Kume Kunitake as a youth
August 19, 1839|
Saga Prefecture, Japan
|Died||February 24, 1931(aged 91)|
|Occupation||Legal Scholar, Politician|
After the Meiji Restoration, he was selected to join the Iwakura mission on its around-the-world voyage in 1871–73 as the private secretary to Iwakura Tomomi. In 1878 he published the Tokumei Zenken Taishi Bei-O Kairan Jikki ( 「特命全権大使米欧回覧実記」), a five-volume account of the journey, and of what he observed of the United States and Europe.
However, in 1892, he was forced to resign after publishing a paper Shinto wa saiten no kozoku ( 「神道は祭天の古俗」 ) ("Shinto is an outmoded custom deifying nature"), which the government considered to be seditious and highly critical of the State Shinto system.
Kume continued to write and lecture at the Tokyo Semmon Gakko ( 東京専門学校), the predecessor of Waseda University, after his resignation from Tokyo University.
- Tokumei Zenken Taishi Bei-O Kairan Jikki (「特命全権大使米欧回覧実記」), Tokyo, 1878
Available in English
- Kume Kunitake. Healey, Graham and Tsuzuki Chushichi, eds. The Iwakura embassy, 1871-73 : a true account of the ambassador extraordinary & plenipotentiary's journey of observation through the United States of America and Europe (The Japan Documents, 2002)
- Brownlee, John. (1997). Japanese historians and the national myths, 1600–1945: the age of the gods and Emperor Jinmu, p. 96.
- Brownlee, John S. (1997) Japanese historians and the national myths, 1600–1945: The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jimmu. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 0-7748-0644-3 Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. ISBN 4-13-027031-1
- Nish, Ian. (1998) The Iwakura Mission to America and Europe: A New Assessment. Richmond, Surrey: Japan Library. 10-ISBN 1873410840/13-ISBN 9781873410844; 10-ISBN 9780415471794/13-ISBN 0415471796; OCLC 40410662