Chapter ID: CBB406579391

The Adoption and Adaptation of Mechanical Clocks in Japan (2011)


This chapter examines the introduction and subsequent evolution of mechanical clocks in Japan. The mechanical clock was first brought by Jesuit missionaries as a gift to the rulers of Japan and China in the sixteenth century. After the prohibition of Christianity in Japan in the early years of the Tokugawa period, the clock evolved quite differently in the two countries. In China, increasingly elaborate Western clocks were either brought from the West or constructed in shops locally. In Japan, mechanical clocks were constructed exclusively by domestic craftsmen who modified them to indicate a seasonally variable system of hours. Although mechanical clocks were not owned and used widely, they were used by time-keepers at castles as well as at time-bell towers, to tell the time to city dwellers.

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Authors & Contributors
Fleck, Eliane Cristina Deckmann
Hiraoka, Ryuji
Asúa, Miguel de
Hsia, Florence C.
Chen, Hui-hung
Prieto, Andrés I.
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
科学史研究 Kagakusi Kenkyu (History of Science)
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Science in Context
The Catholic Historical Review
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
University of Chicago Press
Vanderbilt University Press
Oxford University Press
Faber & Faber
Johns Hopkins University Press
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Missionaries and missions
Science and religion
East Asia, civilization and culture
Transmission of ideas
Ricci, Matteo
Clavius, Christopher
Kangxi, Emperor of China
Xu, Guangqi
Verbiest, Ferdinand
Schall von Bell, Johann Adam
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
16th century
19th century
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Edo Era (Japan, 1603-1868)
South America
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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