Koseki Sanei (小関三英)

Sanei KOSEKI (July 25, 1787 - June 27, 1839) was a doctor and Dutch scholar during the late Edo Period. His real name was Kogi and his common name was Ryozo. His go (pen name) was Kakushu or Tokusai. Sanei was born in Tsuruoka City, Shonai Region, Dewa Province (Yamagata Prefecture).


Sanei was believed to have studied under Philipp Franz von Siebold in Nagasaki, but it became clear that there is no such evidence. Sanei studied Western studies under Choshuku YOSHIDA and Sajuro BABA, both of whom were Western doctors. He translated a book on internal medicine written by Consbruch and published it as 'Taisei Naika Shusei' (literally, Western Internal Medicine Compilation). In 1832, Sanei became a doctor of Kishiwada in Izumi Province and was later appointed as a translator belonging to Tenmonkata (Astronomical Institute) of bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). During this period, Sanei got acquainted with Kazan WATANABE (a senior vassal of the Tahara Domain) and Choei TAKANO (a doctor and Dutch scholar) and joined Shoshikai to give a lecture on history and geography. When Bansha no goku (Imprisonment of scholars of Western learning) occurred, Sanei, having heard of the imprisonment of Kanan and Choei, killed himself. It is believed that Sanei killed himself for fear of the punishment by bakufu for translating 'Yasoden' (a book on Jesus Christ) into colloquial speech, but some argue that Sanei did not have to commit suicide because bakufu had no reason to punish him.

Sanei was also interested in history of the Western world and introduced Napoleon BONAPARTE to Japan. He is the author of 'Seiigenbyoryaku' (literally, summary of Western medicine diseases) and 'Yochi-shi' (literally, a record of the earth).