Rai Sanyo

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  • Born: 1780
  • Died: 1832
  • Japanese: 山陽 (Rai San'yô)

Rai San'yô was a notable 18th-19th century Kangaku (Chinese Studies) scholar from the Hiroshima area. He was the son of scholar Rai Shunsui.

San'yô was friends or close acquaintances with a number of other prominent scholars, artists, and others of his time, including Akazaki Kaimon and Tanomura Chikuden.

Though San'yô never had the opportunity to meet Korean envoys in person (the last Korean embassy to pass through mainland Japan was in 1764, before his time), he is known to have regularly visited the Taichôrô hall at Fukuzen-ji temple in Tomonoura and to have studied poetry, calligraphy, and other works left there by Korean envoys who had stayed at the Taichôrô in the past.[1]

Among his works is the Nihon gaishi (Unofficial History of Japan), which he completed in 1827 and presented to Matsudaira Sadanobu.


  1. Gallery labels, Fukuzen-ji.[1]