Japanese ‘Spies’ along the Silk Road

Putting some of my older publications online:

Japanese ‘Spies’ along the Silk Road: British Suspicions Regarding the Second Otani Expedition (1908-09)
(Imre Galambos)
Japanese Religions, Vol. 35, 1& 2(2010): 33-61

The beginning of the 20th century saw the Golden Age of archaeology in Chinese Central Asia. Part of this great adventure were the three expeditions (1902-1914) organized and financed—as a private enterprise—by Count Ōtani Kōzui, leader of the Nishi Hongan-ji branch of the Jōdo Shin-shū sect in Kyōto. Towards the end of the second expedition, when the two members of the Japanese team arrived in Kashgar in June 1909, the acting British Consul was the young Captain Shuttleworth, temporarily replacing the experienced George Macartney who at the time was on leave. Influenced by allegations originating from Russian sources, Shuttleworth gradually became convinced that the Japanese explorers were engaged in espionage and archaeology was merely a disguise. In a series of correspondence with his superiors in British India, Shuttleworth made the case for seeing in the two explorers undesirable visitors. As a result, after crossing over to India, they were denied entry back to China through the British frontier, and had to re-enter through the Russian side, via Europe. From the distance of a century, archival sources in British and Japanese collections provide no evidence to support contemporary suspicions and it seems highly unlikely that the Japanese explorers would have been involved in espionage.

Read the whole article here: Japanese spies along the Silk Road

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