BornKyoto, Japan, 1639
DiedEdo (Tokyo), Japan, 1715
Harumi Shibukawa inaugurated his country’s first calendar reforms in many centuries and belonged to the first generation of Japanese scholars who assimilated knowledge of western astronomical ideas and practices. Shibukawa was born into the Yasui family; his father was a professional go (board game) player. As a child, he was called Rokuzo. After his father’s death in 1652, Shibukawa took up go as a profession and adopted his father’s first name, Santetsu. From early childhood, he had the reputation of being a prodigy and showed a remarkable understanding of astronomy and calendar study. Shibukawa received his education from many of the leading scholars of the day. These included Ansai Yamazaki, with whom he studied Confucianism and the Shinto doctrine, and both Jyunsho Matsuda and Gentei Okanoi, from whom he received training in calendrical methods.
Shibukawa spent most of his life in Edo (present Tokyo) but passed time in Kyoto when...
Assistance in Japanese translation by Saori Ihara.
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