Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Towards a Transcultural History of Diplomacy

  • Matsukata Fuyuko (University of Tokyo)
Friday 8 September 2017
Leiden Lecture Series in Japanese Studies
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. 

This website uses cookies.  More information.