Register :: Log in :: Profile   


Neo-Confucianism in the Edo period?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Samurai Archives Citadel Forum Index // The Edo Period
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sima Qian
Inkeeper
Inkeeper
Veteran Member



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: Neo-Confucianism in the Edo period? Reply with quote
Two questions for you all:

1.) It is generally acknowledged that Neo-Confucianism in China tended to side with the Zhu Xi interpretation of the Confucian Classics. His "Lixue" or School of Principle dominated the Song dynasty's conception of authoritative Confucianism.

This was not the case in Japan however, with the transmitters of Neo-Confucianism favoring the other great Neo-Confucian scholar: Wang Yangming and his school of the Mind.

Why was that the case?

2.) The importation of Neo-Confucianism from China implies that the previous ideological framework of the State had to be bolstered.

What then did Neo-Confucianism provide to Japan after the Sengoku Jidai?

3.) And finally - when did Neo-Cofucianism fall out of favor? What would it be replaced by?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AJBryant
Shikken
Shikken
Veteran Member



Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 1782

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
One of the big problems with Confucianism in the Tokugawa period was that scholars (heck, anyone, really) understood that though the Tokugawa were encouraging the study, there was a huge flaw in their thought.

The Tokugawa were *servants* (ministers) of the lawful sovereign (the emperor). Yet THEY were ruling, and the emperor had little power. For example, when a shogun died, there was a "party moratorium" for several months -- but when an emperor died, it was like a week.

In Confucian thought, for the balance to work the king had to KING (to use the Chinese noun/verb combination -- we'd say "the ruler has to rule" but that doesn't take into account WHO the ruler is) and the minister had to serve the king. That critical relationship was upside down.

Some people you definitely want to look up are Hayashi Razan, Yamazaki Ansai, Yamaga Soko, and Ogyu Sorai.


Tony
_________________
http://www.sengokudaimyo.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bethetsu
Oki no Kami
Oki no Kami
Veteran Member



Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 1376
Location: Center of Musashi

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Araki Hakuseki (1657-1725) did a lot of work on justifying the relation between the emperor and the shogunate.
Shogunal politics : Arai Hakuseki and the premises of Tokugawa rule / Kate Wildman Nakai.-- Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University; 1988.-- (Harvard East Asian monographs ; 134)
Introduction to:Told round a brushwood fire : the autobiography of Arai Hakuseki / translated and with an introd. and notes by Joyce Ackroyd.-- University of Tokyo Press; 1979.-- (UNESCO collection of representative works ; Japanese series)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shisendo
Bridge Guard
Bridge Guard
Veteran Member
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 Sep 2008
Posts: 311
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Neo-Confucianism in the Edo period? Reply with quote
Sima Qian wrote:
Two questions for you all:

1.) It is generally acknowledged that Neo-Confucianism in China tended to side with the Zhu Xi interpretation of the Confucian Classics. His "Lixue" or School of Principle dominated the Song dynasty's conception of authoritative Confucianism.

This was not the case in Japan however, with the transmitters of Neo-Confucianism favoring the other great Neo-Confucian scholar: Wang Yangming and his school of the Mind.

Why was that the case?

2.) The importation of Neo-Confucianism from China implies that the previous ideological framework of the State had to be bolstered.

What then did Neo-Confucianism provide to Japan after the Sengoku Jidai?

3.) And finally - when did Neo-Cofucianism fall out of favor? What would it be replaced by?


1) It's hard to say that Wang Yangming was favoured over Zhu Xi in Japan. Going from memory, Nakae Toju was the foremost proponent of Wang Yangming, and he was far from the centre of power living on the shores of Lake Biwa. Hayashi Razan, the most orthodox of the Neo Confucians, actively guarded the position of the Zhu Xi school and spent his life trying to establish it as the preferred school of the bakufu, although it was left to his sons to achieve that.

2) Herman Ooms argues persuasively in Tokugawa Ideology that the state was less interested in finding a new ideology to bolster itself than competing schools of Buddhists, Shintoists, and Neo-Confucians were in competing for bakufu attention by trying to prove the value of their schools.

3) This is a difficult question. How does 1945 sound? Yamazaki Ansai's Suika Shintoism (which was hybridized with Zhu Xi Neo Confucianism) provided a useful ideological underpinning to militarists in the first half of the 20th century.

I'm not an expert on this topic, but I have a great interest in the Neo-Cons from this era, so I'm happy to continue the discussion if anything I said here sounds off base.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sima Qian
Inkeeper
Inkeeper
Veteran Member



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:

I'm not an expert on this topic, but I have a great interest in the Neo-Cons from this era, so I'm happy to continue the discussion if anything I said here sounds off base.


Well, you probably know better than I - i'm just trying to trace what happened to Neo-Confucianism once the Qing and its "Han Learning" proponents decided to ditch Zhu Xi.

So perhaps i should alter the question a bit:

Since Neo-Confucianism can't be deemed a "government import" in the way that Shingon Buddhism could be - did it have any particular effect on Japanese culture during this time or was it simply an intellectual movement confined to a small elite?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Obenjo Kusanosuke
Kii no Kami
Kii no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 4554
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sima,

It may be helpful for you to look at the Sonjō discussions going on in the Bakumatsu forum. You'll see that movements like kokugaku emerged in the late 1700s as a backlash to the Bakufu's support of kangaku learning. You'll also see how 19th century Mitogaku thought incorporated elements of kokugaku and used it re-draw the Confucian social hierarchial pyramid to fit its own belief system. Wink
_________________

Heee heee! Shita iro! Shita iro! Here comes his lordship, Baka Tono!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rekishinotabi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Shisendo
Bridge Guard
Bridge Guard
Veteran Member
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 Sep 2008
Posts: 311
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sima Qian wrote:

Since Neo-Confucianism can't be deemed a "government import" in the way that Shingon Buddhism could be - did it have any particular effect on Japanese culture during this time or was it simply an intellectual movement confined to a small elite?


Sima. Sorry about the delay. I meant to consult with some books this weekend, but just got swamped by home renos among other things. Going off the top my head then, I think it definitely did have an effect on Japanese culture, just not the one that the Hayashi family claimed. I think the general view in the 20th century was that Neo-Confucianism was established early in the Tokugawa era thanks to the charismatic efforts of Hayashi Razan, who had impressed Ieyasu with his feats of memory at a young age. The Ooms book I referred to earlier does a good job demonstrating that this view was based on historians accepting at face value the revisionist writings of Razan's sons.

That aside, the 17th c. does seem to me the century when Neo-Confucianism shifted from being an elitist preoccupation to have an impact on the culture. Ito Jinsai, for example, had a very successful school in Kyoto that attracted numerous students. Kumazawa Banzan also met with mixed success in Bizen province (see James McMullen's book about him for more). This was the century where it almost became trendy for students to leave the temples to become Confucian scholars for hire. It became lucrative enough that Ishikawa Jozan received a large stipend to serve the Asano clan in Hiroshima for eleven years. With so much attention being paid to Neo-Confucian ideas, I think it's safe to say that it did have an impact on the wider culture, although I am not well informed enough to say how wide or deep it went that century. At the very least, the seeds were sown for the following centuries which established Japan's popular reputation as a country where Confucian values held sway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Samurai Archives Citadel Forum Index // The Edo Period All times are GMT - 10 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Help the Samurai Archives




alexisRed v1.2 // Theme Created By: Andrew Charron // Samuraized By: Aaron Rister

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group