Dr Bernard Jean Bettelheim

Dr Bernard Jean Bettelheim

Death 9 Feb 1870 (aged 58–59)
Brookfield, Linn County, Missouri, USA
Burial Brookfield, Linn County, Missouri, USA
Plot Block 18 Lot 61 Site 01
Memorial ID 12107 · View Source
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First Protestant missionary to Japan, 1846-1854. He translated portions of the Holy Bible into Ryukyuan, the common language of Okinawa, and Japanese. He also compiled a dictionary and grammar of the Ryukyuan language which is now preserved in the British Museum. During Commodore Perry's expedition to open up Japan to Western diplomacy and trade, Bettelheim served as his interpreter to the Okinawa Royal Court at Shuri. His missionary experience was the subject of a doctoral dissertation written by Dr. Jack Teruya for the faculty of the University of Colorado in 1969. There are monuments to him on Okinawa and the Anglican-Episcopal Diocese there recently named their headquarters "Bettelheim Hall" in honor of him. His mission was the theme of the 1996 Bible Campaign of the Japan Bible society. A brief account of his life has been published by Professor Konnyu in a book titled Bettelheim Memorial Album, but his story is largely unknown in the United States.

Bio by: John A. Swearingen


FEB. 9, 1870



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 1 Sep 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 12107
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Bernard Jean Bettelheim (1811–9 Feb 1870), Find a Grave Memorial no. 12107, citing Rose Hill Cemetery, Brookfield, Linn County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .