Selected Essays by Fukuzawa Yukichi: On Government [Kõva köide]

Edited by (Harvard University, USA), Translated by (Harvard University, USA)
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During the sweeping changes taking place in 19th century Japan, no thinker was more important than Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835-1901). Born into a low-ranking samurai family, he traveled to Nagasaki at age nineteen to study Dutch. In 1858, he was sent to Edo to teach Dutch to domain students. In his spare time he taught himself English using a Dutch-English dictionary. Two years later, he was appointed a translator of diplomatic documents at the shogunal office of foreign affairs. In 1862, he founded a school that is now Keio University. Eager to introduce Western history and ideas to the Japanese, he wrote a series of books, including the bestselling Conditions in the West (1866).

In the late 1870s, he turned his attention to the prospects for parliamentary government in Japan. The central government was firmly in place and elective prefectural assemblies were about to be established. He wrote essays on the workings of such a system, drawing on his earlier travels abroad and his reading of de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, Walter Bagehot, and others. A realist and optimist, Fukuzawa assured his readers of the eventual success of parliamentary government in Japan. This book provides the first-English language translation of five essays that bear directly on the development of his thought and its legacy in Japanese culture.


Fukuzawa offers a valuable contemporary view of the debates that led to the establishment of the political institutions of imperial Japan. Masterfully translated and set in context by helpful commentary, these essays show Fukuzawa changing his mind even as he stands fast. * Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History, Columbia University in the City of New York, USA * To read this selection of Fukuzawa Yukichi's classic writings on Japan's government is to encounter a master observer, analyst, and advocate of epochal political change in the making. Thanks to the translations and commentary--along with the concise and expert introductory essay--offered in this volume, readers have the chance to follow as Fukuzawa's lively, supple, and powerful intellect grappled over three decades with the question of how Japan's government and people could together create a responsible and responsive polity. We owe a debt of gratitude to Albert and Teruko Craig for this scholarly gift. * Andrew E. Barshay, Professor of History, University of California Berkeley, USA *

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This book provides the first-English language translation of five essays that bear directly on the development of Fukuzawa Yukichi's thought and its legacy in Japanese culture.
Introduction The Progress of Civilization and the Stages of Government
1. The Progress of Civilization
2. Feudal Government, West and East
3. Westerners View Japanese Feudalism
4. Monarchy, the Second Stage of Government
5. Whitewashing European Monarchy
6. Representative Government, the Third Stage Fukuzawa's Politics The Later Essays
7. The Division of Power (Bunkenron), 1877
8. On a National Assembly (Kokkairon), 1879
9. The Trend of the Times (Jiji taiseiron), 1882
10. Revering the Emperor (Sonnoron), 1888
11. The Future Course of the Diet (Kokkai no zento), 1890 Endnotes Acknowledgments Index
Albert M. Craig is Harvard-Yenching Institute Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Harvard University, USA. He is the author of Choshu in the Meiji Restoration (1961), The Heritage of Japanese Civilization (2003), Civilization and Enlightenment: The Early Thought of Fukuzawa Yukichi (2009), and, with others, of East Asia, Tradition and Transformation (1973). He is the editor of Japan, A Comparative View (1973) and co-editor of Personality in Japanese History (1970). He was the director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute. He has also been a visiting professor at Kyoto, Tokyo and Keio universities. He has received Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Japan Foundation Fellowships. In 1988 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government. Teruko Craig is Senior Lecturer Emerita at Tufts University, USA. She has translated several books from Japanese into English, including Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai (1988), The Autobiography of Shibusawa Eiichi: From Peasant to Entrepreneur (1994), Remembering Aizu: The Testament of Shiba Goro (1999) and In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun: The Autobiography of a Japanese Feminist, Hiratsuka Raicho (2010).

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