Fukuzawa Yukichi is one of the representative enlightenment thinkers of Japan.

Yukichi was born at the Kurayashiki (Large warehouse residence in Osaka) of the Nakatsu Domain in Kyushu in 1835. His father was a lower-class samurai working at the Kurayashiki as an officer. As his father passed away early when Yukichi was eleven years old, his mother returned to Nakatsu with him. He gradually distinguished himself as a hard-working, diligent, honest boy. The first picture shows the humble house he lived, and the small earthen warehouse on the right where he studied hard day after day. After studying Dutch and Western gunnery in Nagasaki, the one and only door opened to the limited foreign countries, he studied natural science

at Teki-jyuku in Osaka. Teki-jyuku, established by Ogata Koan, was Japan's best private school at that time, and is still standing at the original place. When he was twenty-three years old, he became a professor of the private school at the principle residence of the Nakatsu Domain in Tsukiji, Edo, present Tokyo. He, thereafter, repeatedly visited the U.S.A and European countries for studying the affairs of developed countries. It was not long before Japan's modernization came into sight. He turned down the request for the important posts in the new government late in the 19th century, and decisively walked the path as a common enlightenment thinker as well as an educator. He actually established Keio University in1868, and Jiji-Shinposha newspaper publishing company in 1882. This paper was the most prestigious at that time. The famous books like "Encouragement of Learning" and "Affairs in Western countries" were written by him. His conspicuous deeds are too numerous to mention. In this connection, the portrait on a ten thousand yen bill, as shown in the second picture, is no less a person than Fukuzawa Yukichi.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。




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