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Manuscript Copy of _Oranda-banashi_ (Tales of Holland)

 Collection — Box: 01
Identifier: MS-0237

Scope and Contents

Rishun Gotō wrote _Oranda-banashi_ (Tales of Holland) in 1765. This manuscript is a copy of Gotō's book that was created by an unknown author circa 1803. _Oranda-banashi_ was banned by the Japanese government because it included the Latin alphabet and other Western ideas. The book's banning prompted a black market for copies such as this one.

Topics in the manuscript include Western geography, customs, and languages, as well as scientific and medical technology. Of particular interest to glass scholars are the passages that focus on Dutch glassmaking and lens-crafting. There is also a substantial amount of information related to medical and pharmacological treatments that involve surgical unguents and ointments, herbal medicines, wine, antidotes for poisons, mermaid bones, cow's milk, minerals, saffron, etc.


  • Circa 1803


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in Japanese.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

Rishun Gotō was born in Japan in 1696 and is best known for his work as a botanist and Rangaku (Dutch Study) scholar. He gained significant notoriety for his 1765 book Oranda-banashi, which was banned in Japan because it included the Latin alphabet and other Western concepts. Oranda-banashi is loosely translated as "Tales of Holland" or "Essay on Holland." Gotō based his book on conversations he had with Dutch traders in Nagasaki.


0.8 Linear Feet (1 flat box)

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The manuscript is fragile and should be handled with care.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Jonathan Hill in 2021.

Accession 2021.009

Processing Information

Processed by Joe Schill in 2022.

Manuscript Copy of _Oranda-banashi_ (Tales of Holland)
A Guide to the Collection
Joe Schill
April 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA