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Anglo-American Connections in Japanese Chemistry: The Lab as by Yoshiyuki Kikuchi

By Yoshiyuki Kikuchi

Anglo-Japanese and American-Japanese connections in chemistry had an enormous impression at the institutionalization of medical and technological better schooling in Japan from the past due 19th century and onwards. They helped outline the constitution of eastern medical pedagogical and learn procedure that lasted good into the post-World global II interval of huge technological improvement, while it grew to become one of many largest companies of chemists and chemical engineers on this planet subsequent to Europe and the us. In telling this tale, Anglo-American Connections in eastern Chemistry explores quite a few websites of technological know-how schooling corresponding to educating laboratories and study rooms - the place British and American lecturers mingled with eastern scholars - to shed new mild at the lab as a domain of worldwide human come upon and complicated social relatives that formed medical perform.

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Hugh M. Matheson, the company’s London agent, welcomed the students and made arrangements for them. 12 Ryle Holme, Glover’s associate, accompanied the Satsuma group, and Glover’s brother, Jim, made arrangements for them in London. On the academic side, the principal organizer for both groups was Alexander William Williamson, UCL’s professor of chemistry and practical chemistry who took responsibility for the students’ private and social lives as well as their academic lives in London by being their teacher, advisor, and landlord.

43 Students’ enthusiasm for agricultural machinery is easily understood, considering the Satsuma domain’s policy of “enriching the nation” together with the landed interests of Satsuma high-ranking samurai. As I clarify in the next sections, this enthusiasm is a clue for understanding the students’ attitude toward Graham’s teaching. Around the time of the excursion, Williamson was preparing for enrolment of Satsuma students in his laboratory course starting in September 1865. Graham was involved in the laboratory training of Satsuma students at UCL.

Therefore, one important motive of the Chōshū domain government in sending students overseas was to have them learn naval techniques to “suppress barbarians with the arts of barbarians” (i no jutsu o motte i o seisu). Sending young samurai to Britain, the foremost sea power throughout the nineteenth century, was a sensible choice for the Chōshū leadership. Senior government officials of the domain secured funding for overseas students by diverting money allocated for purchasing Western-style guns, and likened sending the students to the purchase of “human machines” (hito no kikai) and “live machines” (ikeru kikai).

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