Japan and the Tyranny of Legislation

  • Rolando Minuti
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 224)


To choose just one epithet from the vast documentation defining Japanese culture and society accumulated in Europe in the early modern era, and in particular during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – expressing an image of ‘diversity’ going well beyond the «Christian century» – we would probably settle on «moral antipodes». When one goes back to Luís Fróis’s Tratado, which remained unpublished until quite recently, and the Historia Indica by Giovanni Pietro Maffei, that made a major contribution to the diffusion of this representation, follows the many channels in the Jesuits’ complex communication network and cross-references them all with how this representation of diversity was exploited in libertine and heterodox circles, the expression «moral antipodes» is found to be still thriving in the mid-eighteenth century and beyond.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolando Minuti
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Storia, Archeologia, Geografia, Arte e Spettacolo (SAGAS)University of FirenzeFlorenceItaly

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