The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa / Edition 1 available in Paperback
Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901) was a leading figure in the cultural revolution that transformed Japan from an isolated feudal nation into a full-fledged player in the modern world. He translated a wide range of Western works and adapted them to Japanese needs, inventing a colorful prose style close to the vernacular. He also authored many books, which were critical in introducing the powerful but alien culture of the West to the Japanese. Only by adopting the strengths and virtues of the West, he argued, could Japan maintain its independence despite the "disease" of foreign relations.
Dictated by Fukuzawa in 1897, this autobiography offers a vivid portrait of the intellectual's life story and a rare look inside the formation of a new Japan. Starting with his childhood in a small castle town as a member of the lower samurai class, Fukuzawa recounts in great detail his adventures as a student learning Dutch, as a traveler bound for America, and as a participant in the tumultuous politics of the pre-Restoration era. Particularly notable is Fukuzawa's ability to view the new Japan from both the perspective of the West and that of the old Japan in which he had been raised. While a strong advocate for the new civilization, he was always aware of its roots in the old.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.56(w) x 8.02(h) x 1.01(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Albert M. Craig is Harvard-Yenching Professor of History Emeritus at HarvardUniversity. He is the author of many books, including Choshu in the MeijiRestoration, The Heritage of Japanese Civilization, and East Asia: Tradition and Transformation.
Table of Contents
Foreward by Albert Craig
Preface to the 1899 Edition
II I Set Out to Learn Dutch in Nagasaki
III I Make My Way to Osaka
IV Student Ways at Ogata School
V I Go to Yedo; I Learn English
VI I Join the First Mission to America
VII I Go to Europe
VIII I Return to Anti-Foreign Japan
IX I Visit America Again
X A Non-Partisan in the Restoration; The Growth of a Private School
XI The Risk of Assassination
XII Further Steps Toward a Liberal Age
XIII My Personal and Household Economy
XIV My Private Life; My Family
XV A Final Word on the Good Life
Afterword. Fukuzawa Yukichi: The Philosophical Foundations of Meiji Nationalism
Appendix I. Chronological Table
Appendix II. Encouragement of Learning: The First Essay, 1872
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was a really hard one for me to read. As you can see by the information I have provided, I originally started the book on October 22, 2010. I actually at one point had to put it down and leave it alone for a long time. By the time I picked it up again it was November 16, 2010 and I had to start from the beginning once more. Due to the fact I had to write a paper on this book, I really needed to finish it within four days. There were parts of the book that I found interesting, but most of it was unnecessarily boring and I nearly fell asleep a handful of times reading this book. I am, honestly, not a huge reader of autobiographies for the very reason that the book is about nearly everything that happened over the course of a certain person's lifetime. Even the boring things. In this case, Yukichi Fukuzawa's life, in my opinion, was extremely boring to learn about. I'm more of a memoir person. The difference between memoirs and autobiographies is that memoirs are about a specific topic. Like Stephen King's memoir, for example. It is about his writing and how he got started in writing. Fukuzawa's autobiography is just pile upon pile of useless background information that I didn't even need for my paper. I am keeping this review short because this book was 336 pages of a waste of my time.