Cover: Civilization and Enlightenment: The Early Thought of Fukuzawa Yukichi, from Harvard University PressCover: Civilization and Enlightenment in HARDCOVER

Civilization and Enlightenment

The Early Thought of Fukuzawa Yukichi

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Product Details


$42.00 • £33.95 • €38.00

ISBN 9780674031081

Publication Date: 01/15/2009


212 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

5 halftones, 7 line illustrations


An important book about Japan’s leading nineteenth-century thinker. In tracing the origins of Fukuzawa’s ideas and showing us how and why he emphasized certain aspects of Western thought, Albert Craig offers excellent insights into the forces for change that Fukuzawa spearheaded in Japan’s quest to achieve equality with the West. A tour de force of succinct, clear prose, this work is a significant contribution to intellectual and Japanese history.—Fred G. Notehelfer, University of California, Los Angeles

Considering Fukuzawa’s towering importance in the intellectual and cultural history of modern Japan, the English-language literature on him is astonishingly thin, so Craig’s fine, elegant book is a welcome addition. In a rich and subtle analysis, Craig reconstructs Fukuzawa’s reading of thinkers ranging from Locke and the luminaries of the Scottish Enlightenment, Guizot and Buckle, to American popular geographers. He provides a real sense of the texture and tone of the mid-nineteenth century—of the world as it first industrialized—as it impinged on Fukuzawa’s consciousness.—Andrew Barshay, University of California, Berkeley

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