The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa

Paperback | January 9, 2007

byYukichi FukuzawaTranslated byEiikchi KiyookaForeword byAlbert M Craig

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Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901) was a leading figure in the cultural revolution that transformed Japan from an isolated feudal nation into a full-fledged player in the modern world. He translated a wide range of Western works and adapted them to Japanese needs, inventing a colorful prose style close to the vernacular. He also authored many books, which were critical in introducing the powerful but alien culture of the West to the Japanese. Only by adopting the strengths and virtues of the West, he argued, could Japan maintain its independence despite the "disease" of foreign relations.

Dictated by Fukuzawa in 1897, this autobiography offers a vivid portrait of the intellectual's life story and a rare look inside the formation of a new Japan. Starting with his childhood in a small castle town as a member of the lower samurai class, Fukuzawa recounts in great detail his adventures as a student learning Dutch, as a traveler bound for America, and as a participant in the tumultuous politics of the pre-Restoration era. Particularly notable is Fukuzawa's ability to view the new Japan from both the perspective of the West and that of the old Japan in which he had been raised. While a strong advocate for the new civilization, he was always aware of its roots in the old.

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From the Publisher

Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901) was a leading figure in the cultural revolution that transformed Japan from an isolated feudal nation into a full-fledged player in the modern world. He translated a wide range of Western works and adapted them to Japanese needs, inventing a colorful prose style close to the vernacular. He also authored ma...

From the Jacket

Here is the autobiography of a remarkable man. Yukichi Fukuzawa's life covered the 66 years between 1835 and 1901, a period which comprised greater and more extraordinary changes than any other in the history of Japan.

Albert M. Craig is Harvard-Yenching Professor of History Emeritus at HarvardUniversity. He is the author of many books, including Choshu in the MeijiRestoration, The Heritage of Japanese Civilization, and East Asia: Tradition and Transformation.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:January 9, 2007Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023113987X

ISBN - 13:9780231139878

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"Few historical transformations match in scope or drama that of Japan during the second half of the nineteenth century. Rarer still are instances when one can point to a single figure and say, here is the man who more than any other provided the intellectual impetus for the change."-from the foreword by Albert M. Craig

Table of Contents

Foreward by Albert CraigAcknowledgmentPreface to the 1899 EditionI ChildhoodII I Set Out to Learn Dutch in NagasakiIII I Make My Way to OsakaIV Student Ways at Ogata SchoolV I Go to Yedo; I Learn EnglishVI I Join the First Mission to AmericaVII I Go to EuropeVIII I Return to Anti-Foreign JapanIX I Visit America AgainX A Non-Partisan in the Restoration; The Growth of a Private SchoolXI The Risk of AssassinationXII Further Steps Toward a Liberal AgeXIII My Personal and Household EconomyXIV My Private Life; My FamilyXV A Final Word on the Good LifeNotesAfterword. Fukuzawa Yukichi: The Philosophical Foundations of Meiji NationalismAppendix I. Chronological TableAppendix II. Encouragement of Learning: The First Essay, 1872Index

Editorial Reviews

As readable as it was a century ago... refurbished with Craig's excellent introductory and terminal essays and a number of appendixes.