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SIEBOLD AND JAPAN: His Life and Work, by Arlette Kouwenhouven, with Matthi Forrer. Leiden: Hotei Publishing, 2000, 112 pp., with 87 plates, 3,200 yen.

Collecting was an 18th-century passion. Ethnology was a completely new field, and no methodology other than collecting had been created for it. As for museology, it could begin only when more museums were established. Cabinets of curiosities, those first table-top museums, were to be found all over Europe, and Siebold — a doctor and hence of a scientific turn of mind — was to bring together one of the largest. It is now, in fact, a full-fledged museum.

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