Asian Studies

Asian Studies Seminar Series: Ian Gow (RESCHEDULED)

In brief

Date - 13 December 2023

Venue - Project Room 1.06, 50 George Square

Speaker - Professor Ian Gow (University of Edinburgh, The Japan Society of Scotland)

Title - 'Scots and Japan: First Contact 1613-1623'

Please note - this event has been rescheduled from its original date (25 October) to a new date of 13 December.

About the event

The last two decades of the Tokugawa era (1603-1867) ended over 2 centuries of self-imposed isolation from the West except for a small Dutch presence at Dejima Nagasaki. In the 1850s Scots such as Admiral Sir James Stirling (1854), Lord Elgin (1858) and Thomas Glover (1859) arrived in Japan and played key roles in Japan’s increased engagement with Western powers and rapid industrialisation.  However, almost nothing is known of Scots involved with Japan before the 1850s.

This talk reveals evidence of Scots working in Japan in the early 17th century and will also comment on the role played by King James VI and I. 

About the speaker

Professor Gow is a graduate from the University of Edinburgh in Politics and Modern History, and is also an Honorary Professor in East Asian Studies at the University. He is Chairman of the Japan Society of Scotland. He completed his PhD in Japanese studies at Sheffield University. He was Scotland’s first Professor of Japanese Studies (Stirling University) and then Chairman of the School of East Asian Studies (Sheffield University).

He has published extensively on Japanese defence and security (pre-war and post-war) and on Japanese business and management. Last year he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan for his services to Japanese studies and Japan-Scotland relations.

About the seminar series

Each year, Asian Studies welcomes a fantastic range of guest speakers and colleagues to present a seminar on their research, spanning fields as diverse as film and media, literature, religion, society, politics and international relations.

How to join

Events are free and everyone is welcome. No booking is necessary.

Are you interested in studying with us?

We are the only university in Scotland to offer full undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in both Chinese and Japanese, as well as postgraduate programmes in Korean Studies and East Asian Relations.

Find out more about Asian Studies at Edinburgh

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Dec 13 2023 -

Asian Studies Seminar Series: Ian Gow (RESCHEDULED)

Join us in-person for a seminar by Professor Ian Gow (University of Edinburgh, The Japan Society of Scotland) entitled 'Scots and Japan: First Contact 1613-1623'.

Room LG.08
40 George Square
University of Edinburgh
EH8 9JX