Japan's Sakoku Period

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Japan's Sakoku period, two centuries when the country deliberately isolated itself from the Western world. Sakoku began with a series of edicts in the 1630s which restricted the rights of Japanese to leave their country and expelled most of the Europeans living there. For the next two hundred years, Dutch traders were the only Westerners free to live in Japan. It was not until 1858 and the gunboat diplomacy of the American Commodore Matthew Perry that Japan's international isolation finally ended. Although historians used to think of Japan as completely isolated from external influence during this period, recent scholarship suggests that Japanese society was far less isolated from European ideas during this period than previously thought.

With:

Richard Bowring
Emeritus Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge

Andrew Cobbing
Associate Professor of History at the University of Nottingham

Rebekah Clements
Research Fellow of Queens' College and Research Associate at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 4 Apr 2013 21:30

Related topics

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Professor Richard Bowring at the University of Cambridge

 

Professor Andrew Cobbing at the University of Nottingham

 

Dr Rebekah Clements at the University of Cambridge

 

Sakoku - Wikipedia

 

 

READING LIST:

 

Mary Elizabeth Berry, Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period (California University Press, 2006)

 

C. R. Boxer, The Christian Century in Japan, 1549-1650 (University of California Press, 1974)

 

R. P. Dore, Education in Tokugawa Japan (Athlone Press, 1984)

 

Robert Hellyer, Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640-1868 (Harvard University Press, 2010)

 

Watanabe Hiroshi (trans. David Noble), A History of Japanese Political Thought, 1600-1901 (International House of Japan, 2012)

 

James Huffman, Japan in World History (Oxford University Press, 2010)

 

Eiko Ikegami, The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan (Harvard University Press, 1995)

 

Marius B. Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan (Harvard University Press, 2000)

 

Sumie Jones and Kenji Watanabe (eds.), An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan's Mega-City (University of Hawai'i Press, 2013)

 

Engelbert Kaempfer (trans. Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey), Kaempfer’s Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed, (University of Hawai’i Press, 1999)

 

Donald Keene, The Japanese Discovery of Europe: Honda Toshiaki and other discoverers, 1720-1798 (Routledge & K. Paul, 1952)

 

Michael S. Laver, The Sakoku Edicts and the Politics of Tokugawa Hegemony (Cambria Press, 2011)

 

Timon Screech, The Lens Within the Heart: The Western Scientific Gaze and Popular Imagery in Later Edo Japan (Curzon, 2002)

 

Haruo Shirane, Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology (Columbia University Press, 2002)

 

Ronald P. Toby, State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu (Stanford University Press, 1991)

 

John Whitney Hall (ed.), The Cambridge History of Japan, vol 4: Early Modern Japan (Cambridge University Press, 1991)

 

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
ProducerThomas Morris
ProducerVictoria Brignell

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

Hildegard of Bingen

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

The Matter of the North

BBC_R4_MELVYN_BRAGG_AHW-1920.jpg

Melvyn Bragg explores the pivotal role of England's north in shaping modern Britain.

In Our Time podcasts

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.