Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835-1901) is one of the most famous figures of modern Japan. He was an intellectual, journalist, and educator who was the most visible advocate of modernization and Western Learning in the 1870s and 1880s. In this excerpt from his 1872 An Encouragement of Learning, Fukuzawa rejects traditional social hierarchies and the classical mode of education practiced by those at the... Read More »
Everywhere you go, there it is.
Even when we are not listening, music is around us. It blares from radios and headphones, kicks off sporting events, energizes crowds at demonstrations, and intrudes on our shopping experiences. Just now, a tune tinkling from a passing ice-cream truck interrupted the writing of these words. The commercial marketing of recorded music has been a fact of... Read More »
The article "Woman" was written by four contributors who considered the question from four angles: medicine and the history of opinions about women’s nature; writings about women’s place in the state and marriage; the social differences between men and women; and women’s legal status in different societies. Although the Encyclopedia, the fundamental compendium of the Enlightenment, repeated... Read More »
Katsu Kokichi (1802–1850), a middle- to lower-ranking samurai without distinction, nevertheless wrote his life story, supposedly to warn his children against his own disgraceful behavior. Yet, he brags of his mischief and rebelliousness, while relating how he dropped out of a shogunate academy, ran away from home (twice), and lived by his wits and his sword as a beggar and a hoodlum, until he... Read More »
These two photographs show before and after pictures of Blocksom's School in Sussex County in rural Delaware. The first photo (taken in 1917) shows the pupils standing outside the original one-room schoolhouse made of wood. In addition to an outhouse and heat provided by a pot-bellied stove, which the older boys had to start every morning and keep burning during the school day, there is no... Read More »
Born in 1870 into a Parsee family in India, Cornelia Sorabji (1870–1954) became a writer and a lawyer. By the end of the Victorian period, many elite Indian men had traveled to Britain to study. Cornelia Sorabji became the first female law student at Oxford University, where she studied from 1889 to 1894. Since women were barred from practicing as lawyers in Britain until 1919, after... Read More »