- 北方人文研究 (ISSN:1882773X)
- vol.1, pp.1-18, 2008-03-31
It is hardly possible to find the detailed description of history of diplomatic, business, cultural or religious activity of Russian people in the Russian historiography of the Russian- Japanese relations to Hokkaido, though mentions of it in 19th century were more than enough. The trouble is that the authors in their majority only repeat one another. There were also Russian travellers, many writers and publicists, clerics and seamen among them. Later, when diplomatic representatives have got over in Edo, Hokkaido has left on the second plan. At the same time this subject represents the big interest, as at Hokkaido, in Hakodate the relationship between Russia and Japan began to get regular character. There was a first Russian consulate in Japan here and, also, the first Russian church -《mother of Russian churches in Japan》, as priests say. The first deep impressions of Russian about Japan, its inhabitants and realities were also made here. Probably, the environment of Japan’s North was more close and clear to the Russian, than it’s South. The territorial affinity of Hokkaido to the Russian coast gave Russian businessmen the certain hopes for development of bilateral business activities, first of all -trade. However, at that time there were no necessary economic conditions for this purpose yet. If the Catholic church had come to Japan from the South, Russian orthodox mission arrived from the North. Russian priests christened the first Japanese here, the orthodox sermon sounded for the first time in Japan also. Distribution of Orthodoxy to Hokkaido (certainly not such successful as a Catholicism) can be considered as the certain mark at intercultural dialogue between two peoples -Japanese and Russian. Thus, it is possible to tell, that Hakodate’s period -one of the first pages in history of the Russian-Japanese relations, not only insufficiently studied in Russian historiography, but more likely -evidently forgotten.