Engelbert Kaempfer's work was a best-seller from the moment it was published in London in 1727 and remains one of the most valuable sources for historians of the Tokugawa period. The narrative describes what no Japanese was permitted to record (the details of the shogun's castle, for example) and what no Japanese thought worthy of recording (the minutiae of everyday life). However, all previous translations of the history oar flawed, being based on the work of an 18th century Swiss translator or that of the German editor some fifty years later who had little knowledge of Japan and resented Kaempfer's praise of the heathen country. Beatrice Bodart-Bailey's new translation of this classic, which reflects careful study of Kaempfer's original manuscript, reclaims the work for the modern reader, placing it in the context of what is currently known about Tokugawa Japan and restoring the humour and freshness of Kaempfer's observations and impressions. In Kaempfer's Japan we have, for the first time, and accurate and thoroughly readable annotated translation of Kaempfer's colourful account of pre-modern Japan.
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- ID: 9780824820664
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