オペラ「椿姫」も、シャネルの「カメリアシリーズ」も、1835年に博物学者のシーボルトが『日本植物誌』で「冬のバラ」としてツバキ(Camellia japonica)を紹介したことはじまったもの。紫陽花の学名「Hydrangea otaksa」には、シーボルトの妻お滝さんの名前がはいっています。日本を西洋に紹介したシーボルトは、植物のみならず瀬戸内海という概念そのものもシーボルトが紹介する以前は、存在しませんでした。

Both the opera La Traviata and Chanel’s Camellia series began in 1835, when the naturalist Siebold introduced the camellia (Camellia japonica) as a “winter rose” in his “Botanical Journal of Japan”. The scientific name of the hydrangea, Hydrangea otaksa, is named after Siebold’s wife Otaki. Siebold introduced Japan to the West, but not only plants, but also the concept of the Seto Inland Sea itself did not exist before Siebold’s introduction.



Siebold (1796-1866) is widely known as the physician who introduced Western medicine to Japan during the period of national isolation and contributed greatly to the development of medicine. He also had a deep knowledge of botany and was the first naturalist to introduce Japanese plants to Europe.


While staying on Dejima Island in Nagasaki from 1823 to 1829 as a Dutch merchant doctor and training many students at his private school, Narutaki-juku, Siebold studied the flora and fauna of Japan and brought back nearly 2,000 plants and thousands of seeds to the Netherlands, spreading Japanese plants throughout Europe. Today, many plants with the names ‘sieboldii’, ‘sieboldiana’ or ‘japonica’ can be found in Dutch gardens, and it is estimated that 70% of the plants commonly found in the Netherlands were brought back from Japan by Siebold. Siebold was the first person to sail the Seto Inland Sea during his stay in Japan and was the first to introduce the beauty of its islands to Europe.



The Seto Inland Sea has been familiar to the Japanese since ancient times and was designated Japan’s first national park in 1934, making it an outstanding scenic area. However, it is said that it was not until Siebold described the Seto Inland Sea that its most distinctive feature, the ‘Inland Sea Archipelago’, was ‘discovered’ and praised. Since the ancient Manyoshu (Anthology of Myriad Leaves), the famous sites and historic places of the Seto Inland Sea have been described in poems, but they were only points in the landscape and not the wider landscape of the ‘Seto Inland Sea’.


In 1826, Siebold accompanied the chief of the Dutch trading post to Edo (now Tokyo) and sailed back and forth across the Seto Inland Sea. He wrote a travelogue of this trip in his major book Japan, which was highly praised in Europe and had a major impact on Westerners’ views of Japan and the Seto Inland Sea. Siebold made detailed investigations and reports on the topography, geology and flora of the Seto Inland Sea, and gave a scientific explanation for the formation of the Archipelago Sea. Siebold described the scenery he saw when he sailed to the Shiwaku Islands, including the main island, as follows.




「このおとぎの森を通してわれわれは、ちょうど陸から海へ吹く弱い風で波立ち、落日の光に輝く多島海の眺めを楽しんだ。遠くにも近くにも島が見える。小豆島・前島 ・家島・淡路島の一部分、さらに数え切れぬ島々がわれわれの眼前にある。それらの島は距離の関係で輝く緑や青の色にも濃淡があり、遠く背後には四国のまだ雪におおわれた山々の峯が金色や銀色の光を浴びて輝いている。白帆は数え切れぬほどそこに見え沈んでゆく太陽に誘われて、どんどん大きくなって港に近づいてくる。」


The view of the coast of Japan (Honshu) and Shikoku is astonishing – at times, farmhouses and fishing villages come alive on the low hills of green fields and golden fields of oilseed rape, at other times, waterfalls cascade over sheer cliffs, and innumerable shrines and temples adorn the region. At other times, waterfalls cascade over sheer cliffs, the castle towers of feudal lords soar above evergreen forests, and countless shrines and temples adorn the region. In the far distance, mountains to the south and north mark the border between the heavens. Rising round-topped peaks, overhanging conical mountains and jagged peaks can be seen – the peaks and valleys are covered with snow. (From the translation by Makoto Saito, Edo Sanpu Kiko).”


The Iwakura Mission, which visited 11 European countries from 1871 (Meiji 4), described in its report that the Seto Inland Sea was referred to in the West as “the world’s number one landscape”. At that time, the scenery of the Seto Inland Sea was already admired by Westerners and had gained worldwide fame. Thomas Cook, the father of modern mass tourism, also stopped in Japan on his 222-day round-the-world trip from 1872 and praised the Seto Inland Sea.







江戸参府紀行 (東洋文庫 (87))
売り上げランキング: 143,819
シーボルト 日本植物誌 (ちくま学芸文庫)
P.F.B.フォン シーボルト
売り上げランキング: 302,313
よみがえれ! シーボルトの日本博物館
国立歴史民俗博物館 江戸東京博物館 長崎歴史文化博物館 名古屋市博物館 国立民族学博物館
売り上げランキング: 280,044
Manners and Customs of the Japanese
Philipp Franz Von Siebold
Sagwan Press

シーボルトガーデン 本島 | 瀬戸内国際芸術祭


住所:香川県丸亀市本島町泊494 [Google Map]

Siebold Garden
Exhibition associated with Philipp Franz von Siebold.

Artwork Location : Honjima Tomari / Koushou
Hours : Outdoor artwork
Closed : Open everyday
Artists : Yutaka Kawaguchi / Kaori Naito
Address : 494 Tomari, Honjima island, Marugame city, Kagawa pref., Japan [Google Map]