The company’s founder, Charles Egbert Tuttle, Jr., was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University. He joined the US military and was stationed in Japan immediately after World War II, working on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff. His job, among other things, was to help revive the Japanese publishing industry after the war. After his military service was completed, he decided to stay on in Japan and set up his own business importing English-language books and magazines and exporting rare Japanese antiquarian books to U.S. libraries.
Tuttle came from a distinguished New England publishing family. His father ran Tuttle Antiquarian Books—one of several Tuttle companies in Rutland that had been involved with printing and publishing since the 1830s. At university, he studied American history and literature. After graduating in 1937, he worked in the library of Columbia University for a year, then joined the family business. His interest in publishing 'quality' books about Japan and Asia, and his keen eye for design and editorial matters as a publisher, grew out of an appreciation for the valuable antiquarian books that he dealt with as a youth.
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