Vol. 16 (2009)

Demon Capital Shanghai: The “Modern” Experience of Japanese Intellectuals - Chapter 2: Birth of an East Asian Information Network

Joshua A. Fogel
York University


In this chapter, Liu Jianhui traces the shifting flows of information into Japan, beginning with the Chinese translations of Western materials in the early Edo period, and rise in importance of Dutch learning texts happening, ironically, just as the Shogunate began to relax its controls information originating from Jesuit and Christian sources. Liu then discusses the important rise of a new information network centered on the East Asian “hub” of Shanghai in the aftermath of the Opium War and the chaos of the Taiping Rebellion in which works such as Wei Yuan’s Haiguo tuzhi and other works and translations coming from Chinese sources have an important impact in late Edo Japan.