Asaka Tanpaku

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  • Born: 1656
  • Died: 1737
  • Japanese: 安積澹泊 (Asaka Tanpaku)

Asaka Tanpaku was an early leader of the Mito school of scholarly studies. A scholar in service to lord of Mito han Tokugawa Mitsukuni, Tanpaku became a student of Zhu Shunsui, learning both vernacular (spoken) Chinese and the reading of the Confucian classics in Chinese pronunciation.

Tanpaku played a notable role in the compilation of the 1720 version of the Dai Nihon Shi ("History of Great Japan"); though sections written by Tanpaku, as well as a spin-off work entitled Dai Nihon shi sansô (also known as Dai Nihon shi ronsan) were excised from later versions of the Dai Nihon Shi, they circulated in manuscript form and were influential in the writings of a number of other Edo period scholars, including Rai San'yô.


  • Rebeckah Clements, "Speaking in Tongues? Daimyo, Zen Monks, and Spoken Chinese in Japan, 1661–1711," The Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 76, No. 3 (August) 2017: 615.