From One East to the Other

Middle East Studies in Japan

by Modjtaba Sadria
published in MER205

Although direct encounters between the two extremes of Asia began in the seventh century [1] and the Imperial Treasures contain many items from the Middle East dating back more than a thousand years, systematic study of the Middle East in Japan did not emerge until the “modernization process” of the Meiji period, which began in 1868. [2] The Meiji restoration addressed, among other things, a number of capitulation treaties signed by the late Tokugawa regime with the Western powers. As part of their efforts to minimize Western influence, Meiji officials undertook numerous foreign studies.

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