Transcultural Philology in 19th-century Japan: The Case of Shigeno Yasutsugu (1827-1910)

In: Philological Encounters
Michael Facius Freie Universität Berlin

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The article explores the role of transcultural encounters for the development of the thought and philology of Shigeno Yasutsugu, an eminent Japanese scholar of history and Chinese learning in 19th-century Japan. It argues that a close look at the impact of Shigeno’s encounters with Western diplomats, Chinese scholar-officials and a German historian illuminates the richness in the biography of a scholar whom the literature has valued predominantly for his role in the introduction of “modern” Western historiography. Through an analysis of the multilayered foundations of his scholarly practice, the article aims to demonstrate the use of a transcultural paradigm in engaging the complexity of the history of knowledge in a period of Western imperialism.

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