The First European Description of Japan, 1585: A Critical English-Language Edition of Striking Contrasts in the Customs of Europe and Japan by Luis Frois, S.J.

By Luís Fróis

In 1585, on the top of Jesuit missionary job in Japan, which was once began via Francis Xavier in 1549, Luis Frois, a long-time missionary in Japan, drafted the earliest systematic comparability of Western and jap cultures. This booklet constitutes the 1st serious English-language version of the 1585 paintings, the unique of which was once found within the Royal Academy of heritage in Madrid after the second one global battle. The e-book presents a translation of the textual content, which isn't a continual narrative, yet far more than six hundred distichs or short couplets on topics akin to gender, baby rearing, faith, drugs, consuming, horses, writing, ships and seafaring, structure, and track and drama. furthermore, the e-book encompasses a sizeable advent and different editorial fabric to give an explanation for the historical past and in addition to make comparisons with present-day jap lifestyles. total, the publication represents an enormous fundamental resource for figuring out a very not easy interval of historical past and its connection to modern Europe and Japan.

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7. With us, it really is common to whip and punish a toddler; in Japan this is often very infrequent and so they simply reprimand them. way of life in sixteenth-century Europe used to be full of chance. many oldsters seen corporal punishment as a Biblically-sanctioned technique of insuring that kids didn't repeat habit that may get them killed by way of a horse, burned by means of a hearth, or run over via a cart. The Jesuits have been surprised that eastern mom and dad disciplined their youngsters exclusively with phrases, spoken to a baby of six as though she or he used to be a seventy year-old. Even this present day viewers and researchers alike comment on how eastern moms squat down and clarify issues at size to children,7 instead of easily call for obedience. eight. between us, one learns to learn and write from secular lecturers; in Japan, all of them study on the temple-schools8 of the Buddhist priests. towns and cities in Europe, quite in northern or Protestant Europe,9 usually demonstrated local colleges (gymnasia, ludi litterarii) the place the kids (particularly boys10) of commoners and the petty bourgeoisie obtained a easy schooling. Frois might overstate the level to which faculties have been staffed by way of secular academics, as common schooling in sixteenth-century Europe frequently fell to monks or non secular. certainly, in the course of the 16th century (albeit after Frois left Portugal in 154811) the Jesuits turned principally a educating order, constructing colleges all through Catholic Europe in addition to Asia and Latin the US With appreciate to Japan, Frois’ fellow Jesuit, Rodrigues, saw that the sons of nobles have been tutored at domestic whereas the remainder of the gentry studied in temple faculties. in keeping with Rodrigues: a few remain on the monasteries for his or her reviews, yet others go back domestic day-by-day if the monastery is close to their houses. those monasteries of the bonzes additionally function universities should you learn philosophy and the sciences and wish to stick with an ecclesiastical profession. within the district of Bando, within the state of Shiomonotsuke, there's a collage known as Ashikaga, whither scholars flock from everywhere Japan with a view to learn all of the sciences that are taught there free of charge. 12 nine. our youngsters examine first to learn after which to jot down; in Japan they begin with writing after which learn how to learn. eastern teenagers did certainly write chinese language characters earlier than they can learn them. simply because so much chinese language characters have a number of pronunciations in jap, gaining knowledge of a few of the probabilities, that's, interpreting, does certainly take even more time than writing (excepting an important variety of very advanced characters, which so much eastern learn how to learn yet by no means learn how to write). this present day the japanese nonetheless are tremendous on memorizing by means of writing. The thick, brushed line likely impresses the visible reminiscence, and it is vital to benefit the order of the strokes. in addition, such writing could be artwork. The calligraphy of uncomplicated institution young ones (usually only one or huge brushed characters) usually is on convey in jap rail and subway stations. 10. Our teachers train our youngsters the catechism, [the lives of] the saints, and virtuous conduct; the bonzes educate the kids to play tune, sing, play games,13 fence and perform their abominations with them.

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