The Poetic Knowledge of Shizuki Tadao
Traces of Dutch Poet Jacob Cats in Early Nineteenth-Century Japan
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.
Keywords: Dutch poetry • Rangaku • Nakano Ryūho • Emblems • Shizuki Tadao • Tatoe • Jacob Cats • Rangogaku • Dutch studies