Narabayashi Chinzan (楢林鎮山)

Chinzan NARABAYASHI (January 26, 1649 - May 16, 1711) was a Dutch interpreter and a doctor in the early Edo period. His imina (personal name) was Tokitoshi, and Buddhist name was 栄休. He was commonly called Hikogoro, Shinemon, 新五兵衛 and 得生軒. He had a son, Eikyu NARABAYASHI.

He was from Nagaski City. He started studying Dutch since 9 years old, and he passed the examination that was taken by 300 people who came in and out Dejima at the age of 19 and became assistant translator, and then became translator in chief at the age of 39. He accompanied the curator of Dutch trading house, the Kapitan, as a translator eight times when he visited Edo, in addition, he also joined the negotiation for major incidents including the Return Incident as a translator. And also, he learned Dutch medicine from the medical officer of the Dutch trading house. However, he was suddenly suspected of engaging in secret communication with the Dutch in October 30, 1698, and after he was sentenced to heiko (heiko is the same meaning as house confinement in samurai family), he was dismissed as a translator. After he was forgiven and became a priest, he opened medical practice as a doctor and educated disciples while seeing patients, and his descendant and disciples' school was referred to as "Narabayashi Ryu (school)". In 1706, he published "紅夷外科宗伝", which he translated into Japanese from a Dutch version of a book written by a French surgeon, Ambroise Paré, and Ekiken KAIBARA, who was famous as a scholar of herbalism and Neo-Confucianism, contributed a preface to this book. Seitaishogun (commander-in-chief of the expeditionary force against the barbarians, great, unifying leader) Tsunayoshi TOKUGAWA who heard Chinzan NARABAYASHI's reputation invited him in 1708, however Chinzan declined this on the ground that he was a criminal. In addition, Chinzan also declined the invitation by the Fukuoka Clan Tunamasa KURODA for the same reason.

[Original Japanese]