Japanese Students At Cambridge University In The Meiji Era, 1868-1912by Noboru Koyama
This book was first written in Japanese by Noboru Koyama, and published in Tokyo in 1999. It has been translated by Ian Ruxton, and the copyright is held by the author and translator jointly. This fascinating story, centred on the first Japanese graduate of Cambridge (Kikuchi Dairoku), is intimately connected with Japan's modernization (for which read Westernization). It is told here for the first time in English, and should be of interest to all students of the Meiji era in Japan. The book includes nine black & white images, an introduction, a preface, seven appendices and an index.
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This well-written, well-researched book speaks with authority and belongs on bookshelves the world over. The education of Kikuchi Dairoku and the other Japanese students at Cambridge University, as related by Noboru Koyama, is informative and insightful, and bridges a gap in my knowledge of Japanese education and culture of that era. Ian Ruxton's translation is masterful, rendering the text easily understood by this westerner who could never have read the Japanese version, but who is now able to appreciate this historical account. These two writers enhance each other's work; I appreciate accuracy and clarity in writing, and believe others will also enjoy this book.
This book has been translated into English from a Japanese original published in Tokyo in 1999. It focuses on Kikuchi Dairoku, the first Japanese to graduate from Cambridge in the 19th Century, who became a pivotal figure in Japanese education thereafter. But many others are also introduced: the statesman Suematsu Kencho and the scholar-diplomat Inagaki Manjiro to name just two. The author's position as head of the Cambridge University Library's Japanese Department has given him unparalleled access to all the relevant records, in English and Japanese. This is an important and informative text for those who wish to understand Japan's modernization in the 19th century.