This is an account of the growth and uses of Western learning in Japan from 1720 to 1830. These are the dates of the beginning of official interest in Western learning and of the expulsion of Siebold from the country, the first stage of a crisis that could be resolved only by the opening of the country of the West. The century and more included by the two dates was a most important period in Japanese history, when intellectuals, rebelling at the isolation of their country, desperately sought knowledge from abroad. The amazing energy and enthusiasm of men like Honda Toshiaki made possible the spectacular changes in Japan, which are all too often credited to the arrival of Commodore Perry. The author chose Honda Toshiaki (1744-1821) as his central figure. A page from any one of Honda's writings suffices to show that with him one has entered a new age, that of modern Japan. One finds in his books a new spirit, restless, curious and receptive. There is in him the wonder at new discoveries, the delight in widening horizons. Honda took a kind of pleasure even in revealing that Japan, after all, was only a small island in a large world. To the Japanese who had thought of Chinese civilization as being immemorial antiquity, he declared that Egypt's was thousands of years older and far superior. The world, he discovered, was full of wonderful things, and he insisted that Japan take advantage of them. Honda looked at Japan as he thought a Westerner might, and saw things that had to be changed, terrible drains on the country's moral and physical strength. Within him sprang the conviction that Japan must become one of the great nations of the world.
the japanese discovery of europe 1720 1830
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Originally published in 1952, this account of the growth and uses of Western learning in Japan has been enlarged by two new chapters that extend the story from 1798 to 1830. The author has incorporated the results of recent research by scholars in Japan and the West and made corrections in the text.
Japanese historian Louis Perez brings Mikiso Hane's rich and beloved account of early Japanese history up-to-date in this thoroughly revised Second Edition of Premodern Japan. The text traces the key developments of Japanese history in the premodern period, including the establishment of the imperial dynasty, early influences from China and Korea, the rise of the samurai class and the establishment of feudalism, the culture and society of the long Tokugawa period, the rise of Confucianism and Shinto nationalism, and finally, the end of Tokugawa rule. While the text provides many political developments through the early modern period, it also integrates the social, cultural, and intellectual aspects of Japanese history as well. Perez's updates to the text provide a comprehensive overview of the major social, political, and religious trends in premodern Japan as well as offering the most current scholarship.
By doing so, and by providing an overview of Japanese philosophy from the seventh century to the present, the authors contribute to a greater cross-cultural understanding between East and West."--BOOK JACKET.
A pacy, fresh and surprising portrait of Japan and the Japanese - from David Pilling, award-winning writer and Asia Editor of the Financial Times Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world's largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling's new book is an entertaining, deeply knowledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake. The resulting tsunami, which killed some 19,000 people, and nuclear catastrophe highlighted both the deeply impressive practical resilience of ordinary Japanese and a political culture of extraordinary carelessness and arrogance. Pilling describes the emergency and its aftermath, but then writes far more broadly about many aspects of Japan which are little known to outsiders and which do so much to explain these contradictory responses to the earthquake. Bending Adversity is a superb work of reportage and the essential book even for those who already feel they know the country well.
Long recognized as an authority on Japanese history, Marius Jansen synthesizes a lifetime of scholarship in this landmark book. Bringing together the series of Brown and Haley lectures delivered in 1975 at the University of Puget Sound, Japan and Its World continues to be a source of insight for anyone interested in the changing ideas the Japanese have had of themselves, the United States, and the Western world during the past two centuries.
Japan began to fascinate the West after the account of Marco Polos sojourn in China. This set off an interest in the oriental world. The Portuguese, being the first, arrived in Japan in 1543 which was followed by others. The experience Japan had with Europeans put upon itself isolation for about 200 years. After the forceful opening by Mathew Perry in 1853, many Westerners again began to arrive in Japan. Later during the 1980s, there was an influx of migrant workers which become a hot topic of debate. The book throws much light onto the historical background as well as the events that lead up to the present state of affairs in relation to issues of discrimination, crimes and problems related to foreigners.
Information is power. For more than five hundred years the success or failure of nations has been determined by a country’s ability to acquire knowledge and technical skill and transform them into strength and prosperity. Leading historian Jeremy Black approaches global history from a distinctive perspective, focusing on the relationship between information and society and demonstrating how the understanding and use of information have been the primary factors in the development and character of the modern age. Black suggests that the West’s ascension was a direct result of its institutions and social practices for acquiring, employing, and retaining information and the technology that was ultimately produced. His cogent and well-reasoned analysis looks at cartography and the hardware of communication, armaments and sea power, mercantilism and imperialism, science and astronomy, as well as bureaucracy and the management of information, linking the history of technology with the history of global power while providing important indicators for the future of our world.
In eleven informal essays, The Japanese: a Cultural Portrait explores the character of Japan and its people. Once famous for its "quaint charm", Japan is now strikingly western in appearance. Its rapid ascension to world prominence, many Westerners forget that Japanese habits, fears, and values are rooted in centuries of feudal agrarianism. This Japanese culture and history book reminds us that although the Japanese are capable of accepting enormous change, they can also be resolutely determined to remain Japanese. Their cultural makeup has not changed as rapidly as the nation's economic landscape. To illustrate these points, various topics are examined: Japan's first encounters with the West Japanese philosophies of government, law, and ethics The way that modern institutions like the bureaucracy and the corporation rely on a strong sense of group affiliation. The Japanese: A Cultural Portrait provides absorbing insight into how modernization has been accomplished without loss of national identity.