4. Education at Tekijuku
Tekijuku was a place for studying medicine, medical treatment, and acquiring the latest knowledge and technology. For aspiring young students, the knowledge they gained access to by learning Dutch must have amazed them. They read a variety of books without being restricted to certain texts. These reading sessions at Tekijuku aroused their interest. In order to look up the meaning of unknown words, the students competed for the use of volumes in the set of Doeff Dictionaries (Dutch-Japanese dictionary set), the only set of dictionaries possessed by Tekijuku. The room in which the dictionaries were kept came to be called “Doeff Room” and it is said that there was never a time when the light in that room went out.
Students pushed themselves to great lengths in studying. FUKUZAWA Yukichi wrote in his autobiography that he all but killed himself studying.
The unstructured and free atmosphere of Tekijuku gave birth to a large number of persons who were active in various fields from the end of Edo Period through the beginning of the Meiji Period.