Universiteit Leiden

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Towards a Transcultural History of Diplomacy

  • Matsukata Fuyuko (Universiteit van Tokio)
donderdag 14 september 2017
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

International relations in pre-modern Asia is often explained in terms of a “tributary system.”  In this talk I challenge this idea that all diplomatic relations in Asia were vertical. Using examples from the foreign relations of Japan’s early modern state, the Tokugawa Shogunate, I suggest that pre-modern foreign relations in Asia were actually much more diverse. I propose the concept “letter diplomacy” instead in order to describe a more flexible picture of interstate relations in pre-modern Asia.

About the speaker

Fuyuko Matsukata, Professor in the Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo, is one of the world’s foremost experts on Dutch-Japanese relations. She is the author of four major books and dozens of articles, including articles in English published in Itinerario and Monumenta Nipponica. 

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