Together with a Description of the Kingdom of Siam 1690 - 92
Engelbert Kaempfer, M.D.
Physician to the Dutch Embassy to the Emperor's Court
and translated by
J.G. Scheuchzer, F.R.S.
May it please Your MAJESTY, Your MAJESTIES gracious Condescension to approve of my Design of publishing this History of Japan emboldens me, with the most profound Respect and Humility to lay it at Your MAJESTIES Feet.
It gives an account of a mighty and powerful Empire,which owes its Greatness to itself, and the flourishing Condition it is in, to its being debarr'd all Communication with other Nations: It unfolds the Rules and Maxims of a Government, where the mutual checks, jealousies and mistrusts of Persons invested with Power are thought the most effectual Means to oblige them to a faithful discharge of their respective Duties: It shews a long Series of Ecclesiastical Emperors, all descended of one Family, who sway'd the Scepter of Japan for upwards of two thousand Years, and still keep up their Titles, Rank and Grandeur, tho' dispossess'd of the supreme Power by the Secular Monarchs: It describes a valiant and invincible Nation, a polite, industrious and virtuous People, enrich'd by a mutual Commerce anlong themselves, [xxi] and possess'd of a Country, on which Nature hath lavish'd her most valuable Treasures.
These, and many other remarkable particulars, relating to the Religions, Sects, and Natural History of a Country, of which we had hitherto but an imperfect Knowledge, give me some hope, that this Work will not prove unworthy of Your MAJESTIES gracious Protection.
That Your MAJESTIES Reign may be long and prosperous, and that there may never be wanting a Succession of Princes of Your Royal Line to Grace the British Throne, are the hearty and sincere Wishes of
May it please Your MAJESTY