Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Shizuki, Tadao

  • Steven L. Renshaw
Reference work entry

BornNagasaki, Japan, 1760

DiedNagasaki, Japan, 22 August 1806

Tadao Shizuki was a translator and commentator of works on natural philosophy; he introduced western (Newtonian) science into Japanese culture and attempted to reconcile its principles with Confucian notions. Shizuki was born into the Nakano family but was later adopted and became an eighth-generation son of the Shizuki family. His was a family of professional translators and interpreters (known as Tsuji) who concentrated primarily on Dutch and Japanese sources. Shizuki began practicing this profession in 1776. In the following year, however, he resigned his official position on the grounds of ill health, changed his family name back to Nakano, and began work on his own translations and commentaries. Later, he often used the pen name Ryuen Nakano.

Shizuki was the disciple of Ryoei Motoki who had begun translating western works on astronomy including explanations of the heliocentric system of  Nicolaus Copernicus. In the Edo...

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Assistance in Japanese translation by Saori Ihara.

Selected References

  1. Nakayama, Shigeru (1969). A History of Japanese Astronomy: Chinese Background and Western Impact. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. — (1975). “Shizuki, Tadao.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 12, pp. 406–409. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  3. — (1978). “Japanese Scientific Thought.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 15 (Suppl. 1), pp. 728–758. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  4. Watanabe, Toshio (1986–1987). Kinsei Nihon Tenmongakushi (A Modern History of Astronomy in Japan). 2 vols. Tokyo: Koseisha Koseikaku.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kanda University of International StudiesChibaJapan