Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture Series

The Ways

Griffith and Patricia Way in Seattle.

The UW Japan Studies Program is home to the Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture series. Since its establishment in 2006 in honor of the Ways, this series has featured distinguished scholars in the field of Japan Studies in areas which include history, literature, political science, economics, and art.

Griff and Pat were life-long advocates of supporting and promoting the knowledge, appreciation, and preservation of Japanese culture through their individual efforts as well as through many organizations. This lecture series is one of their many legacies.

Griffith (1920-2018) was a native of Seattle whose adult life has revolved around Japan since his service as a naval officer — trained as a Japanese interpreter and translator, and throughout his career practicing law. Patricia (1924-2020) born in Vancouver, B.C. and raised in Seattle also was trained in Japanese language, and served in the U.S. Naval Operations during the war.

They both finished their Bachelor Degrees at the University of Washington and Griff later became a UW Law School Distinguished Alumni award recipient. He practiced law in Japan and the U.S., dividing his time equally between Japan the the U.S. representing major American and European companies doing business with Japan. He also authored several works on Japan, including co-authoring the well-used Business Operations in Japan (1984). Griff served on the boards of the Seattle Art Museum and the Blakemore Foundation, and the Jackson School’s Visiting Committee. Among the many accolades Griff received during his life was the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, bestowed by His Majesty Akihito, the Emperor of Japan, on April 29, 2007, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to developing economic and cultural exchanges between Japan and the United States.

Along the road, the Ways acquired an extensive collection of modern Japanese paintings and prints and their gift of over 150 Nihonga paintings to the Seattle Art Museum has made available to the public the largest collection of Nihonga paintings outside of Japan. In addition, Pat also extensively collected Japanese hashioki and Japanese folk toys. Parts of these collections now reside in the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.

Support their Legacy

You can make a gift to this lecture series at UW Giving.  Search for ‘Way‘ in the Search Funds field at the top of the page.

Past Speakers:

2024 – Miriam Chusid, University of Washington

2023 – Phillip Y. Lipscy, University of Toronto

2021 – Michael J. Green, Center for Strategic and International Studies

2020 – Richard J. Samuels, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2019 – Kenneth Ruoff, Portland State University

2018 – Takako Hikotani, Columbia University and National Defense Academy, Japan

2017 – Mark Metzler, University of Washington

2015 – Chris Hughes, University of Warwick

2014 – Daniel Foote, University of Tokyo

2013 – Kenneth B. Pyle, University of Washington

2012 – Michiyo Morioka, Independent Scholar

2012 – William W. Kelly, Yale University

2011 – T.J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley

2010 – Jay Rubin, Harvard University Emeritus

2009 – Fred Notehelfer, University of California Los Angeles, Emeritus

2008 – Elizabeth Berry, University of California, Berkeley

2007 – Ellen P. Conant, Independent Scholar