Ludwig Riess was a professor of world history at Tokyo Imperial University from 1887 to 1902, and a direct disciple of Leopold von Ranke, who has been described as "the most important living historian in the second half of the [19th] century." Ranke's emphasis on political history and on the nation-state as the unit of analysis, and his pursuit of an objectivity emerging from primary sources, were profoundly fundamentally influential upon the discipline of History as it continues to be practiced today, and Riess surely conveyed his mentor's ideas and approaches to his Japanese students.
- "Leopold von Ranke," Encyclopedia Brittanica online. Accessed 9 Oct 2014.
- Marius Jansen, China in the Tokugawa World, Harvard University Press (1992), 2.