Nihon Odai Ichiran

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Nihon Ōdai Ichiran, 1834.

Nihon Odai Ichiran (日本王代一覧 Nihon Ōdai Ichiran?, "Table of the rulers of Japan") is a 17th century chronicle of the reigns of the Japanese emperors before the 19th century.

According to the 1871 edition of the American cyclopaedia, a translation of Nihon Ōdai Ichiran (Annales des empereurs du japon) in 1834 was one of very few books about Japan; and it was written by one of the main writers about Japan up to that time.[1]

First book of its kind in the West[change | change source]

Dutch historian Isaac Titsingh brought the seven volumes of the book with him when he returned to Europe in 1797. He returned after twenty years in Asia. Titsingh's French translation was published in 1834.[2] The Japanese originals were lost in the 19th century wars in Europe.

This was the first major history of Japan to be published in the West. It was also the first history book by a Japanese writer to be published in Europe.

Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon, tr. par M. Isaac Titsingh avec l'aide de plusieurs interprètes attachés au comptoir hollandais de Nangasaki; ouvrage re., complété et cor. sur l'original japonais-chinois, accompagné de notes et précédé d'un Aperçu d'histoire mythologique du Japon, par M. J. Klaproth. (Annals of the emperors of Japan, trandslated by Isaac Titsingh with the help of several interpreters attached to the Dutch trading post of Nagasaki; work completed and corrected from the original Japanese-Chinese, with notes and preceded by an overview of mythological history of Japan by Julius Klaproth) Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. 1834.

Isaac Titsingh described Nihon odai ichiran as very dry. He thought that the translation was "a most tedious task."[3]

In the 1950s, Ōdai-ichiran was evaluated by Japanologist John Whitney Hall who confirmed Titsingh's work is a careful translation from Japanese sources.[4]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Ripley, George. (1871). The American Cyclopaedia: a Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge, Vol. 9, p. 547 col.1.
  2. Pouillon, François. (2008). Dictionnaire des orientalistes de langue française, p. 542.
  3. Screech, Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822, p. 65.
  4. Hall, John Whitney. (1955). Tanuma Okitsugu, 1719-1788, pp. 94-95.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Manuscript scans, Waseda University Library