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Philipp Franz von Siebold & Japan

http://www.shiga-med.ac.jp/~koyama/pain/Siebold.jpg

Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold (February 17, 1796 – October 18, 1866) was a German physician.
He emerged as the first European to teach Western medicine in Japan. He obtained significance for his study of Japanese flora and fauna that were endemic to the unique biotic island landscape.
As a well-known expert on Japan, Siebold discovered that his expertise and opinions were sought after by a range of questioners. Whilst living in Boppard, from 1852 he was became involved in correspondence with Russian diplomats such as Baron von Budberg-Bönninghausen, the Russian ambassador to Prussia.
American Naval Commodore Matthew C. Perry consulted Siebold in advance of his voyage to Japan in 1854.

Though he is well known in Japan ("Shiboruto-san"), mentioned in the relevant schoolbooks, von Siebold is almost unknown to the Dutch, Germans or Americans, except among gardeners who admire many plants with the entitlement of the sieboldii and sieboldiana. The Hortus Botanicus in Leiden has recently laid out the "von Siebold Memorial Garden", a Japanese garden with plants sent by von Siebold. Japanese visitors come and visit this garden, to pay their respect for him.

Siebold museums:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1080/716054110_babce2e244.jpg

Against this disillusionment, a testimony of the remarkable character of von Siebold is found in the several museums dedicated to him.

* A museum now stands in a transformed, refitted, formal, first house of von Siebold in Leiden: the Siebold Huis.
* In Würzburg, Germany, a Siebold-Museum exists as well.
* And, the city Nagasaki, Japan, pays tribute to von Siebold by housing the Siebold Memorial Museum on property adjacent to von Siebold's former residence in the Narutaki neighborhood. The first museum dedicated to a non-Japanese in Japan.
http://www2e.biglobe.ne.jp/~tis-russ/seavolt1.files/siebold.jpg

His collections laid the foundation for the ethnographic museums of Munich and Leiden. Alexander von Siebold, his son to his European wife, donated much of the material left behind after von Siebold's death in Würzburg to the British Museum in London. The Royal Scientific Academy of St. Petersburg purchased 600 colored plates of the Flora Japonica.

The European tradition of sending doctors with botanical training to Japan had been long in existence. Sent on a mission by the Dutch East India Company, Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716), a German physician and a botanist who lived in Japan from 1690 until 1692, ushered in this tradition of a combination of physician and botanist. The Dutch East India Company did not, however, actually employ the Swedish botanist and physician Carl Peter Thunberg (1743–1828), who arrived in Japan in 1775.

His other son Heinrich (Henry) von Siebold (1852–1908), continued part of his father's research. As well, he is recognized together with Edward S. Morse as one of the founders of modern archaeological efforts in Japan.

By TS on May 27, 2010
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