The Russian Discovery of Japan, 1670-1800: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Russian Discovery of Japan, 1670-1800

1st Edition

By David N. Wells


200 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415870269
pub: 2019-09-24
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During the period of the Tokugawa shogunate’s seclusion policy from about 1630 onwards there was very little European contact with Japan, apart from the very restricted Dutch presence at Nagasaki. During this period, however, Russians exploring Siberia and the Russian Far East came into contact with Japan, and further exploration and information collecting was encouraged by the Russian government, culminating in the first official Russian Embassy to Japan in 1792. This book examines the Russian discourse on Japan in the period, tracing the gradual accumulation of knowledge, and the development of Russian views, sometimes distorted, about Japan. The book includes key historical documents, some translated into English for the first time. The book is a pre-quel to the author’s previous book, Russian Views of Japan, 1792-1913: An Anthology of Early Travel Writing (Routledge, 2004).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Cosmography of 1670 3. Spafarii, Description of China (1678) 4. Vladimir Atlasov, Reports (1700-1) 5. Denbei, Report (1702) 6. Ignatii Kozyrevskii – Description of Japan (1726) 7. William Walton, Report to Vitus Bering (1739) 8. Martin Spanberg, Report to the Russian Admiralty (1739) 9. Sven Waxell, The American Expedition (1739) 10. Mauritius Benyowsky, Memoirs and Travels (1771) 11. Ivan Riumin, Notes of the Clerk Riumin on his Adventures with Benyowsky (1771) 12. Ivan Antipin, Expedition Journal 1779 13. Lesseps, Travels in Kamtschatka (1788)

About the Author

David Wells is a librarian and Russianist based in Perth, Western Australia. He is the editor and translator of Russian Views of Japan, 1792-1913: An Anthology of Travel Writing (Routledge Curzon 2004).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Asia has undergone immense and far reaching changes: war, revolution, occupation, industrialization. This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political and social history of individual countries as well as more broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies