JAPAN THROUGH WESTERN EYES
Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers, Missionaries and Diplomats, 1853-1941
Part 9: Siebold Manuscripts from the Oriental Manuscripts Collection at the British Library
As we have developed Japan Through Western Eyes, scholars have encouraged us to consider the inclusion of some Japanese language material. Often brought back by travellers and diplomats, this material was crucial in shaping Western perceptions of Japan.
The Oriental Manuscripts Collection at the British Library is immensely rich and includes many of the manuscripts brought back by Dr Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866).
Part 9 includes items such as:
- OR 865 - Political events in Japan since the arrival of Commodore Perry - Mizu karakuri
- OR 867 - Evening discourses regarding politics and history on board the River boat - Shirakawa yawa
- OR 869 - History of Japan from 1596-1614 with descriptions of the first relations with foreigners - Keicho go-kiroku
- OR 894 - Ancient and modern poetry compiled by order of the Mikado Gosen wakashu - Goshui wakashu
- OR 924 - Guide to the commanding of troops in action - Gunbai henkanki
- OR 961 - Musical performances of Lew-Chew - Ryukyu sogakuzu
- OR 993 - Drawings of temples at Nagasaki - Nagasaki jido narabi ni somoku chugyo zu
These few examples only hint at the range of material to be found – all of which will help to enrich our understanding of Japan.