Skip navigation

Thursday March 2, 2017

HOWES, Prof. John Forman

Noted Canadian/American
scholar/teacher of Japanese
history, and dedicated railway
buff, departed on his last train
on February 4th. As he wished,
at age 92 John left painlessly in
his sleep. Predeceased by Lynn,
his beloved wife of 46 years;
survived by sons Christian
Howes (Cathy Noyes) and
Forman Howes (Jasmine) and
grandchildren Faith, Keegan, Ian,
Finnegan and Anaïs. Over 35
years teaching at the University
of British Columbia and Obirin in
Japan, John introduced Japan
to generations of students
As a scholar of Japanese
intellectual history he was a
leading biographer of influential
Christians such as Nitobe Inazo
and Uchimura Kanzo. Born in
1924 in Chicago to a family with
a long missionary history in
India, John enrolled in the U.S
Navy School of Oriental
Languages in 1944. Service in
the postwar U.S. Occupation of
Japan made him a life-long
'Japan hand.' But from 1961
when he joined UBC, Vancouver
was always home. Thanks to the
staff of Cavell Gardens and Dr
Sue Turgeon who helped him to
the end. A memorial service is
scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday 18
March at Christ Church Cathedral,
Vancouver. In lieu of flowers,
please donate to the John
Howes Lecture in Japan Studies
at UBC. This can be done online:
http://support.ubc.ca/howes-
lecture

Back to top