Get it before the lawyers do

The first part of 『蘭学事始』 (Rangaku Kotohajime, "the early days of Dutch learning"), an 1815 work by SUGITA Genpaku on the history to date of Dutch (= Western) learning's spread in Japan, online for your cross-cultural pleasure. It's surprisingly readable.

When westerners began sending more and more boats to our western shores in the Tenshou and Keichou periods (1573-1615), they openly ("yang") sought trade, but secretly ("yin") wanted other things. [Presumably conversion to Christianity, because...] Disaster ensued, leading to the most extreme prohibitions in the history of the country. This is well known. I do not have all the details of that wicked religion, nor is it relevant here; no more need be said on the subject.

Y'all only get half a bar, in other words. Burrrn!

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They can have half the bar, just as long as they're served the full stake!

Ah, those were the days, eh? That's what we need today, I'd say, more martyrdoms! Put the resolve of the faithful to the test, by fire and (no-?)sword! Start with the televangelists, roit!

I saw the name Paul Miki on a page on the prohibitions link site and comfused him for a minute with the "waki-waki patchin" comedian turned Buddhist priest suicide. Had to laugh at that. (Think the blue type is symbolic of something? Extreme bathos, perhaps? Bleh! Bleu!?)

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