The foreign employees in Meiji Japan, known in Japanese as O-yatoi Gaikokujin (Kyūjitai: 御雇い外國人, Shinjitai: 御雇い外国人, "hired foreigners"), were hired by the Japanese government and municipalities for their specialized knowledge and skill to assist in the modernization of the Meiji period. The term came from Yatoi (a person hired temporarily, a day laborer), was politely applied for hired foreigner as O-yatoi gaikokujin.
The total number is over 2,000, probably reaches 3,000 (with thousands more in the private sector). Until 1899, more than 800 hired foreign experts continued to be employed by the government, and many others were employed privately. Their occupation varied, ranging from high salaried government advisors, college professors and instructor, to ordinary salaried technicians.
Along the process of the opening of the country, the Tokugawa Shogunate government first hired, German diplomat Philipp Franz von Siebold as diplomatic advisor, Dutch naval engineer Hendrik Hardes for Nagasaki Arsenal and Willem Johan Cornelis, Ridder Huijssen van Kattendijke for Nagasaki Naval Training Center, French naval engineer François Léonce Verny for Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, and British civil engineer Richard Henry Brunton. Most of the O-yatoi was appointed through government approval with two or three years contract, and took their responsibility properly in Japan, except some cases.
As the Public Works hired almost 40% of the total number of the O-yatois, the main goal in hiring the O-yatois was to obtain transfers of technology and advice on systems and cultural ways. Therefore, young Japanese officers gradually took over the post of the O-yatoi after they completed training and education at the Imperial College, Tokyo, the Imperial College of Engineering or studying abroad.
The O-yatois were highly paid; in 1874, they numbered 520 men, at which time their salaries came to ¥2.272 million, or 33.7 percent of the national annual budget. The salary system was equivalent to the British India, for instance, the chief engineer of the British India's Public Works was paid 2,500 Rs/month which was almost same as 1,000 Yen, salary of Thomas William Kinder, superintendent of the Osaka Mint in 1870.
Despite the value they provided in the modernization of Japan, the Japanese government did not consider it prudent for them to settle in Japan permanently. After the contract terminated, most of them returned to their country except some, like Josiah Conder and William Kinninmond Burton.
The system was officially terminated in 1899 when extraterritoriality came to an end in Japan. Nevertheless, similar employment of foreigners persists in Japan, particularly within the national education system and professional sports.
Notable O-yatoi gaikokujin
Law, administration, and economics
- Georges Appert, legal scholar
- Gustave Emile Boissonade, legal scholar
- Hermann Roesler, jurist and economist
- Georg Michaelis, jurist
- Albert Mosse, jurist
- Otfried Nippold, jurist
- Heinrich Waentig, economist and jurist
- Georges Hilaire Bousquet, legal scholar
- Horatio Nelson Lay, railway developer
- Alexander Allan Shand, monetary
- Henry Willard Denison, diplomat
- Karl Rathgen, economist
- Jules Brunet, artillery officer
- Léonce Verny, constructor of the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal
- Klemens Wilhelm Jakob Meckel, Army instructor
- James R. Wasson, Civil engineer and teacher, army engineer
- Douglas R. Cassel, Naval instructor
- Henry Walton Grinnell, Navy instructor
- José Luis Ceacero Inguanzo, Navy instructor
- Charles Dickinson West, naval architect
- Henry Spencer Palmer, military engineer
- Archibald Lucius Douglas, Naval instructor
Natural science and mathematics
- William Edward Ayrton, physicist
- Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, physicist
- Edward S. Morse, zoologist
- Charles Otis Whitman, zoologist, successor of Edward S. Morse
- Heinrich Edmund Naumann, geologist
- Curt Netto, metallurgist
- Sir James Alfred Ewing, physicist and engineer who founded Japanese seismology
- Cargill Gilston Knott, succeeding J.A. Ewing
- Benjamin Smith Lyman, mining engineer
- William P. Brooks, agriculture
- Richard Henry Brunton, builder of lighthouses
- Charles Alfred Chastel de Boinville, architect
- Josiah Conder, architect
- William Kinnimond Burton, engineering, architecture, photography
- Horace Capron, agriculture, road construction
- Henry Dyer, engineering education
- Hermann Ende, architect
- François Perregaux, mechanical watchmaker
- Albert Favre Zanuti, mechanical watchmaker
- George Arnold Escher, civil engineer
- John G.H. Godfrey, geologist, mining engineer
- John Milne, geologist, seismologist
- Colin Alexander McVean, civil engineer
- Edmund Morel, civil engineer
- Johannis de Rijke, civil engineer, flood control, river projects
- John Alexander Low Waddell, bridge engineer
- Thomas James Waters, civil engineer
- William Gowland, mining engineer, archaeologist
- James Favre-Brandt, mechanical watchmaker
- Jean Francisque Coignet, mining engineer
- Henry Scharbau, cartographer
- Wilhelm Böckmann, architect
- Anthonie Rouwenhorst Mulder, civil engineer, rivers and ports
Art and music
Liberal arts, humanities and education
- Alice Mabel Bacon, pedagoge
- Basil Hall Chamberlain, Japanologist and Professor of Japanese
- James Summers, English literature
- Lafcadio Hearn, Japanologist
- Viktor Holtz, educator
- Raphael von Koeber, philosopher and musician
- Ludwig Riess, historian
- Leroy Lansing Janes, educator, missionary
- Marion McCarrell Scott, educator
- Edward Bramwell Clarke, educator
- David Murray, educator
- ^ James Curtis Hepburn, Japanese-English and English-Japanese Dictionary, 1873.
- ^ Hardy's Case, The Japan Weekly Mail, January 4 1875.
- ^ A Table of Salary of D.P.W. of the British India, The Engineer, January 29, 1869.
- ^ Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BnF), Appert, Georges (1850-1934); retrieved 2013-4-2.
- ^ "Georg Michaelis" at Archontology.org; retrieved 2013-4-4.