Japan As They Saw It

Descriptions of Japan by American and British visitors in the 19th and early 20th centuries

When Japan opened to the outside world in the mid-19th century, people in the West were curious about this previously little-known country. Many foreign visitors and long-term residents tried to satisfy that curiosity by publishing written accounts of their stays. This site collects excerpts from those accounts.

The excerpts are grouped into seven broad categories: Japan, People, Culture, Economy, Government, Nature, and Places, with each category divided into subcategories. A full list appears in the Contents. Readers are encouraged to browse around the site as their interests take them.

More information about the site appears in the Introduction. There is also a Glossary, to help readers identify the current spellings of place names and other Japanese terms, and a list of Sources, including links both to the books excerpted here and to many others.


All of the content of this site may be downloaded as a free ebook from any of the following links:

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