The Quest for Civilization illuminates the origins of modern Japan through the lens of its cultural contact with the Netherlands providing a rare contribution to the field in English-language literature. Following the “opening” of the country in the 1850s, Japan encountered Western modernity through a quest for knowledge personified by Nishi Amane and Tsuda Mamichi, two young scholars who journeyed to Leiden in 1863 as the first Japanese sent to study in Europe. For two years they were tutored by Simon Vissering – one of the leading Dutch economists of the nineteenth century. Following their return home, their work as government officials and intellectuals played a key role in the introduction of the European social sciences, jurisprudence, and international law to Japan, thereby exerting a decisive influence on the establishment of the modern Japanese state and the redefinition of the international and cultural order in East Asia.
|Publisher:||Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.|
About the Author
Ōkubo Takeharu, Ph.D. (2004), Tokyo Metropolitan University, is Associate Professor of the History of Asian and Japanese Political Thought at Keio University, Japan. He previously taught at Meiji University. He has published widely on the intellectual history of cultural exchange between Europe and East Asia, including Kindai Nihon no Seiji Kōsō to Oranda (University of Tokyo Press, 2010), the original Japanese edition of this book.
David Noble studied modern Asian and European history and Japanese language and literature at the University of Chicago and Princeton University.