16 January: Contact zones and the making of chemistry education in Meiji Japan

12.30 - 14.00 hrs

IIAS, Conference Room
Rapenburg 59

Contact zones and the making of chemistry education in Meiji Japan

The making of techno-scientific higher education in Meiji Japan (1868-1912) is a fascinating case of global cross-cultural exchanges and dialogues. To appreciate as such in its full richness, however, requires a departure from a deep-rooted historiographical assumption about modern Japanese science.  That is to measure the success of its educational ventures in terms of their ‘genuineness’, i.e. correspondence to Western counterparts. Focusing on quintessential techno-science, chemistry, Dr Kikuchi discusses a variety of examples such as Tokyo University, the Imperial College of Engineering, Tokyo and the Imperial University where there were varied degrees of hybridization with traditional manufacture such as sake brewing and pigment making for porcelain and textile. He argues that the place where Western teachers and Japanese students interacted – “contact zones” – had strong impact on knowledge-making and pedagogical practices.

IIAS Lunch Lectures

Every third Wednesday of the month one of the IIAS researchers will present his/her work-in-progress in an informal setting to their colleagues and other interested attendees, followed by a lunch provided by IIAS. These lunch lectures are organized to give the research community the opportunity to freely discuss ongoing research and to exchange thoughts.

The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) is a postdoctoral research centre based in Leiden and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Our main objective is to encourage the interdisciplinary and comparative study of Asia and to promote national and international cooperation in the field. The institute focuses on the human and social sciences and on their interaction with other sciences.


The research profile Asian Modernities and Traditions (AMT) aims to raise the strength and visibility of research, teaching and dissemination of Asian Studies at Leiden University.

AMT on Japan

Leiden researchers on Japan

Leiden research projects on Japan

Leiden resources on Japan

Last Modified: 09-01-2013