Cultural Links Between Scotland and Japan


    Description of impact

    This case study traces the impact on cross-cultural links between Scotland and Japan of The Pure Land, a historical novel by Alan Spence based on the life of Thomas Glover, a merchant from Aberdeen who emigrated to Japan in the mid-19th century. Glover was an influential figure in the development of modern industrial Japan, and was instrumental in the founding of Mitsubishi. A revered figure in Japan, he was less well known in his own country. Publication of The Pure Land in 2006 transformed this, generating global interest in Glover and highlighting previously unrecognised affinities between Eastern (particularly Japanese) and Western (particularly Scottish) cultures. As well as inspiring a new biography, newspaper articles and radio programmes, and various educational initiatives, Spence's novel has enhanced cultural ties between Scotland and Japan, and extended public understanding of the history of globalisation. Other works by Spence on Scottish-Japanese themes have extended this influence.
    Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)