Second time meeting Patricia, after she donated her Grandfather’s books and family records to the Asian Library. It was meant to be an after- work quick catchup, but we ended up chating until the sun set. We were both cold leaving the outdoor cafe, and decided to continue our conversation at another time. Patricia’s Grandmother and her father’s side of stories made me want to see more of her family documents, and especially the film made by her.
Patricia’s Grandfather, T. S. Wei (1890-1977), graduated from Harvard in 1916 and returned to China in 1920 to join the Bureau of Economic Information in Peking led by William Henry Donald (1875-1946). Mr. Wei was in charge of the customs of the Guomindang government starting in 1927, and drafted laws in finance. He served in both China Bank and the Transportation Bank. His knowledge of international law made his English letters to Francis Arthur Aglen (1869-1932) very effective, and stopped Chinese customs savings from being deposited into British banks. Wei represented China at the Currency Stabilization Board meeting in the U.S. and gained China the veto power.
In order to avoid the election, he traveled to Guangxi, Guangdong and Hong Kong in 1947, and then to the Philippines and the United States, pursuing teaching, writings and academic research for the rest of his life. It is quite fascinating to browse through his Birth of Japan and Jo Fuku densetsu no nazo . Thanks to Patricia giving me the opportunity to learn about this true scholar, who was fluent in 6 languages and achieved so much in both Western and traditional oriental cultures. We already have dozens of his own works in the library, but very first time to receive his notebooks, family records, correspondance and classical rare books that were household made or custom hand-copied.