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Morishima Chûryô was a prominent writer and ''[[Rangaku]]'' scholar of the late 18th century, known as the writer of numerous popularly-published books on foreign cultures, as well as for his ''[[gesaku]]'' and ''[[kyoka|kyôka]]''.
 
Morishima Chûryô was a prominent writer and ''[[Rangaku]]'' scholar of the late 18th century, known as the writer of numerous popularly-published books on foreign cultures, as well as for his ''[[gesaku]]'' and ''[[kyoka|kyôka]]''.
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He was born into a samurai family in [[Edo]], the second son of samurai physician [[Katsuragawa Hoken]] (aka Kuninori). He studied the writing of ''gesaku'' (humorous literature) under [[Hiraga Gennai]], and published a number of ''gesaku'', ''[[sharebon]]'', and ''[[kibyoshi|kibyôshi]]'' under his given name, Katsuragawa Hosan, or under the pseudonym Shinra Banshô<ref>Alternate readings of these characters include Shinra Banzô or Shinra Manzô.</ref>. He became known as a ''kyôka'' poet as well, under the poetry name Takezue Nosugaru, employing the names Morishima Chûryô and Tsukiji Zenkô<ref>Screech, 195.</ref> in writing and publishing his ''Rangaku'' works. Some of his most significant ''Rangaku'' publications include ''[[Komo zatsuwa|Kômô zatsuwa]]'' ("European Miscellany") published in [[1787]], ''[[Ryukyu-dan|Ryûkyû-dan]]'' (or ''Ryûkyû-banashi'', "[[Ryukyu Kingdom|Ryûkyû]] Conversation") in [[1790]], and ''[[Bango-sen]]'', a Japanese-Dutch dictionary, in [[1798]].
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He was born into a samurai family in [[Edo]], the second son of samurai physician [[Katsuragawa Hoken]] (aka Kuninori). He studied the writing of ''gesaku'' (humorous literature) under [[Hiraga Gennai]], and published a number of ''gesaku'', ''[[sharebon]]'', and ''[[kibyoshi|kibyôshi]]'' under his given name, Katsuragawa Hosan, or under the pseudonym Shinra Banshô<ref>Alternate readings of these characters include Shinra Banzô or Shinra Manzô.</ref>. He became known as a ''kyôka'' poet as well, under the poetry name Takezue Nosugaru, employing the names Morishima Chûryô and Tsukiji Zenkô<ref>Screech, 195.</ref> in writing and publishing his ''Rangaku'' works. Some of his most significant ''Rangaku'' publications include ''[[Komo zatsuwa|Kômô zatsuwa]]'' ("European Miscellany") published in [[1787]], ''[[Ryukyu-banashi|Ryûkyû-banashi]]'' ("[[Ryukyu Kingdom|Ryûkyû]] Conversation") in [[1790]], and ''[[Bango-sen]]'', a Japanese-Dutch dictionary, in [[1798]]. ''Kômô zatsuwa'' was perhaps the first Japanese book to describe people from different European countries as possessing different essential national character (e.g. the English as shrewd or the French as hot-tempered). Though such stereotyping is of course frowned upon today, at the time it was a significant (arguably, progressive) step for Japanese popular discourse, as readers came to imagine a diversity of European nations and identities, rather than a single, mysterious, conflated notion of the generic "foreigner."<ref>Gary Leupp, ''Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900'', A&C Black (2003), 88.</ref> Chûryô's ''Ryûkyû banashi'', meanwhile, has been described as the most popular of all guides to Ryûkyû published in the Edo period; it was largely based on earlier texts, but was written in a more accessible Japanese, rather than classical Chinese, and due to its popularity was reprinted numerous times.<ref>William Fleming, “The World Beyond the Walls: Morishima Chūryō (1756-1810) and the Development of Late Edo Fiction,” PhD dissertation, Harvard University (2011), 88.</ref>
    
Morishima's elder brother, [[Katsuragawa Hoshu|Katsuragawa Hoshû]] (aka Kuniakira)<!--桂川甫周(国瑞)-->, served for a time as court physician to the [[Tokugawa shogunate|Tokugawa shogun]].
 
Morishima's elder brother, [[Katsuragawa Hoshu|Katsuragawa Hoshû]] (aka Kuniakira)<!--桂川甫周(国瑞)-->, served for a time as court physician to the [[Tokugawa shogunate|Tokugawa shogun]].
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