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Ватанабэ Кадзан (1793–1841) и его сочинение «Об [удобном] моменте для [проявления] благоразумия»

Щепкин В. В.

This publication presents the first translation into Russian of the essay “On the [Favorable] Moment [to Display] Reasonableness” (“Shinkiron”) written by a famous Japanese artist and intellectual, an adherent of Dutch studies Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841). This essay was written in 1838 as a response to the shooting attack on the United States trade ship “Morrison”, which delivered shipwrecked Japanese sailors, by Japanese government in the previous year (even though the author didn’t know all details concerning the incident). The main appeal of the author is to display reasonableness, that is to stop shying away from the changing world and to realize Japan’s situation in it, and for this end to turn to Western learning whose adherent the author was, and to reconsider the policy toward foreign vessels. In his essay, Watanabe Kazan pays great attention to Great Britain and Russia by presenting these two countries as greatest world powers but comparing them on several characteristics. In general, the author shows deep knowledge of the global situation and world history, making comparisons between Japan and other countries of the world, while his essay is indicative of the development of Western studies in 1830s’ Japan. The preface represents the details of the attack on the “Morrison” and the creation of the essay. The spread of “The Tale of a Dream in Bojutsu Year” written by Kazan’s friend and like-minded person Takano Choei led to punitive measures by the government against advocates of Western learning. The manuscript of “Shinkiron” was discovered during the search at Kazan’s house and the author was sentenced to home arrest and committed suicide two years later.