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Japan Encounters the Barbarian
Author: W. G. Beasley

ISBN: 9780300063240
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 268
Published: 12 September 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 2.54 x 16.51 x 24.13
For over a hundred years the Japanese have looked to the West for ideas, institutions and technology that would help them achieve their goal of 'national wealth and strength'. In this book a distinguished historian of Japan discusses Japan's 'cultural borrowing' from America and Europe. W. G. Beasley focuses on the mid-nineteenth century, when Japan's rulers dispatched diplomatic missions to the West to discover what Japan needed to learn, sent students abroad to assimilate information and invited foreign experts to Japan to help put the knowledge to practical use.
Beasley examines the origins of the decision to initiate direct study of the West at a time when western countries counted as 'barbarian' by Confucian standards. Drawing on many colourful letters, diaries, memoirs and reports, he describes the missions sent overseas in 1860 and 1862, in 1865-1867 and in the years after 1868, in particular the prestigious embassy led by Iwakura in 1871-1873.
The book also tells the story of the several hundred students who went overseas in this period. It concludes by assessing the impact of the encounters on the subsequent development of Japan, f...

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