helio- or geo-centric? globe or flat?

Rereading Clavell's 将軍 (Shogun), and enjoying it greatly. His Japanese isn't all that great, but then, it probably shouldn't be expected to be (At least for the most part, the words are correct, but the phrasing is a bit off. Especially with no differences between women and men. Or between politeness levels. Not a big deal, and certainly not enough to detract from the story. Nor even to keep the book from being a pretty decent introduction to Japan).

A couple of side notes, though: I was thinking, while reading it, that it would have been good for him to have had a name dictionary. Mostly, they aren't too bad, but occasionally a woman's name is used for a guy, for instance. Which got me to wondering, were any available in English back then? It turns out that O'Neil's Japanese Names was out in its first printing then.

Another thing that got me curious; at one point, Blackthorne is talking with Yoshi Toranaga-sama and Toda Mariko-san, and describes the world as a globe. They didn't question it, but I wonder what the then-current Japanese belief was about the world. That is, was it flat or round? Or something else entirely? (Yes, yes, I know about the myth of a flat earth supported by a turtle, in turn supported by another turtle, ad infinitum; but I'm wondering about scientific belief. Or at least well-learned belief.) Which also begs the question of belief in a geocentric or heliocentric universe. And was either question ever a big deal, as in the west.

Hmm... I'm pleasantly surprised to see that the TV "maxiseries" is available on DVD. I've never seen that, and will have to think about it. I'm also happy to see that they actually had Japanese in the Japanese roles. Somewhere along the way, I'd gotten the impression (I wish I knew where) that that was not the case.

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