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Anglo-American Connections in Japanese Chemistry: The Lab as by Yoshiyuki Kikuchi

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By Yoshiyuki Kikuchi

Anglo-Japanese and American-Japanese connections in chemistry had an important effect at the institutionalization of clinical and technological greater schooling in Japan from the past due 19th century and onwards. They helped outline the constitution of jap clinical pedagogical and examine procedure that lasted good into the post-World global II interval of big technological improvement, while it turned one of many greatest services of chemists and chemical engineers on this planet subsequent to Europe and the us. In telling this tale, Anglo-American Connections in jap Chemistry explores numerous websites of technological know-how schooling comparable to educating laboratories and school rooms - the place British and American academics mingled with jap scholars - to shed new gentle at the lab as a website of world human come upon and complicated social family members that formed clinical perform.

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They advance science beyond what other countries have done, invent new theories of machines, and innovate on age-old methods. ” Graham pointed out that, apart from tremendous linguistic difficulty, “the evil of hasty learning [sōshin]” hindered their progress: They want to acquire the substance of subjects for practical use [jitsuyō gakka] and to climb to the height all at once without sufficient training in the basis and outline of science, which should be regarded as the foundation of subjects for practical use.

28 A N G L O - A M E R I C A N C O N N E C T I O N S I N J A PA N E S E C H E M I S T R Y How did early Meiji educators meet such manifold challenges? In addressing this question this chapter analyzes one of the earliest cases of laboratorybased techno-scientific education in early Meiji Japan: the Department of Chemistry developed and run between 1874 and 1881 by British chemist Robert William Atkinson at the Tokyo Kaisei Gakkō, which became part of Tokyo University in 1877. It had its origin in a distinctly Japanese institution (I give a more precise meaning to the term afterward), a foreign-language school established by the Tokugawa Shogunate more than a decade before the Meiji Restoration in 1868.

These circumstances inevitably influenced the feeling of the militaryminded Chōshū students who would go to Britain in 1863. For example, when Takasugi Shinsaku, the leading military reformer of the Chōshū domain, led an arson attack on the newly built British embassy building in Shinagawa near Edo (Tokyo) in December 1862, he was joined by future UCL Chōshū students, Inoue Kaoru, Itō Hirobumi, and Yamao Yōzō. Therefore, one important motive of the Chōshū domain government in sending students overseas was to have them learn naval techniques to “suppress barbarians with the arts of barbarians” (i no jutsu o motte i o seisu).

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