Title: How the Japanese Intelligentsia of the 19th Century Got Educated Based on Books in the Dutch Language (Rangaku)
Stream: Knowledge Creation, Preservation & Access: Curation, Librarianship, Information & Archival Science
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Masako Nishikawa-Van Eester, Nishogakusha University, Japan
This study intends to rectify the perception that the Shogunate (the Japanese government of the 19th century) mainly received know-how about medical sciences through their information acquisition via the Dutch presence at Deshima (Nagasaki). Studies of that time, based on the information acquired from the Dutch are referred to ‘Rangaku’ or Dutch Studies. When discussing ‘Rangaku’, the advance of western medical sciences immediately come to mind as this is the field that is nowadays remembered best for its big advances at that time. Based on the inventory of a cache of more than 1,000 books (discovered in 1954) that were purchased by the Shogunate and following up on an earlier study by Nishikawa-Van Eester, this study reports on a simple statistical analysis project that intends to rectify the perception that medical sciences formed the majority of the transferred know-how. The presentation will discuss in more depth what the topics were that the Shogunate was interested in learning via the Dutch. We will show examples and descriptive statistics of the topics that were covered in this cache.
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