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In Search of the WayThought and Religion in Early—Modern Japan, 1582-1860$
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Richard Bowring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795230

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795230.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 May 2021

Recasting the Chinese mould

Recasting the Chinese mould

(p.166) 11 Recasting the Chinese mould
In Search of the Way

Richard Bowring

Oxford University Press

The introduction of Song and Ming thought into a country with a very different culture set up serious strains as scholars attempted to naturalize Neo-Confucianism to a Japanese environment. This chapter discusses this problem from various angles. It presented difficulties for those whose job it was to compile a history of Japan using Chinese historiography as a model. It raised awkward questions of sovereignty. Since the concept of ‘family’ in Japan was entirely different from the Chinese concept, many Chinese rituals no longer made much sense. And there was a different balance between loyalty to father versus loyalty to lord, as illustrated by the arguments that ranged after the famous revenge incident of the Forty-Seven Rōnin. Some scholars such as Yamazaki Ansai were adamant that Chinese ritual was sacrosanct; others disagreed and preferred to compromise.

Keywords:   rulership, historiography, loyalty, concept of family, Yamazaki Ansai, Akō Revenge, Forty-Seven Rōnin

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