Zouzan SAKUMA was born to a lower-class samurai family in 1811 and was an intelligent student from an early age. He studied "Kangaku",(Chinese studies) and "Wagaku",(Japanese studies).

When he was 32, he began to study cannon artillery and "Rangaku",(the study of western science which was written in Dutch during the Edo period). Through reading western books he also became skilled in manufacturing of cameras, cannons and glass. He opened his school in Edo,(which is now Tokyo).

His interest also covered international affairs and he expressed his dissent of the isolationist policies supported by the Edo government. He demanded that Western science and oriental spiritual culture be combined in study. He was assassinated in July of 1864 by anti-government rebels.


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