Harold Gould Henderson

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Harold Gould Henderson (1889–1974) was an American academic, art historian and Japanologist. He was a Columbia University professor for twenty years. From 1948 through 1952, he was the President of the Japan Society in New York,[1] and in 1968 he cofounded the Haiku Society of America.[2]


Henderson earned a degree at Columbia University in 1910, and continued his studies in Japan between 1930 and 1934.[1] From 1927 through 1929, Henderson was assistant curator of the Far East Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.[3] In 1934, he joined the faculty of Columbia. His academic career was interrupted by military service in the Second World War. At war's end, he returned to Columbia, retiring in 1956.[1]

In 1945 he married Mary A. Benjamin, 1905-1998, The Autograph Lady", and the daughter of Walter Romeyn Benjamin 1854-1943 and took over her father's business at his passing. Her mother was Rachel Seigne 1875-1954.

In World War II Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson's war service took him to Japan.[3] General Douglas MacArthur's staff during the occupation of Japan included a Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) section. Among those serving with Henderson in Tokyo were Sherman Lee,[4] Laurence Sickman[5] and Patrick Lennox Tierney.[6]

In Tokyo, Henderson was an advisor on education, religion, and art. Along with Reginald Horace Blyth, he served as a liaison between General MacArthur and Japan’s Imperial household. He participated in the process of drafting the Humanity Declaration in which the Emperor renounced his personal divinity.[7]

In 1974 Henderson was honored the Order of the Sacred Treasure.[1]

Selected works

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Harold Henderson, OCLC/WorldCat encompasses roughly 70+ works in 160+ publications in 5 languages and 4,900+ library holdings.[8]

  • The Bamboo Broom; an Introduction to Japanese Haiku (1934)[9]
  • From the Bamboo Broom (1934)
  • The Surviving Works of Sharaku (1939)
  • Handbook of Japanese Grammar (1943)
  • An Introduction to Haiku; an Anthology of Poems and Poets from Bashō to Shiki Anchor Books/Doubleday & Company (1958)
  • Haiku in English (1965)

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Harold Henderson, Japanese Scholar, New York Times. May 11, 1988.
  2. [1] Haiku Society of America website.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Monuments Men Foundation: Monuments Men> Henderson, Harold G.
  4. Weber, Bruce. "Sherman Lee, Who Led Cleveland Museum, Dies at 90," New York Times. July 11, 2008; Kappes, John. "Sherman Lee, who led the Cleveland Museum of Art to global renown, dead at 90," The Plain Dealer (Cleveland). July 9, 2008.
  5. Monuments Men Foundation: Monuments Men> Sickman, Maj. Laurence
  6. Consulate General of Japan, Los Angeles: Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon (3rd class).
  7. Dower, John. (1999). Embracing Defeat, p. 310.
  8. WorldCat Identities: Henderson, Harold Gould
  9. Walton, Eda Lou. "Japanese Poets Who Have Influenced the Imagists; The Bamboo Broom: An Introduction to Japanese Haiku by Harold Gould Henderson," New York Times. April 22, 1934.


External links