The New International Encyclopædia/Siebold, Philipp Franz von

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SIEBOLD, Philipp Franz von (1796-1866). A Bavarian physician, naturalist, and traveler, born at Würzburg. After studying medicine and science he entered the service of the Dutch East India Company in 1822, and proceeded to Batavia. From Java he went in 1823 to Nagasaki, as the leader of a scientific mission to Japan. He quickly mastered the Japanese language, and in 1820 reached Yedo with the Dutch Embassy, remaining in that city, but getting into trouble through the purchase of a map, such transfer of knowledge to an alien being then forbidden. He was imprisoned, and banished from Japan in 1830. After his return to Europe he spent nearly thirty years in writing his great work, entitled Nippon, Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan (1832-51); in arranging his collections at the museums of Leyden, Munich, and Würzburg; and in the composition of works on the fauna, flora, and bibliography of Japan. In 1859 he revisited Japan, and was invited to Court by the Emperor, and in 1861 entered the Japanese service as a negotiator with the Powers, but difficulties arose which compelled him to retire. He returned to Europe in 1862, where he published various papers relating to Japan. He died at Munich. A monument of him has been erected in Japan by the Japanese. Consult Siebold, Leben und Wirken von P. F. von Siebold (Würzburg, 1896).