Mitsukuri Shuhei (箕作秋坪)

Shuhei MITSUKURI (January 15, 1826 to December 3, 1886) was a Dutch scholar (a person who studied Western sciences by means of the Dutch language).

Biography

He was born the second son to Bunri KIKUCHI, a Confucian, in the Bicchu Province (currently, Okayama Prefecture). He was Genpo MITSUKURI's disciple at first, then became Koan OGATA's. After that, he got married to Genpo's third daughter, Tsune, becoming an adopted son-in-law and four sons were born to them.

He became an assistant to a professor in Bansho shirabesho (the former University of Tokyo). After the Meiji restoration, he established Sansha Gakusha and joined Meirokusha, an intellectual society, to work as an enlightenment thinker. At that time, Shuhei MITSUKURI's Sansha Gakusha and Yukichi FUKUZAWA's Keio Gijuku were referred to as the twin jewels of the Western studies schools and Heihachiro TOGO, Takashi HARA, Kiichiro HIRANUMA, Fumihiko OTSUKI, etc. studied in Sansha Gakusha. He was famous for Western studies, but also an authority on Sinology.

After his wife Tsune's death, he remarried Tsune's younger sister Shin (Chima, Genpo's fourth daughter). Like Shuhei, Shin's former husband Shogo MITSUKURI was an adopted son-in-law, but he died young after only son Rinsho was born to the couple. After that, Shin became a widow. Naoko, the eldest daughter born to Shin and Shuhei, married Shogoro TSUBOI, an anthropologist. While the eldest son Keigo died young, the second son Dairoku became an adopted heir of the Kikuchi family, Shuhei's family home. The zoologist Kakichi MITSUKURI was the third son, and the historian Genpachi was the fourth son.