Uncharted Waters: Intellectual Life in the Edo Period
Anna Beerens and Mark Teeuwen
In the Edo period, Japan had its first experience of what one might call “intellectual life” in a pregnant sense of the word: a scene that combined serious intellectual pursuits, from poetry writing to the interpretation of the Confucian classics, with intense social interaction. Edo-period Japan was crisscrossed by networks of poets, scholars, artists and collectors who exchanged information, discussed each other’s work, cooperated in collaborative projects, and gossiped about each other. Intellectual life in Edo Japan was a seething cauldron of social interaction and competition, sometimes harmoniously productive, sometimes destructively vicious, but never stagnant. This volume, compiled in honour of Prof. W.J. Boot, offers eleven essays that explore the intellectual scene of Edo-period Japan from a variety of perspectives.