- 独立行政法人国立高等専門学校機構 函館工業高等専門学校
- 函館工業高等専門学校紀要 (ISSN:02865491)
- vol.51, pp.1-10, 2017 (Released:2017-01-31)
We describe the life-work of Father of Japanese Chemistry “Udagawa Yoan”.
Udagawa Yoan was influenced by his adoptive father Genshin’s philosophy and by doctor and botanist Ito Keisuke’s publication Nijyushi Kokai (Explanation of Twenty-four classes). In 1834, he published three volumes of “Shokugaku Keigen (Principles of Botany)”. They show history of the translation of basic botanical terminology and for natural philosophy and experimental plant physiology. His “Shokubutsu Shasei Zufu” demonstrates a talent as botanical artist. Moreover, on his interest in pharmacy and botany, he found some relations to chemistry. Continuously, he published his first chemistry textbook “Seimi Kaiso” based on a Dutch translation of William Henry’s chemical book. “Seimi” comes from pronunciation of “Chemie” in Dutch and “Kaiso” means “Opening of Chemistry”. He had to develop new terminology to describe chemical substances and processes, expanding the Japanese vocabulary of chemistry.
His first interest in chemistry was its application to the practical arts with glassmaking. “Seimi Kaiso” for volume 3 describes the beginner’s manual on the chemistry of “biidoro”.