A large engraved copper plate depicting a mechanical model of the Buddhist solar system, executed by the famous artist Shiba Kokan (1747-1818), “the first Japanese artist to create European-style copperplate etchings.”–Oxford Art online. Kokan, Hiraga Gennai, and Gentaku Otsuki were the earliest exponents of Western-style art and science and travelled to Nagasaki to learn from the Dutch. Kokan wrote and illustrated books introducing Western astronomy to Japan.
The present plate shows the cosmic system taught by Fumon Entsu (1755-1834), a Japanese Buddhist monk of the Tendai (or Tiantai) school. In his Bukkoku rekishohen [Astronomical Works for...
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