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[Vol.14 (2010)] Modern Japan and Transforming Confucianism
Author : Baiyeong Park
Date : 20.01.30
Page : 225-242
Keyword : National Polity(国体), Late Tokugawa Period(幕府末期), Mito Scholarship(水戶学), Imperial Lineage(皇统), Meiji Constitution(明治宪法)
Abstract :

The Meiji Restoration in 1868 is the great turning point for Japan to enter the
modern world. This article examines the intellectual landscape in Meiji Japan based on
the relationship of Confucianism and native studies (kokugaku). Confucianism was the
state learning of the Tokugawa bakufu but also had the aspects of revolutionary ideas
for anti-bakufu movements because it had an internal conflict between the loyalty to the
social order and righteous revolution to salvage the people from terrible rulers. The
bakufu indeed collapsed and we can interpret this as the result of realizing the
revolutionary aspects of Confucianism. Sato Issai already noticed this conflict of
Confucian logic and Yoshida Shoin launched wholesale discussions of this issue.
Another feature of Meiji Confucianism was the assimilation with native studies
respecting the imperial authority. This assimilation was maximized in Fujita Togo and
Fujita Yukoku’s ideas seen from Mito scholarship. These ideas became the basis of
Meiji intellectual tradition and Meiji Constitution. Since this assimilated philosophy
endowed emperor with flawless ethical authority, they believed that emperor cannot
make a wrong decision. This shows that the combination of Confucianism and native
studies did not have only a positive side. However, we can understand this from the
perspective of Confucianism as the attempt to transform itself with other philosophical

Attachments : vol.14-10(박배영).pdf

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