Bai-en Miura

Bai-en Miura was an 18th century Confucian doctor and philosopher. He was born the son of a doctor in Kunisaki Peninsula in Kyushu, in 1723.

He composed various poems from the time he was 15 and also wrote themes on poetics and essays on poetry, analyzing various poetic styles. He studied a wide range of subjects based on the teachings of chu-shi, including traditional Chinese medicine, anatomy, natural history, linguistics, politics, economics, Western and Chinese astronomy, earth science and physics.

As Bai-en Miura said, "Let it be as earth and heaven are: no one can be better mentors than they." He sought the true relationship between nature and humans. His ideas were based upon objectivity, similar to the approach underlying current scientific thought. He proposed what is today called the interdisciplinary approach, and criticized so-called experts as ignoramuses. Bai-en Miura corresponded with numerous scholars in many fields of knowledge.

Unlike other Japanese scholars of his era, he dissected many animals and studied the theses of Kepler and Galileo. Bai-en Miura also constructed a celestial globe by himself, so his knowledge was not limited to theory.

His major books include Kan-go, Zei-go, Gen-go,among others. He died in 1789.