Responsable: Christophe Marquet

École française d'Extrême-Orient
Kitashirakawa bettô-chô 29, Sakyô-ku
606-8276 Kyoto
Tel: +81 75 701 0882
Fax: +81 75 701 0883
〒606-8276 京都市左京区北白川別当町29

YokohamaTraders Sadahide 1861
YokohamaTraders Sadahide 1861
Kyoto Lectures【ON ZOOM】2022-02-14

Law, Justice, and International Relations at the Dawn of the Meiji Restoration: The María Luz Incident
Monday, February 14th, 18:00 JST

Speaker: Giorgio Fabio Colombo

In July 1872, the María Luz, a bark flying the Peruvian flag, carried Chinese indentured servants from Macau to Peru. Due to a storm, the ship had to stop for repairs in Kanagawa Bay, and because of this, a number of legal issues arose that were destined to change the perception and use of the law in Japan forever. The María Luz incident is a significant episode in Japanese and world history. The case had a tremendous impact on the collective imaginary, both Japanese and international: it is one of the first occurrences in which an Asian country decided to resist the pressure of a “Western” nation, and responded using the most refined tools of domestic and international law. Moreover, the final outcome of the case (arbitration in front of the Czar of Russia) marks the debut of Japan on the stage of international arbitration. While historians have already examined the María Luz incident, jurists are yet to do so. This talk aims to address the most significant legal issues of the case and to foster further cooperation between historians and legal scholars of the early Meiji period.

Giorgio Fabio Colombo is Professor of Law at the Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University, where he is the Director of the Research Unit “Decolonizing Arbitration.” He is also Visiting Professor of Japanese Law at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. He is Resident Research Fellow of the Italian School of East Asian Studies (ISEAS), and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Japanese Law/Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht. His research focuses on ADR, arbitration, private comparative law, law and literature, and legal cultures. His book on the María Luz incident, International Law, Justice and Modernity in Japan: The María Luz Incident and the Dawn of the Meiji Restoration is forthcoming with Routledge (2022).


This lecture will be available only on Zoom. The meeting link will remain posted on the ISEAS website or the EFEO blog from February 12.


École Francaise d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO)

Italian School of East Asian Studies (ISEAS)

co-hosted by Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University



Phone: 075-701-0882

Fax: 075-701-0883




Phone: 075-703-3015

Fax: 075-701-0883



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