Fellow's Seminar: Dr. Nelli LESHCHENKO

Invitation to the Fellow’s Seminar Fiscal 2008-2009 (on March 24, 2009)

The Japan Foundation
Europe, Middle East and Africa Div.

Cover of a book on Tokugawa Ieyasu

The Japan Foundation would like to welcome you to join us for the Fellows' Seminar for Fiscal 2008-2009. The presenter is Dr. Nelli LESHCHENKO from Russia, who is a leading researcher of institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, with an affiliation of WASEDA university.

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Time: 15:30-17:00
Venue: Seminar Room 2 at the Japan Foundation Head Office.
The Japan Foundation headquarters moved to the new office.
Please refer to the link below.


AdmissionAdmission Fee: Free
Language: Japanese (no interpretation)
Contact: If you would like to attend the seminar, please notify the address as below by 17:00 on March 23, 2009 with your name, affiliation, and contact information (tel., fax or e-mail).
[Contact Address]
Tel: 03-5369-6071/ Fax: 03-5369-6041 E-mail

If you would apply by e-mail, please be aware to write the name of the presenter and the date of the seminar in the title. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Presenter: Dr. Nelli LESHCHENKO
Presentation Theme: “The fifteen Tokugawa shoguns.
The portraits against the background of the epoch"

Tokugawa period is one of the most studied in contemporary Japanese historical science. During the 264 years of Tokugawa period the Tokugawa shoguns had been ruling the country. They were very different in their character references, and the personality of each of them to a large extent defined their conscious and activities, especially owing to the fact that they belonged to the same social group.
There are many works about Yoshimune, Tsunayoshi, Yoshinobu, but most of the works are dedicated to Ieyasu.
A lot of new research works about Tokugawa Ieyasu are published and many previous works are being republished (for example, Nakamura Koya’s and Kitajima Masamoto’s works). It is understandable due to the fact that Ieyasu’s activities to a large extend defined the epoch itself.
Tokugawa period was the longest period of one-dynasty permanent ruling. The reason of this stability lay in the forethought of the system of inheritance of the shogun title. That system was established by Ieyasu. Also he was the one who defined the strategy of mutual relations with other countries, which was in a way a system of national security. This strategy became the basis of Japanese diplomacy. So it is logical that his personality attracts not only historians’ attention, but also specialists of other fields.
After publishing the book “Tokugawa Shogun retsuden” in 1974 (this book been many times republished), there were no such academic works either in Japan or in other countries, though the interest to the human-factor aspect of history is increasing every year and can be pointed as a distinctive feature of contemporary historical works.
My research includes the tasks to show each of the fifteen shoguns not only as a politician but also as an individual in his everyday life in his surrounding, to study what role he played in history of the period, what were his credits in turning Edo into Japan’s cultural center, to what extent he depended on objective and subjective factors in his political decisions and what were his abilities to solve problems, to initiate reforms in the particular historical circumstances. Also the relations with the Imperial House will be touched upon.
That is, the history of each shogun’s life will be shown against the background of the epoch, abilities, habits, devotions. It will also be analyzed how each of the shoguns put himself on record in the history of Japan, taking into account the fact that every politician should be judged from the perspective of the particular historical period and the analysis of historical documents and sources can present quite a new view of the historical role of particular rulers.

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