Seiyo Jijo

Seiyô Jijô (lit. "Conditions in the West") is among the earliest major writings of Fukuzawa Yukichi.

Fukuzawa composed the work after traveling to the West twice in the 1860s; written in a kana-heavy format readable by the average Japanese, it describes a broad range of aspects of Western society in detail, from climate to clothes, beds, and cookware, museums, hospitals, schools, and climate.

The book was published in the last month of Keiô 2 (Jan 1867 on the Western calendar), and quite quickly sold over 150,000 copies. Meanwhile, an additional 100,000 copies were sold in pirated editions.


  • Conrad Schirokauer, David Lurie, and Suzanne Gay, A Brief History of Japanese Civilization, Wadsworth Cengage (2013), 164.