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Book TitleF@Japanese Students at Cambridge University in the Meiji Era, 1868-1912: Pioneers for the Modernization of Japan

 Originally authored in Japanese by Noboru Koyama, head of the Japanese department, Cambridge University Library

Translated into English by Ian C. Ruxton, associate professor of English at Kyushu Institute of Technology

With an introduction by Sir John Boyd, Master of Churchill College, Cambridge and a former British Ambassador to Japan

A photograph of the printed bookfs front cover:

The actual size is 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall (a journal size paperback). Here is a photograph of the inside of the book:

High quality print and fine paper.

(Please note: The above photos are of the version of the book which can be purchased directly from Lulu.com. Standard retail copies, which are 1/4 inch narrower and on acid-free paper, can be purchased from online bookstores such as amazon.com.)

235 pages total (Introductory pages i-xviii; Main text 1-217)

Nine black & white images

ISBN: 1411612566 (You can search for it here.)

Published by Lulu.com (Print On Demand title)

September 2004

Download the Book Preview – a PDF document.

The PRWeb press release, also a PDF, is here.

As advertised in Fukuoka Now and by the Cambridge University Anglo-Japanese Society.

University of Cambridge

Motto (Latin): Hinc lucem et pocula sacra

Literal translation: "From here, light and sacred draughts.h@Non-literal translation: "From the university we receive enlightenment and precious knowledge."

Page Index

1.   A selection of favourable comments from reviewers

2.   Further details of contents

3.   Book outline

4.   How and where to obtain this book

5.   External links

P. A selection of favourable comments received from reviewers

gRare Glimpse

Ian Ruxton has written about an area that is little researched in contemporary history--the first intercultural student exchange between Japan and Britain. The book provides such detail that the characters come to life through their letters and responses to problems, love, and to the academic challenges of the time. Most readers will readily appreciate how both the Japanese and British benefited from this exchange, and as a result, it reminds us of the importance of such exchanges today. We see that some issues and problems will always be with us in such intercultural exchanges---finding financial assistance, dealing with intercultural romance, and simply getting people back "home" to accept the changes in views, values, and ideas that come from being abroad. In short, if one wants to see and read about a rare and human part of history, then read this book.h

Reviewed on amazon.com by Robert W. Long III (Japan) , December 8, 2004. See all reviews by Robert Long.


gAcademic Yet Readable

Printed history can often be prosaic, especially when presented as a translated treatise. Ian Ruxton has skilfully avoided any hint of academic posturing or preciousness. His translation is lively and informative, and the scope, although vast, is always accessible. The premise that Japanese modernization was significantly influenced by overseas study is supported throughout the text. Ian obviously understands both his subject and the role of the translator, and the many hours needed to produce this valuable and informative text is reflected in the clear prose style. I admire people who know what they're doing and who do it with skill. Ian Ruxton is one of these people.h   Mark McKirdy


 gJapanologists, Buy This Book

Ian Ruxton is a first class researcher and writer who has put his heart and soul into this book. No self-respecting Japanologist should be without it. I should add, however, that not only scholars but also anyone interested in the Meiji Era in Japan or Anglo-Japanese relations will enjoy it, too. Great job, Ian, and best of luck in future projects, as well.h  Robert Norris


gAs a language teacher, I can appreciate the time spent on translating this old literary giant, Ian has made this difficult subject open to the masses in a way that even those with limited interest in the subject can read and appreciate. It is well written originally, well translated, and Ian has displayed exceptional talent in his field. I was impressed with the ease of which the reader is drawn in and becomes interested.h    Angela Hooper – reviewed on amazon.com



gOn the surface, this book could be said to be aimed at a specialist market, as it centres on Japanese students studying at Cambridge in the days of the British Empire. This was with the ironic view of the prevention of Western Imperialism stretching to their shores, and the adapting and embracing of many inherent values, to strengthen their own empire. So, yes, it is specialist in this sense, but the way the introduction and the contents have been written and explainedcmakes it a very interesting and very informative read for all who can show at least a little concentration of something 'a little on the heavy side'. As a bonus, because of the data-intensive contents, interesting snippets such as the different reigns and even much of the Japanese Calendar is herecyou will be impressed by an absolutely staggering start, devoid of over-heavy grammar which accompanies many similar tomes.h   John Haines



gHighly Professional Academic Work!

Hello all. As a poet interested primarily in the study of poetics and philosophy, I have done very little study elsewhere, but I've noticed that one of the profound benefits of our modern society is the birth of the "specialist" entity in nonfiction and the professional world. In other words, most professionals must specialize in a certain area to achieve much success in this present-day highly advanced technological society. Here, Ian Ruxton has brought to us quite a precise academic translation of a book exploring the British/Japanese relationship in the past century, specifically, the tremendous impact that Cambridge University itself has had on the modernization (technologically, socially, and academically) of the great Japanese empire. Though this is not my area of expertise (I don't pretend to be an authority in this specific genre), I must say that if I was going to do an intense study on what has led to the development and globalization of the Japanese culture, this English translation would certainly be among the authorities I would consult in my research. As an English teacher, perhaps what impresses me the most about this work is its high professional quality---the grammatical structuring is superb, evident from the very beginning in the very helpful introduction and preface. This book has not been created haphazardly. Many of the self-published books here so extremely unfortunately show evidence of poor organization, structure, grammar and mechanics; this is an insult to us serious writers, and to the world of scholarship and writing period. Thankfully, I find here a breath of fresh air, an authority who takes his work seriously, and who gives only the best of quality in his work. To those of you seriously interested in the study of the Japanese globalization and modernization, specifically Britain's part, and even more specifically Cambridge University's role, this is a must-have for your academic library. Excellent!h  Emanuel Yarbrough

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2. Further details of contents

This fascinating story is hardly known at all outside Japan, and is told here for the first time in English. The original Japanese version of this book is available from amazon.co.jp here. The Japanese book cover design is here. The Japanese names below are given in the Japanese way, i.e. family name first, then given name.

The central figure described in this book is Kikuchi Dairoku (1855-1917) who read Mathematics at St. Johnfs College, Cambridge and also obtained a London University degree. Kikuchi was one of a group of outstanding students at St. Johnfs College, which included Donald MacAlister, later Principal of Glasgow University. Baron Kikuchi subsequently wrote mathematics text books for Japanese schools, and became President of Tokyo Imperial University and Minister of Education (Monbudaijin) in Japan. He was briefly the first President of the Science Research Institute of JapaniRikagakukenkyusho or RIKENj before his death in 1917.

Kikuchi Dairoku of St. Johnfs College in later life as a professor of the Tokyo Imperial University

Another important Japanese at St. Johnfs was the multi-talented statesman Suematsu Kencho – see Ian Ruxtonfs portrait of him in Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits, Volume V. See also Chapter 4 of the present book.

The most important Gonville & Caius College man is probably the diplomat Inagaki Manjiro (1861-1908). He founded the Japanese Club at Cambridge to study the ways of the English gentleman and successfully submitted a petition to the Council of the Senate to exempt Japanese students from the study of Greek in the entrance examination. Later he was Japanfs first Minister Resident in Siam/Thailand in 1897 (see here) and a scholar of international relations.

@Baron Okura Kishichiro was a Trinity College, Cambridge man who represented the sporting and playboy element: 

gMr. K. Okura, the plucky Japanese who drives a 120 h.p. F.I.A.T. racer, imbibed much of his love for sport during his stay at Cambridge University, where he was a popular favourite among the rowing men. He acted as cox in the First Trinity eight at Henley in 1904, when his boat ran second in the LadiesfChallenge Plate, and claims the honour of being the first Japanese to be enrolled as a member of the Leander Clubch (Motor, June 25, 1907)

3. Book Outline

Front Pages  (This is the Preview in Portable Document Format or PDF for short. Read it with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader and download it if you wish. It includes the introduction, preface, contents page and prologue))

Chapters 1-6




Appendices: I-VII



4. How and where to obtain this book

 (a) The retail version (8.25 x 11.0 in., Perfect-bound, 50# white interior paper, high quality, acid-free, book-grade opaque paper stock, black and white interior ink, bright white 80# exterior paper, full-color CMYK exterior)

The retail version of the book can be bought online from amazon.com (Search Inside the Book available), Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Japan Zone etc. Prices seem to vary quite a bit.

In Japan this version can be purchased online from amazon.co.jp, maruzen.co.jp, Kinokuniya Book Web and the Daigaku Seikyou (University Co-op) – for Co-op members only.

In Britain this version can be purchased online from amazon.co.uk, Blackwellfs Online and the even more cheaply with free shipping from Computer Manuals and Bookfellas.

See also amazon.ca (Canada), amazon.co.fr (France) and amazon.co.de (Germany).

(b) The Lulu version (8.5 x 11.0 in., Perfect-bound, 60# white interior paper, black and white interior ink, 100# white exterior paper, full-color CMYK exterior)

The Lulu version - see photos above - is now available since September 1, 2004 from my storefront on Lulu.com. The printed book is of course more expensive than the e-book, takes longer to reach you and shipping is usually charged extra when bought from Lulu. However, if you buy goods over $25 total value you will qualify for SuperSaver, which will give you free domestic U.S. shipping, and also free international shipping may still be available. (Note: You must become a member of Lulu.com to buy from the website, which is an easy and quite painless process.)

The Lulu version is also available at the following bookstores in Kyushu, Japan: Maruzen bookstore in Fukuoka city (3rd Floor of the Fukuoka Building in Tenjin), the KIT Co-Op (Tobata campus).

(c) Libraries

Libraries with holdings of this book include: U.S. Library of Congress control number 2005353034; the British Library; the National Library of Scotland, the Bodleian Japanese Library (Oxford University) and the Cambridge University Library as listed on COPAC; and so far four libraries on NACSIS (Japan) including Nichibunken.

There are ten copies at the Tobata campus library of Kyushu Institute of Technology, five for researchers and five for ordinary borrowers.

The book has recently been listed on the Japanese Studies Network Forum . It is also recommended on the website of the Japan-British Society (January 2005) and in the newsletter of the The Cambridge & Oxford Society, Tokyo .

Download the Book Preview – a PDF document

A photo of the proud author and his creation

5. External Links


The Asiatic Society of Japan was established in Yokohama in 1872


The Japan-British Society – founded in 1908


The Japan Society of London was founded in 1891

The Cambridge & Oxford Society (Tokyo) was founded in 1905, and is celebrating its centenary next year.

Ian Ruxtonfs Home Page

Ianfs Ernest Satow page – where you can find more of my books!

Ianfs James Murdoch page

Japanese Rugby page

The Department of Human Sciences home page, which is partly in Japanese.

KIT Home Page (English & Japanese)