Nona Ransom main page

Shunryu Suzuki's English teacher in his college years.

(photo below)

Nona Ransom in Crooked Cucumber

Shunryu Suzuki on Nona Ransom - everything (I think) from Peter Schneider's interviews with Suzuki - from his  interview # 1  or Nona Ransom bookmark in the composite about Japan as found in the Shunryu on Shunryu  section and from Suzuki's lecture 69-11-09 to see where most the Ransom material comes from.

Harry Ransom-Rose on Nona Ransom, 

Shunryu Suzuki letter to Grahame Petchey which mention Ms Ransom.

More on Nona Ransom from Interview with Grahame Petchey - just go there and search for "Ransom." There's quite a bit. He says that Suzuki wrote to her when he came to America telling her how grateful he was for how much he'd learned from her and that it had enabled him to communicate well with people in America.

See The Twelve Days of England  - written in 2000 after I met Harry Rose, on a trip to England with Grahame.

from Suzuki's CV: Interpreter for Miss N. Ransom from Aug 1, 1927 to May 30, 1929. (Roshi is very grateful over this job - this training helped him a lot) (When Roshi was at university he lived in one room of her home with 2 other boys - he was the best to help her and she became earnest Buddhist.)

Nona Ransom's 16 mm film of Japan including some brief footage of Shunryu Suzuki can be found at on the video page which also has her other travel footage.

Photos from Nona

A photo of the Empress Wan Jung (also called Wanrong), Pu Yi's wife, taken by Miss Ransom and sent this May 2020 by a UK man who was her neighbor when he was a boy.

Nona Ransom notes from back of photos but maybe not these, not sure (some in her hand) - dc - posted 4-10-14

There's mention of her in Brian Power's The Puppet Emperor. Universe Books, 1988 - and maybe a photo. I think so. And notes from him too I think. She was a teacher of his at the British School in Tientsin. More on this here.

And mentions of her from the Suzuki family and others who knew him in Japan. Might get them in here but the only comment of any significance that I can remember is that she had left a bed at Rinsoin to use when she visited, and maybe some other items, that remained for many years.

And there's a nice little story on meeting Suzuki in the thirties by an English man who met him through Nona Ransom. It's here somewhere. Will link when I find it.

Years later here it is: Priest's Tale by David Barrow - transciption and original in the author's hand

There's a man from the BBC who was looking into doing a piece on Nona Ransom whom I told a year and a half ago while in Germany that I'd get what I had together and when I find his contact info I'll let him know about this Nona Ransom Main Page. - dc

5-22-12 - Correspondence with Nona Ransom's Godchild and the Pouffe.

Mitsu Suzuki on Nona from her interview with Kazuaki Tanahashi

When he was in Komazawa Daigaku there was an English teacher from England called Mrs. (sic) Ransom who was teaching there I think. One day a student, one of his friends, invited him there saying, We always have something cold in the hot summer and he was attracted by that so when he was talking and eating with Mrs. Ransom and the student, he was told he could stay there. He said, But you already have someone here, and she said, One more student doesn’t make any difference. I don’t know how long he stayed there but she took good care of him and before she left England she went back to England as a Buddhist [sympathizer]. There was a quite big long rattan sofa in Rinsoin that belonged to her and a long white silk futon that Mrs. Ransom brought to use there - that I (sic - someone? - Mitsu not around then) brought there that then she would use.

Shunryu's little sister Aiko said there was a photo of Nona at Rinsoin

Nona's great great great niece has written us and may contribute something. She wrote in 2015:

My name is Danielle Chandler, and I am Nona Ransom's great great great niece. To be more specific, Nona's brother Wilson, is my great great great paternal grandfather. I am currently researching and collecting information on my family tree. Through your website I have learned a lot about Nona. I am currently reading your book, The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunruyu Suzuki!. I will write something for the site. There are a few things that I'd love to add!

Miss Nona Ransom (Suzuki's English teacher at Komazawa University), in Tientsin, China, c. 1932.

Nona Ransom Christmas card sent by Angela Wright, no relation, just tracking down its authenticity




May 12, 2020
Thank you to the kind gentleman who sent the photo below with the following note.

Dear Mr. Chadwick,

I have recently read with great interest Harry Ransom-Rose's reminiscences of Nona Ransom on your website. At one stage in the early 1960's, when I would have been 15 or so, Nona lived in a bungalow next door to us in the village of Brockweir In Gloucestershire on the river Wye. I still have strong memories of a tall rather forbidding lady surrounded with momentos of her life in Asia. 

We have recently been going through and sorting out family photographs and I came across this which I thought might be of interest to you. On the reverse is written            'Last Empress of Manchuria- standing figure (Henry Pu-Yi's wife) from Miss Ransom'. 

I do hope this indeed is of interest and, if so, you are welcome to include it on your website if you would like to do so.

Yours sincerely,

[Name withheld till he gives permission]

Photo of Wan Jung, also called Wanrong, the wife of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, taken by Nona Ransom


Below is what is written on the back side of the photo