A New Theory of the Earth

As I was working on my presentation on Yamagata Bantō's philosophical discourse for the ENOJP conference in Paris, I started to look more thoroughly into the various influences that informed his Yume no shiro 夢の代, the encyclopedic work he finished in 1820. And this is how I came across an extremely interesting text from 1696, William Whiston's A New Theory of the Earth - apparently, the text was translated in Japanese as 『西洋天話』 by Hashimoto Sōkichi, one of the most prominent rangaku scholars in early 19th century Osaka. Bantō read it, was fascinated with the model of the solar system that Whiston proposed (cometary catastrophism included) and then later used as a basis for his own model. But the most fascinating thing about Whiston's book is probably the full title: A New Theory…
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