Noro Genjo (野呂元丈)

Genjo NORO (January 15, 1694 - August 6, 1761) was a scholar of herbalism of the mid Edo period. He is said to have been a pioneer of Western studies in Japan. His real name was Saneo TAKAHASHI. His common name was Genji. He called himself Renzan. He was an adopted son of Sansei NORO.

Personal History

He was born in Ise Province (present-day Taki Town). At age 20, he went to Kyoto to study medical science, Confucianism, and Herbalism. In 1720, he collected herbs of various areas under the orders of the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). The then seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") Yoshimune TOKUGAWA was open-minded to introduce practical kinds of Western studies and he ordered Noro and Konyo AOKI to learn Dutch. He heard about the botany book written by John Jonston from Dutch residence who resided in Edo and he wrote the "Oranda Honzo Wage" (Dutch Botany Explained in Japanese), the first natural history book in Japan.

House of Genjo

There is a memorial house of Genjo NORO called the 'House of Genjo' to praise his achievements in his hometown of Hatase, Taki Town, Taki County, Mie Prefecture.

There is also the Nakayama Herb Garden adjacent to the memorial house.

[Original Japanese]