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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

A Japanese Boy’s Letter

(To Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow)

White House, Jan. 14, 1905.

Last year, when I had Professor Yamashita teach me the “Jiudo”—as they seem now to call Jiu Jitsu—the naval attache here, Commander Takashita, used to come around here and bring a young lad, Kitgaki, who is now entering Annapolis. I used to wrestle with them both. They were very fond of Archie and were very good to him. This Christmas Kitgaki sent from Annapolis a little present to Archie, who wrote to thank him, and Kitgaki sent him a letter back that we like so much that I thought you might enjoy it, as it shows so nice a trait in the Japanese character. It runs as follows:

“My dearest boy:
“I received your nice letter. I thank you ever so much. I am very very glad that you have receive my small present.

“I like you very very much. When I have been in Jiudo room with your father and you, your father was talking to us about the picture of the caverly officer. In that time, I saw some expression on your face. Another remembering of you is your bravery when you sleped down from a tall chair. The two rememberings can’t leave from my head.

“I returned here last Thursday and have plenty lesson, so my work is hard, hard, hard, more than Jiudo.

“I hope your good health.

“I am,

“Sincerely yours,


Isn’t it a nice letter?