Translated by Richard Rubinger
2016, 566 pages
ISBN 978-1-937385-95-8 Cloth $45.00
Set against the dramatic political transformation of Japan in the nineteenth century, Siebold’s Daughter tells the story of the German physician Siebold, his Japanese mistress, and their daughter who was born on Dejima during the years of Japan’s national seclusion. Because mixed blood children were unwanted at the time, Siebold’s daughter, Ine, became the first child of mixed blood permitted to live a full life.
Her story is one of great persistence and courage. Ine had to overcome resistance from her mother to pursuing a career, discrimination against her, rape by one of her teachers, the birth of an unwanted child at an early age, and a devastating breakup in her relationship with her famous father. Yet she persevered, becoming Japan’s first Western trained female physician, and the attending physician at the birth of the Meiji Emperor’s first child. Based on extensive research, Yoshimura tells the compelling personal story of one woman’s unique challenges during Japan’s transition to a modern state.