April 4th, 2013
Episode 287 of 537 episodes
Japan's Sakoku period was a time when the country isolated itself from the Western world. It began with a series of edicts in the 1630s which restricted the rights of Japanese to leave their country and expelled most of the Europeans living there. Although historians used to think of Japan as completely isolated from external influence for the next 200 years, recent scholarship suggests that Japanese society was far less cut off from European ideas during this period than previously thought. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Richard Bowring, Emeritus Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge; Andrew Cobbing, Associate Professor of History at the University of Nottingham and Rebekah Clements, Research Associate at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge.