Libmonster ID: UZ-668
Author(s) of the publication: A. S. AKIMOV

Oriental Keywords:Japanese studies, translationRussian literatureNikolai Japanese


Sakhalin State University (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk)

2010 marked the 40th anniversary of the canonization of St. Nicholas of Japan (Ivan Dmitrievich Kasatkin; 1836-1912), the founder of the Orthodox Church in Japan. His missionary work and spiritual guidance are well-known and recognized not only in Russia, but also abroad. However, the works of Nikolai Yaponsky in the field of Oriental studies are poorly studied, not systematized, and practically not accessible to a wide range of readers.

His scientific articles " Japan from the point of view of the Christian mission "(1869), " Seoguns and the Mikado. Historical essay on Japanese sources " (1869)," Japan and Russia " (1879), as well as numerous notes, reports and letters in Russian periodicals of the second half of the XIX - beginning of the XX century contributed to the formation of the first ideas of Russian people about modern Japan. The depth of Nikolai Yaponsky's judgments and thoroughness in studying Japanese history, ethnography, culture, religion, and language amaze even modern researchers. A significant part of this heritage is presented in the pages of the recently published "Diaries", which Nicholas I of Japan kept during the years 1870-1912.

Scrupulously studying the national character of the Japanese, observing the economic development of the country, he repeatedly stated that the future cooperation between Japan and Russia is predetermined by many factors. "Everything that is being done in Japan," he wrote, " should interest Russia more than any other state as its immediate neighbor in the extreme East."1. In his work "Japan and Russia" (1879), 25 years before the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), he predicted the possibility of a military clash between Japan and any of the sea powers. But this at one time went unnoticed. After the tragic military events for Russia, Nicholas I of Japan continued to complain: "There would not have been our war with Japan if we had known Japan more deeply." 2


Along with his actual scientific works, Nikolai Yaponsky also wrote translations into Japanese of the Bible (1905), liturgical books (such as "Hours" (1884), "Psalter" (1901), "Oktoechos" (1909), "Holiday Minea" (1910), "Lenten Triodion" (1911) and others). In modern Japan, Orthodox church services and private prayers are conducted exclusively by his translations. These works on spiritual development ensured him "immortality in the world of Japanese literature" 3.

At the same time, thanks to the students and graduates of the Tokyo Seminary (Masutaro Konishi, Kakutaro Senuma, Kae Senuma, Shōmu Nobori, etc.), not only Orthodox, but also Russian fiction appeared in Japanese. Through the efforts of Orthodox Japanese, Russian culture at the very beginning of the XX century was represented by individual works of I. A. Krylov, G. R. Derzhavin, A. S. Pushkin, F. M. Dostoevsky, L. N. Tolstoy, A. P. Chekhov, I. S. Turgenev, K. D. Balmont, B. K. Zaitsev. Translations from the works of Russian classics marked the beginning of the development of Slavic studies in Japan and had a significant impact on the formation of modern Japanese literature.

The efforts of Orthodox Japanese to establish the image of Russia enabled Nicholas of Japan to devote the main forces to missionary work. In one of his letters, he remarked: "Many times I have also been attracted to my field by science, Japanese history and all Japanese literature ... but science will find many sons without me, let others bring their strength to it as a gift, while mine are entirely devoted to missionary hopes." 4

Nikolai Yaponsky was a mentor not only for Japanese seminarians, but also for co-graduates of the Russian Academy of Sciences.-

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domestic workers. Thus, V. M. Mendrin (1866-1920)5 under his leadership translated and published the Russian translation of The History of the Shogunate in Japan (1910-1915, reprinted in 1999). D. M. Pozdneev (1865-1937)turned to Nikolai Yaponsky for professional advice in the field of Japanese culture6.In the" Diaries " you can find indirect evidence about the communication of S. G. Eliseev (1889 - 1975)7 with Nicholas of Japan. At the same time that the Japanese Orthodox Seminary was teaching Russian, Russian translators were trained at the Tokyo Seminary. D. M. Pozdneev, who was familiar with the seminary's curriculum, tried to introduce it into the course of the Practical Oriental Academy in St. Petersburg. Speaking highly of the program's methodological principles, he wrote:"...The Japanese study program is so broad, productive, consistent and practical that it would seem impossible not to follow it. First of all-textbooks, and then a scientific study of all aspects of life, nothing better could be desired. " 8


The activity of Nicholas of Japan was noted during his lifetime. In October 1908, the Minister of Public Education A. N. Shvartz (1848-1915) called him "the first expert of the Japanese language in Russia". The minister asked to recommend to him Russian Orientalists, who could be entrusted with the compilation of programs and textbooks on the Japanese language.9

In 1910, Nicholas of Japan was elected an honorary member of the Imperial Society of Oriental Studies, whose goal was to spread information about Russia in the East, as well as to familiarize Russian society with the material needs and spiritual life of the Eastern peoples. In the same year, for his services to the Church and the Fatherland, St. Nicholas of Japan was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, First class, and a year later was elected an honorary member of the Russian-Japanese Society for the Study of the History, Culture, Economy, and Politics of Japan.

The scientific legacy of Nicholas of Japan is an important stage in the development of Russian Japanese studies as an independent scientific discipline. Since the late 1980s, the history of Orthodoxy in Japan, the life and works of St. Nicholas of Japan have attracted increasing attention from Russian scholars (E. B. Sablina, G. E. Besstremyannaya, G. I. Ivanova, A. N. Khokhlov, A. A. Shcherbin, O. V. Shatalov, V. A. Onishchenko, A. A. Gavrikov) and others. foreign authors (Japanese K. Nakamura, E. Nakamura, M. Naganawa, M. Matsushima, Y. Usimaru, P. Shibayama, Americans M. van Remortel, J. Bartholomew, etc.). At the same time, the handwritten "Diaries" of Nicholas of Japan and his scientific works decoded by G. D. and A. N. Logachev are still waiting for their potential readers. researchers.

2011 marks the 175th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Orientalist - it is possible that this anniversary event will become a new milestone in the study of the heritage of one of the first and most authoritative Russian Japanese scholars.

Nicholas 1 (Kasatkin), Archimandrite Japan and Russia // Ancient and New Russia. 1879. N 11. P. 231.

2 Letter of St. Nicholas to the Governor of Primorsky Krai, Lieutenant-General P. F. Unterberger, dated November 8, 1908. Department of Manuscripts and Handwritten Books of the National Library of Belarus. From the collection of D. M. and A. M. Pozdneev. F. 590. N 117: letters for 1906-1913, l. 166.

Usimaru Proclus 3 (Yasuo), Archpriest. Japanese Orthodoxy and Culture of the Meiji period / / Millennia of the Baptism of Rus. International Church History Conference. Kiev, July 21-28, 1986 -

4 Letter of St. Nicholas (Kasatkin) to St. Innocent (Veniaminov) 1868 / / Russian Bulletin, 1869, No. 12, p. 271.

5 V. M. Mendrin - a prominent Russian Japanist, professor at the Oriental Institute in Vladivostok, organizer and rector of the Vladivostok Higher Polytechnic School (1918).

6 D. M. Pozdneev is the author of many works on Japan, including the first Russian-Japanese hieroglyphic dictionary. For five years he lived in Japan, maintaining warm relations with Nicholas of Japan. In 1908, St. Nicholas contributed to the publication of the second part of the textbook "Tokyxoh".

7 Sergey Yeliseyev-outstanding Japanese scholar, official translator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vice-president of the Far Eastern Section of the Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Japanese Section of the Society for Oriental Studies. He immigrated to France. In 1921-1932, he was a lecturer at the Sorbonne and later at Harvard University (USA); he established the largest center for Sinology and Japanese studies at Harvard.

8 Letter of D. M. Pozdneev to St. Nicholas (Kasatkin), December 12, 1908 Department of manuscripts and handwritten books of the National Welfare Fund ... F. 590. N 117: letters for 1906-1913 l. 173.

9 Letter of the Minister of National Education of October 29, 1908, No. 28479. Department of manuscripts and handwritten books of the National Welfare Fund ... F. 590. N 117: letters for 1906-1913 l. 37.


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