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Hikoichi Orita Diary

The diary is photocopied in two volumes. The first volume dates from January 1, 1872 to December 31, 1873 and the second, from January 1, 1874 to December 31, 1876. The handwritten entries are for the most part quite legible and written in English, but the memoranda, which are placed at the end of each year, are written in Japanese. There are also listings of bills and accounts by month.Generally, the entries are brief. Orita notes the weather for that day, classes and recitations, his seemingly endless studies, visits to chapel, letters received from friends, visits with faculty, including President and Mrs. McCosh, and occasional personal comments regarding his health or loneliness. So monotonous are the entries that the one for July 25, 1873, reading simply “We had some fun,” is quite uncharacteristic.Orita occasionally took trips to New England, New York City and New Brunswick, but again, these are described very matter-of-factly with relatively little insight, though he becomes somewhat more expansive when describing visits with friends in New Brunswick and elsewhere. A typical entry of this type is August 15, 1872, where, upon visiting New Brunswick, he learns of the death of countryman. “It was a very sad matter,” he writes, “although we could not help it.”He was quite devout, attending the College chapel almost daily as required at the time and the Second Presbyterian Church on Sundays. He writes often of Bible studies and prayer meetings with classmates. A highlight of his career at Princeton was his baptism on May 28, 1876. “Fine, warm day,” Orita writes. “After the morning chapel the ceremony of baptism was done by Dr. McCosh. Profs Alexander, Atwater, Packard and my classmates present. Partook Lord's supper in chapel…”