Udagawa Youan (1798-1846), Pioneer of Botany and Chemistry Studies in Japan from Western Sources

Key information

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Virtual Event

About this event

Dr Yona Siderer (Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Seimi Kaiso first page of the first book. Photo: Y. Schley


In this article I present the Japanese book Seimi Kaiso, meaning Introduction to Chemistry, published in Japan between 1836-1847 by the medical doctor and scholar Udagawa Youan. The book was based on his study of and translations from more than twenty four chemistry books from Europe that were imported to Japan by Dutch ships. The books in Dutch, their authors, and their origin from other languages, e.g., Latin, French, Swedish and more will be presented.

Ref.: Yona Siderer. Udagawa Youan (1798-1846), Pioneer of Chemistry Studies in Japan from Western Sources and his Successors. Published: "Substantia" , an International Journal of the History of Chemistry, the University of Firenze, Italy
Vol. 5 no.1, March 2021. pp. 99-117.

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Udagawa Youan (1798-1846), Pioneer of Botany and Chemistry Studies in Japan from Western Sources

Speaker Biography

Dr Siderer holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. in physical chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science and MBA from Tel Aviv University. She was a researcher in Israel, Japan, USA, Italy and England and took Japanese courses in Japan and in Israel.

Dr Siderer developed a deep interest in Japanese culture and people while she was a recipient of a fellowship in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from UNESCO and the Japanese Government.

Dr Siderer published poetry books in Hebrew and English and poems in Japanese. Former Head of the Israel-Japan Friendship Society, she is a member of the Israeli and the European Associations for Japanese Studies, and the Japanese Society for the History of Chemistry.

Organiser: SOAS Japan Research Centre

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk