No better example could be found of Japan's urgent need for
imported technological expertise to help bring about her own
industrial revolution in the last quarter of the 19th century than
the Scottish civil engineer Richard Henry Brunton. This book is
Brunton's own account of his eight years in Japan (1868-76) which
has remained unpublished for over a hundred years. It is a work of
some considerable scholastic importance - particularly the rare
first-hand accounts of various technical developments taking place
in Japan at that time. Also of interest are Brunton's personal
observations relating to the evolving social, economic and
political developments of early Meiji Japan. Brunton was originally
commissioned to supervise the design and construction of the
country's first lighthouse system; he subsequently went on to build
the first telegraph line between Tokyo and Yokohama and built one
of the Japan's first iron bridges. He also took on the role of
educator and established a teacher-training school near his office
in Yokohama "for mathematics and other cognate subjects".
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