Summary: Here is the autobiography of a remarkable man. Yukichi Fukuzawa's life covered the 66 years between 1835 and 1901, a period which comprised greater and more extraordinary changes than any other in the history of Japan. In his country's swift transformation from an isolated feudal state to a full-fledged member of the modern world, Fukuzawa played a leading role: he was the educator of the new Japan, the man who above all others explained to his countrymen the ideas b ...show moreehind the dazzling material evidence of Western civilization.
Dictated by Fukuzawa in 1897, this book vividly relates his story, from his childhood as a member of the lower samurai class in a small, caste-bound village. His escape from the hopeless destiny decreed by his social position, his adventures as a student of Dutch (the language of the only Westerners allowed in Japan), his travels aboard the first Japanese ship to sail to America -all prepared Fukuzawa to write Seiyo (Things Western), the book which made him famous. His special perspective on Japan's tempestuous 19th century gives Fukuzawa's life story added fascination. ...show less