Waseda University Library Rare Material Collections

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Microscope (in use by Udagawa Yoan?)
Call Number: Bunko8-C1425
Image

Microscope

(in use by Udagawa Yoan?). In brass. Height: 22 cm. ; body tube: 13 cm. With rosewood stand + 4 microscope slides.
This is the microscope which presumably P. F. von Siebold gifted to UDAGAWA Yoan, the scholar of Western studies.

Siebold arrived in Japan as medical officer for the Dutch settlement on Dejima, Nagasaki in 1823, and went to Edo (now Tokyo) in 1826, accompanying J.W.de Sturler, the chief merchant of the settlement. It was during his stay at Edo that he met Udagawa Yoan.

Udagawa, specializing in Dutch studies, is often referred to as the originator of modern Japanese chemistry and botany. His ability in foreign languages and his vast scientific knowledge surprised even Siebold. When parting, Udagawa gifted Siebold with a large number of Japanese plants, while Siebold purportedly gave Udagawa Western publications on botany and also a microscope. It is presumed that the microscope of Waseda University, presented here, was the very gift at that time.

This microscope can be dismantled, with its composition almost the same as ones produced today. The accompanying slides, composed of transparent mica (centers) and tortoiseshells and horns (frames), confine plant specimens such as Rhus succedanea and Aphananthe aspera.
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First drafted August 24, 1999
Last revised November 25, 2005