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Network of Knowledge

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780824853587
Author(s): Terrence Jackson
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Dimensions: 152 x 0 x 229 (w x l x h)
Pages: 232

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Nagasaki during the Tokugawa (1603-1868) was truly Japan's window on the world with its Chinese residences and Deshima island, where Western foreigners, including representatives of the Dutch East India Company, were confined. In 1785 ?tsuki Gentaku (1757-1827) journeyed from the capital to Nagasaki to meet Dutch physicians and the Japanese who acted as their interpreters. Gentaku was himself a physician, but he was also a Dutch studies (rangaku) scholar who passionately believed that European science and medicine were critical to Japan's progress. Network of Knowledge examines the development of Dutch studies during the crucial years 1770-1830 as Gentaku, with the help of likeminded colleagues, worked to facilitate its growth, creating a school, participating in and hosting scholarly and social gatherings, and circulating books. In time the modest, informal gatherings of Dutch studies devotees (rangakusha), mostly in Edo and Nagasaki, would grow into a pan-national society.
Applying ideas from social network theory and Bourdieu's conceptions of habitus, field, and capital, this volume shows how Dutch studies scholars used networks to grow their numbers and overcome government indifference to create a dynamic community. The social significance of rangakusha, as much as the knowledge they pursued in medicine, astronomy, cartography, and military science, was integral to the creation of a Tokugawa information revolution-one that saw an i
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