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Engelbert Kaempfer, Imamura Gen'Emon And Arai Hakuseki. An Early Exchange Of Knowledge Between Japan And The Netherlands

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Chapter Summary

By the mid-seventeenth century Japan's authorities had, by means of a series of edicts, gradually isolated Japan from the outside world, with the objective of stopping foreign interference in domestic affairs and preserve the status quo. Imamura Gen'emon learned Dutch under circumstances that differed somewhat from the way in which interpreters traditionally received language instruction. Engelbert Kaempfer was a German scholar who was stationed on Dejima as resident physician to the Dutch trade mission for two years, from 1690 to 1692. Some time after Kaempfer 's departure from Japan, Imamura Gen'emon got the opportunity to pass his knowledge about Europe on to Confucianist scholar Arai Hakuseki, who occupies a central role in Japanese history. He was a prominent intellectual, who held a powerful political position during the reign of two shoguns.

Keywords: Arai Hakuseki; Dutch; Engelbert Kaempfer; Imamura Gen'emon; Japanese history



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