Call No. [Page No.]: DS808 .K127 [p.112]
Document Type: Rare book
Category: Asia - Japan Collection
Volume info: 2 volumes
Full title: The history of Japan : giving an account of the ancient and present state and government of that empire, of its temples, palaces, castles and other buildings, of its metals, minerals, trees, plants, animals, birds and fishes, of the chronology and succession of the emperors, ecclesiastical and secular, of the original descent, religions, customs, and manufactures of the natives, and of their trade and commerce with the Dutch and Chinese : together with a description of the kingdom of Siam. Commodore Mathew Calbraith Perry was said to have had two books with him when he made his first expedition to Japan: Philipp Fanz von Siebold's Nippon and Engelbert Kaempfer's The History of Japan. Born at Lemgo in Lippe-Detmold (now part of Germany), Kaempfer studied medicine and natural science. He joined the Dutch East India Company as chief surgeon and via Java and Siam, he landed in Dejima, Nagasaki, which was the only open Japanese port to foreigners in September 1690. During his two-year stay in Japan, Kaempfer twice accompanied the Dutch mission to Edo (known today as Tokyo). He kept meticulous records and specimens gathered during his trips. After he returned to Europe, he devoted much of his time to writing his accounts of Japan, however, his Amoenitatum exoticarum politico-physico-medicarum fasciculi V was the only book published while he was alive. In 1727, eleven years after his death, the English translation of The History of Japan was published in London. The book is filled with detailed descriptions of the political, social, and geographical condition of Japan as well as his observations and detailed sketches on plants, animals, and agriculture. The History of Japan was a hit in the western world and a second edition was published the following year. The History of Japan remained the chief source of information about Japan for the next hundred years.
Treasure record edited by Hamilton Library at 2010-07-23 13:34:52