In Hakata: The Cultural Worlds of Northern Kyushu, experts in various fields have collaborated to produce an interdisciplinary collection offering diverse insights on a region yet to be fully addressed in English. A historic port situated in a strategically vital region as the closest point of contact with the Asian continent, Hakata has long served as a key hub in the transcultural networks linking Japan with the outside world.
This volume explores the rich legacy of these wider interactions, in particular the cosmopolitan, international dimension deeply embedded in Hakata's urban culture. With an identity all its own and quite distinct from other regions in Japan, it is a culture once again increasingly relevant in today's world of borderless communications.
Andrew Cobbing is Associate Professor of History at the University of Nottingham. His research focuses on Japan's cultural encounters with the West in the mid-nineteenth century, particularly through overseas travels recorded in samurai diaries. He has published several articles and books, including The Japanese Discovery of Victorian Britain: Japan's Early Encounters with the Far West (2000) and together with Itami Masataro, Jeanie Eadie's Samurai: The Life and Times of a Meiji Entrepreneur and Agricultural Pioneer (2006). He has also translated Volume 3 of Kume Kunitake's official account of the Iwakura Embassy, 1871-1873. His most recent book is Kyushu: Gateway to Japan: A Concise History (2009).