Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 58 | 2022 > The Poetic Knowledge of Shizuki Tadao

The Poetic Knowledge of Shizuki Tadao

Traces of Dutch Poet Jacob Cats in Early Nineteenth-Century Japan

Lorenzo Nespoli    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia; Universiteit Leiden, Nederland    



In the history of the Dutch-Japanese relations, Shizuki Tadao is recognised as an extraordinary scholar. However, his translations of European books from Dutch into Japanese only paint a partial picture of his research. In fact, he also developed valuable theories on language that allowed the Japanese to better grasp Dutch. Furthermore, he introduced European grammatical concepts and terminology in Japan. A lesser-known interest of Shizuki was poetry, evidenced by three citations from the Dutch poet Jacob Cats (1577‑1660), found in Shizuki’s works on language, by two Dutch poems attributed to him, and by an additional indirect reference to Shizuki’s knowledge on the theory of poetry. The present article aims at better understanding the figure of Shizuki as a scholar of Dutch and to add a piece to the research on the spreading of Cats’ emblems.

June 30, 2022
May 17, 2022
Feb. 14, 2022

Keywords: Jacob CatsDutch poetryRangakuTatoeDutch studiesShizuki TadaoNakano RyūhoEmblemsRangogaku

Copyright: © 2022 Lorenzo Nespoli. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.