“The background to Japan’s modernisation” lecture (Report)

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On Sunday the 10th of December, at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Dr Hiroshi Kurushima of the National Museum of Japanese History gave a lecture on the background to Japan’s modernisation, focusing particularly on the Meiji Restoration.
Dr Kurushima introduced items brought back by from Japan by the German doctor Franz von Siebold, who worked in Dejima, Nagasaki, to show how Japanese society at the time of the Meiji Restoration had already matured and become ready to absorb the influence of Western civilisation. Dr Kurushima also introduced the biography written by the secretary of the Scottish aristocrat/diplomat James Bruce, the 8th Earl of Elgin, who concluded the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce. With 2018 being the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, Dr Kurushima emphasised the need to keep up the level of education and society that made the Meiji Restoration possible.
The lecture was attended by around 50 people, who enjoyed looking at pictures of Siebold’s collections and took great interest in learning about the background to the Meiji Restoration in detail.