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John Embree received his BA from the University of Hawaii in 1931, his MA from the University of Toronto in 1934 and his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1937. He was Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii, 1937-1941 and from 1943-1945, Associate Professor of Anthropology and head of the Japanese area studies of the Civil Affairs Training School for the Far East which the War Department set up at the University of Chicago for the training of military government officers for Japan and the Occupied Areas. From 1948-1950 he was Associate Professor of Sociology and Research Associate of Anthropology at Yale and in 1950 he was appointed Director of Southeast Asia Studies at Yale.