This edition makes available once again Thunberg’s extraordinary writings on Japan, complete with illustrations, a full introduction and annotations. Carl Peter Thunberg, pupil and successor of Linnaeus – of the great fathers of modern science – spent eighteen fascinating months in the notoriously inaccessible Japan in 1775-1776, and this is his story.
Thunberg studied at Uppsala University in Sweden where he was a favourite student of the great Linnaeus, father of modern scientific classification. He determined to travel the world and enlisted as a physician with the Dutch East India Company. He arrived in Japan in the summer of 1775 and stayed for eighteen months. He observed Japan widely, and travelled to Edo (modern Tokyo) where he became friends with the shogun’s private physician, Katsuragawa Hoshû, a fine Scholar and a notorious rake. They maintained a correspondence even after Thunberg had returned to his homeland. Thunberg’s ‘Travels’ appeared in English in 1795 and until now has never been reprinted.
Fully annotated and introduced by Timon Screech.