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Reise- Und Entdeckungsgeschichtliche Grundlagen Der Descriptio Regni Iaponiae

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is in German and contains a brief English abstract which deals with the sources of the Descriptio regni Japoniae. The Descriptio regni Japoniae is based on a number of sources which can be divided into three groups: (1) Surveys of geographical or Asian studies, which provided a geographical context for writing about Japan in the Descriptio; (2) Reports by Jesuit authors who were involved in the first Christian missionary work in Japan; and (3) Reports by officials such as François Caron, of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie in Japan. After the discovery of Japan by Portuguese smugglers in 1543, merchants and missionaries regularly frequented the islands. The Portuguese Jesuit Luís Froís even drew up a catalogue of differences which was also intended to serve future missionaries as a cultural orientation guide. Bernhard Varenius took over some observations in order to describe the extremely foreign character of the Japanese civilisation.

Keywords:Bernhard Varenius; Descriptio regni Japoniae; François Caron; Japanese civilisation; Luís Froís; Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC)

10.1163/ej.9789004163638.i-351.37
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