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Science and Culture in Traditional Japan (A. D. 600-1854) 9780262191555

Science and Culture in Traditional Japan (A. D. 600-1854)

ISBN-10: 0262191555
ISBN-13: 9780262191555
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: MIT Press
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: Understanding the processes by which science enters and transforms a society has never been a simple task, and it is to the credit of authors Sugimoto and Swain that Science and Culture in Traditional Japan (A.D. 600-1854)makes this process understandable to general readers as well as specialists. Deliberately eschewing a merely scientific or technological focus, the two authors have undertaken to show the development of premodern science in Japan in the context of that country's social and intellectual milieu. Anyone who wishes to understand the development of Japan's science and technology over the last hundred years will appreciate this history of the centuries that preceded modernization, for it is the story of why and how Japan was ready and, more importantly, able to make the leap from Eastern to Western science. The book shows how Japan's long pattern of assimilation—in advancing and receding waves—of Chinese science (and some Western science) laid the foundation for an appreciation of the need for and value of the "new" Western knowledge. Science and Culture in Traditional Japan (A.D. 600-1854)begins with the first Chinese Cultural Wave, in which Chinese science was introduced into Japan but not completely assimilated. The book then goes on to show how social and political conditions led to patterns of deliberate withdrawal from outside cultural influences, introducing in turn some five centuries of indigenous development. It tells of the pressures for a modern society with the second Chinese Cultural Wave and the first Western Cultural Wave in the sixteenth century; how the Western school of thought was largely ignored in favor of the Eastern tradition; and details the social and intellectual factors that would eventually challenge Japanese isolationism and force a confrontation with the modern Western scientific traditions in the nineteenth century. The book concentrates on the three traditional fields of Japanese science—astrology and calendrical astronomy, mathematics, and medicine—and includes extensive tables and historical charts covering scientific activity over ten centuries. This book is volume 6 in the MIT East Asian Science Series, under the editorship of Nathan Sivin.

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PUBLICATION DATE:
400
CATEGORY: History, Science
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