Inamura Sanpaku (稲村三伯)

Sanpaku INAMURA (1758 – February 11, 1811) was a Rangakusha (a person who studied Western sciences by means of the Dutch language) in the late Edo Period. He was a Ranpoi (a person who studied Western medicine by means of the Dutch language). His name was Zen, and his pseudonym was Hakuu.


He was a born as the third child of Josui MATSUI in Kawabata, Tottori City. He was later adopted by a doctor Sankyo INAMURA, who worked for Tottori Domain, and studied at the domain school, Shotoku-kan, and Nanmei KAMEI's school and became a domain doctor like his father after his death. After he was strongly impressed with "Rangaku Kaitei" (an introductory book of the Western science study) written by Gentaku OTSUKI, he moved to Edo in 1792 to enter Gentaku's private school Shinrando and began increasing his competence. He asked Gentaku OTSUKI to make a Dutch-Japanese Dictionary since he thought it was necessary for the development of Western studies. Although OTSUKI turned down this offer due to his busy schedule, he introduced a former translator Tsuneemon ISHII to him. With contributions from Genzui UDAGAWA and Hosetsu OKADA, they compiled the Dutch-French Dictionary by François Halma and were able to complete the first Dutch-Japanese Dictionary "Halma Wage" (dictionary Haluma Wage, contained 64,035 words) in 1796.

When his biological brother Daikichi ECHIZENYA caused a scandal, INAMURA secluded himself to Inage, Shimosa Province to avoid a possibility of the Domain getting punished and also changed his name to Zuio UMIGAMI.

In 1805, he moved to Kyoto and began teaching Western Studies once again. He worked hard for the spread of Western Studies in Kansai region. His followers include Fuzan FUJIBAYASHI, Tou KOMORI, and Tenyu NAKA.

[Original Japanese]