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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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Contesting Confucian values

Contesting Confucian values

Chapter:
(p.216) 14 Contesting Confucian values
Source:
In Search of the Way
Author(s):

Richard Bowring

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795230.003.0014

It was at this juncture that the native tradition began to reassert itself. This began with attempts to decipher the Man’yōshū, an eighth-century collection of poetry that had been largely ignored by previous scholarship. This in turn led to an interest in the possibility of recuperating a past that pre-dated the introduction of Chinese writing and Buddhism. The key figure here was Kamo no Mabuchi, who believed that the past could be approached and revived through the study of ancient poetry. Eventually this led to a movement that tried to denigrate all Chinese influence as being alien. Confucian norms were also attacked during the freer Tanuma period, which saw a culture of wit that flourished in the pleasure quarters of the capital and which produced much of the art that we now recognize as one of Japan’s greatest achievements.

Keywords:   nativism, Kamo no Mabuchi, Man’yōshū, anti-Chinese movements, Hiraga Gennai, pleasure quarters

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