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Book talk on "Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640-1868"
Robert Hellyer, Assistant Professor of History,Wake Forest University
NOTE NEW VENUE -- THIS TALK WILL NOW BE HELD IN THE OKIMOTO CONFERENCE ROOM AT ENCINA HALL EAST WING.
Hellyer's recently published book explores the internal dynamics and global contexts that shaped foreign relations in early modern Japan. Examining diplomacy, coastal defense, and especially foreign trade, it demonstrates that while the shogunate created the broader framework, foreign relations were implemented through cooperative but sometimes competitive relationships with the Satsuma and Tsushima domains. Successive Tokugawa leaders also proactively revised foreign trade, particularly with China, taking steps that mirrored the commercial stances of other Asian and Western states.
Through its examination of the internal and the global, the book offers fresh insights on the evolution of Japan's foreign relations in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It also suggests new approaches to understanding Japan's transition from using early modern East Asian practices of foreign relations to the national adoption of international relations, especially the recasting of foreign trade and the centralization of foreign relations authority, in the years surrounding the Meiji Restoration of 1868.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER / AUTHOR:
Thursday, May 27, 2010 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm