
Bibliographical Afterword  


Blog Brittonia

All About Francis Xavier


Who are the Jesuits?

Joining the Jesuits in Japan



 A Lifetime with Hopkins  by Peter Milward


Shakespeare the Papist by Peter Milward 


 Mystical Journey
by  William Johnston, S.J.


All About Francis Xavier ( Japanese Jesuit History) 



31. Bibliographical Afterword


   This book is not, I may add by way of a “bibliographical afterword”, the first time I have made “an attempt at an autobiography”.  Living as I do in Japan, not in England, I am always being tempted to speak about myself, and I am always yielding to the temptation in various forms.  In England, I know, this would be despised as mere egoism.  There we profess a predilection for academic objectivity, a profession that has come down to us from the age of Puritanism and the rise of science.  Here in Japan, however, where the novel that most flourishes is the so-called shi-shosetsu, or “I Novel”, it is even required by students of teachers, and by readers of authors.  It can’t be helped.  So now I feel the need, and the urge, to introduce my past writings in which I have also spoken of myself, often, it seems to me, in a more elegant, if a more fragmentary fashion, than in these pages.


   As for my childhood memories, I have already presented them in a book entitled Memories of Childhood (1985), as well as my memories of school both at Wimbledon and at Oxford in An English Education (1979).  I have also published what I call “an autobiography of error” under the title of Fortunate Failures (1975), as well as “an autobiography of music” under the title of Unheard Melodies (1985).


   About my life in Japan, I have described my journey here on several occasions, beginning with an article for Woodstock Letters (a journal of the American Jesuits), entitled “English Jesuits Go East” (1956), then a chapter in Fortunate Failures, entitled “A Journey to Japan”, and then another chapter that only appeared in Japanese translation in Milward Shimpu no Nihon Kembun-roku (Fr. Milward’s Discovery of Japan, 1981).  As for my first experiences of life in Japan, they are recorded partly in Where East is West (1971), partly in my imaginary Letters to My Mother (1981).  (I never actually wrote those letters, but in them, though fictional, I describe the real conditions of life at the language school and my first impressions of Japan.)  Also in Adventures in Japan (1991) I have a chapter on “The Japanese Language”, which I set forth in a whole book entitled This Impossible Language (1980).  Then my memories of teaching in Japan, mainly at Sophia University, are partly to be found in Teaching in Japan (1988), with its sub-title, “Memories of an Absent-Minded Professor”, with its Japanese translation Ukkari Sensei Kaiso-roku (1990).  My journeys within Japan, especially for meetings of the Shakespeare Society of Japan, are recounted in To and Fro in Japan (1976).


   There are many other books arising out of my various pilgrimages to Britain, Europe and the Holy Land.  Several of the early tours are gathered together in A Journey Through England (1978) and in England in Sketches (1974).  The Thomas More pilgrimage is recorded in diary form in the two Parts of Journal of a Journey (1978).  Memories of my pilgrimages through Europe are recorded in my European Pilgrimage, from London to Jerusalem (1982), with a cultural interpretation in The Heart of Western Culture (1979), and more particularly of my experiences in the Holy Land in A Journey Through the Holy Land (1988).


   The pilgrimage through England and France to Spain in 1987 is recorded in In Search of the Middle Ages (1987), and the other pilgrimage from Greece and Italy to Spain in Lands of Culture – Greece, Italy and Spain (1994).  I have also published two sketch-books (with sketches supplied by one of our pilgrims, Yoichi Takahashi) on two of our English pilgrimages, one in 1989 in memory of Hopkins, entitled A Pilgrim’s Sketch-book (1991), and the other in 1993, entitled An English Sketch-book (2001).


   Finally, concerning my experiences in America I have, first, Old America and New England (1975) about my sabbatical in America and England in 1973-74, and, secondly, American Adventures (1990), about my sabbatical in New England in 1988.  I also have two books of interpretation, An Englishman Looks at America (1978) and England, America, Japan (1981).  There is much more that, I fear, I have overlooked, but these are the main books that come to my mind.  As we say when defining education, they are the few I remember when I have forgotten everything else. 









 (c) Jesuits of Japan, 2008

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Peter Milward's


Genesis of an Octogenarian

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