Title: Trials and Tribulations of Transfer: Isaac Titsingh and the Transfer of Knowledge from Japan to Europe in the Late Eighteenth Century
Authors: van Waarden, Betto # ×
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Australian Association for Maritime History Inc.
Series Title: The Great Circle vol:36 issue:2 pages:21-53
Abstract: To discover what barriers possibly hindered the movement of ideas, I analyse the correspondence of Isaac Titsingh, an official of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company, who attempted to bring Japanese ideas to educated European elites. Based on his letters, I argue that the transfer of accurate knowledge from Japan to Europe in the late eighteenth century was a struggle resulting from fluctuating technical and political barriers, and constant cultural and social barriers. I suggest that all these obstacles existed through time and were surmountable, but that their influences relative to each other changed. The accumulation and dissemination of knowledge motivated Titsingh to forge relationships with scholars in Asia and Europe, and via his correspondence he essentially expanded the cosmopolitan republic of letters to Japan and attempted to include the Japanese in the formation of their depiction in the broader European study of the ‘Orient’.
ISSN: 0156-8698
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Non-KU Leuven Association publications
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:
File Description Status SizeFormat
Isaac Titsingh and the Transfer of Knowledge from Japan to Europe in the Late Eighteenth Century.pdfOA article Published 2134KbAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

These files are only available to some KU Leuven Association staff members


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.