Nishi Amane’s Reception and Translation of Political Thought in the Early Meiji Era

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2025-05-25

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2023

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Abstract

This project will explore Meiji Japan’s reception of right training its sights on Nishi Amane 西周 (1829-1897)’s discussion of the concept in Meiroku Zasshi. The importation of numerous western political concepts, which had not existed in the Japanese language, naturally entailed intellectual efforts to come up with new words, or neologisms, and political ways of thinking. In this project, from the understanding that right as in Nishi’s analysis resulted from the Dutch political economic thinking in the nineteenth century, I intend to examine both the historicity of the concept and semantic clash involved in Meiji Japan’s translation of right as ken權. From the exploration of Nishi’s ken, illuminating epistemological shifts that occurred both in the target and source languages, I hope to observe the originality with which he attempted to articulate the new political economic make-up of the new Japanese state.

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Pyo, Seung Hyeon (2023). Nishi Amane’s Reception and Translation of Political Thought in the Early Meiji Era. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27895.

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