Frontispiece to 'The history of Japan', 1727.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving with shows Japanese motifs such as dragons, coats of arms, pendants of office, and ceremonial lances. Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716) was a German physician working at the Dutch trading post in Japan from 1690-1692. He became fascinated by Japan and asembled a large collection, including ephemera, natural specimens, costumes, books, calendars, and maps. On his return to Europe he wrote 'The History of Japan' (1727) which records many aspects of the country in the Genroku period (1688-1704).