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Philipp Franz von Siebold and Julius Klaproth — Their Relationship and Cooperation

Hartmut Walravens

Pages 199 - 225


The correspondence between Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796–1866) who contributed so much to the Western knowledge of Japan, and Julius Klaproth (1783–1835), the celebrated Orientalist and dreaded critic, throws light on the relationship of both scholars. At first Siebold suspected Klaproth to be a plagiarizing adversary as a dissertation which Siebold had forwarded to the Societe asiatique in Paris was received with severe criticism and only a few excerpts from it were published. Klaproth explained the procedure at the Society and the resulting action as the decision of the evaluation committee. He showed himself quite appreciative of Siebold’s work and paved the way for a French edition of Siebold’s travels which he could not edit himself, however, as he passed away in 1835.


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