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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 3: 1400-1800$
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José Rabasa, Masayuki Sato, Edoardo Tortarolo, and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199219179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199219179.001.0001

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A Social History of Japanese Historical Writing

A Social History of Japanese Historical Writing

(p.80) Chapter 4 A Social History of Japanese Historical Writing
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Masayuki Sato

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Japanese historical writing in the period from 1400 to 1800. Several important types of historiography emerged from the start of the Tokugawa period. One kind was typified by Hayashi Razan, who edited the official history of the Tokugawa government, the Honchō tsugan [Conspectus of Our Land] (1644–70). A second was that associated with Tokugawa Mitsukuni, who initiated the Dai Nihon shi [Great History of Japan] (1657–1906). A third type is exemplified by Arai Hakuseki, whose autobiography, Oritaku shiba no ki [Told Round a Brushwood Fire] (1716), is replete with historical insights and an acute consciousness regarding historical research. Other examples include the works of Ogyū Sorai and Motoori Norinaga, both of whom included many profound historical observations regarding Japanese tradition in their work.

Keywords:   Japanese history, historiography, Tokugawa period, Hayashi Razan, Tokugawa Mitsukuni, Arai Hakuseki, Ogyū Sorai, Motoori Norinaga

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