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«A Monologue About Foreign Ships» by Sugita Genpaku


  • Olga V. Klimova

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


This study will introduce and examine the work of Sugita Genpaku (20.10.1733-01.06.1817) – “A monologue about foreign ships” (“Yaso:dokuwa” ????) – valuable historical document that introduces the reaction of the Japanese government to the expedition of Khvostov and Davidov to Sakhalin in 1806-1807. It was written in the beginning of the 19th century, the period which is believed to be a turning point in the early Russo-Japanese relationship, when Russia began to be perceived as a major dangerous enemy. This unique document, which is hardly ever mentioned in the researches, stands out in long list of Japanese archive documents of the 19th century as one of the very few that depicts Russia as a possible trade partner and not the enemy. It was originally written by Sugita Genpaku in 1807 and was published for the first time in 1934 as a part of the multi-volume book called “The thoughts of Great Japan” (Dainippon shiso: zenshu: ???????). However, in spite of that it has been ignored by the majority of scholars throughout the world including Russia and Japan. This study will introduce the most interesting parts of the work, which describes the response of the Japanese government to the actions of two Russian officers – lieutenant Khvostov (1776–1809) and midshipman Davidov (1784?–1809) at Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in 1806 and 1807. This paper will answer following questions: what was the image of Russia in Japan? What impact did the expedition to Sakhalin have on Japanese government and society? What was the best way to address the challenges Japan was facing and could the trade with Russia help to solve them?

Suggested Citation

  • Olga V. Klimova, 2016. "«A Monologue About Foreign Ships» by Sugita Genpaku," HSE Working papers WP BRP 135/HUM/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:135/hum/2016

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    1. Maria Trinidad Alvarez Medina & Marco Alberto Núnez Ramirez & Teodoro Rafael Wendlandt, 2017. "Characterization Of The Of Red Fresh Tomato Value Chain In Mexico , Caracterizacion De La Cadena De Valor Del Tomate Rojo Fresco En Mexico," Revista Global de Negocios, The Institute for Business and Finance Research, vol. 5(3), pages 45-58.
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    Sugita Genpaku; Sakhalin; Russia; Japan; Khvostov.;

    JEL classification:

    • Z - Other Special Topics

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