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Handbook of Confucianism in Modern Japan

Shaun O'Dwyer Chang Kun-chiang Eddy Dufourmont Han Shuting Jiang Dongxian Kang Haesoo Lee Yu-Ting Mizuno Hirota Alexandra Mustățea

270 pages
Amsterdam University Press
In mainstream assessments of Confucianism’s modern genealogy there is a Sinocentric bias which is, in part, the result of a general neglect of modern Japanese Confucianism by political and moral philosophers and intellectual historians during the post-war era. This collection of essays joins a small group of other studies bringing modern Japanese Confucianism to international scholarly notice, largely covering the time period between the Bakumatsu era of the mid-19th century and the 21st century.
The essays in this volume can be read for the insight they provide into the intellectual and ideological proclivities of reformers, educators and philosophers explicitly reconstructing Confucian thought, or more tacitly influenced by it, during critical phases in Japan’s modernization, imperialist expansionism and post-1945 reconstitution as a liberal democratic polity. They can be read as introductions to the ideas of modern Japanese Confucian thinkers and reformers whose work is little known outside Japan—and sometimes barely remembered inside Japan. They can also be read as a needful corrective to the above-mentioned Sinocentric bias in the 20th century intellectual history of Confucianism. For those Confucian scholars currently exploring how Confucianism is, or can be made compatible with democracy, at least some of the studies in this volume serve as a warning. They enjoin readers to consider how Confucianism was also rendered compatible with the authoritarian ultranationalism and militarism that captured Japan’s political system in the 1930s, and brought war to the Asia-Pacific region.
Author Bio
Shaun O’Dwyer is an associate professor in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures at Kyushu University. His research fields are in political and moral philosophy, and he has taken a keen interest in modern Confucian philosophy over the past 20 years. His last book Confucianism’s Prospects: A Reassessment was published by State University of New York Press in 2019. Chang Kun-chiang is a Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at National Taiwan Normal University. His specialization is in Japanese and East Asian intellectual history, including Tokugawa and modern Japanese Confucianism. His books (in Chinese) include To Sever the Spring Breeze in a Lightning Flash: A New Interpretation of the Dissemination and Acceptance of Bushido(National Taiwan University Press, 2016)and The Characteristics of Tokugawa's Japanese Confucianism: Shinto, the Sorai School and the Yangming School (National Taiwan University Press, 2007). Eddy Dufourmont is associate professor at University Bordeaux Montaigne (France). His research focuses on Confucianism in modern Japan, Japanese nationalism and democracy and the translation of European political thought. His books (in French) include Confucianism and Conservatism in Japan: the Intellectual Trajectory of Yasuoka Masahiro, 1898-1983 (P U de Bordeaux, 2014) and a French language translation of Nakae Chōmin’s Writings on Rousseau and the Rights of Man (Les Belles Lettres, 2018). Han Shuting is a part-time instructor in the Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies at Kyushu University. Her research focus is on Confucianism and Japanese intellectual history. Her recent publications (in Japanese) include the papers “Sakuma Shōzan’s Koto Musical Instrument Studies and Thought on Traditional Music, Considered through his Record on the Koto” in Bulletin of Kyūshū Sinology (2021) and “Sakuma Shōzan’s Understanding of Zhu Xi Learning: with a Focus on ‘Kyokei’” in Kyūshū Historical Studies (2018). Jiang Dongxian is a Civics Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science at Stanford University, specializing in the history of political thought and comparative political theory. His most recent publications are “Defending Constitutional Democracy on Confucian Terms: Progressive Confucianism and Its Debate with Traditionalist Confucianism in Contemporary China" in Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (2021) and "The Place of Confucianism in Pluralist East Asia" in Comparative Political Theory (2021). Kang Haesoo is a concurrent lecturer at Meijo University who specializes in modern Japanese and Korean intellectual history. His recent publications include (in Japanese) "Neo-Confucianism of East Asia" and “Yi T’oegye in Modern Japan: Debates on Yi T'oegye by Kimon and Kumamoto Practical Learning Schools and ‘Morality’” in Bulletin of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (2021) and (in Korean) “A Genealogy of ‘Kodo Confucianism’” in The Journal of Korean Studies (2020). Lee Yu-Ting is an associate professor in the Graduate Institute of National Development at National Taiwan University. His research specialization is in the intellectual history of late 19th–early 20th century of China and Japan, including the development of pan-Asianism. His most recent publications are the paper (in Chinese) “China Discourse from the Late Twentieth Century: A Dialogue between International Relations and History” published in Journal of the Social Sciences and Philosophy in 2021 and the book chapter “‘Tagore and China’ Reconsidered: Starting from a Conversation with Feng Youlan” published in Beyond Pan-Asianism: Connecting China and India, 1840s–1960s (Oxford University Press, 2021). Mizuno Hirota is a project assistant professor at the University of Tokyo Humanities Center and researches modern Japanese intellectual history. His recent publications (in Japanese) include “Inoue Tetsujirō's Argument for a ‘Japanese Philosophy’: His Struggle and Failure” in Journal of Japanese Intellectual History (2020) and the book chapter “Inoue Tetsujirō’s Oriental Philosophy and Hattori Unokichi’s Confucian Ethics” published in Lectures in Modern Japan and China Studies Volume 4: the Arts and Sciences (Ebisukosho, 2021). Alexandra Mustățea is a lecturer at Kanda University of International Studies. She is a Japanologist whose research focus is on intellectual history and philosophy, including Confucianism. Her recent publications include the papers “Confucian Reverberations in Watsuji Tetsurō's Ethical Philosophy: Exploring the Dynamic of the Universal-in-Particular” in The Bulletin of the Institute for Japan Studies, Kanda University of International Studies (2021) and "On the Convolutions of Modernity and Confucianism in Japan—Loyalty from Yamaga Sokō’s Shidō to Prewar Kokutai Ideology" in European Journal of Japanese Philosophy (2019). Park Junhyun is an assistant professor at the Republic of Korea Air Force Academy, and assistant administrator of the Society for Korean Historical Science. He is presently conducting research on Japanese Confucian concepts of the imperial way and the mandate of Heaven. Masako Racel is an Associate Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, USA. Trained as a world historian, her research interest centers upon cross-cultural interactions between Japanese and foreign societies mostly in the twentieth century. Her recent publications include (in Japanese) “The Formative Years of Kiyosue Inui, the Orator who Crossed the World for Peace: from His Birth to his Temporary Return to Japan in 1912” in Journal of Kwansei Gakuin History (2021) and (in English) “Shimoda Utako's Ryosai Kenbo: A Patriotic Japanese Woman's View of the West” in Southeast Review of Asian Studies (2017). Kyle Michael James Shuttleworth is a JSPS International Research Fellow at Rikkyo University, where he is researching the interface between environmental ethics and Japanese philosophy. His recent publications include the monograph The History and Ethics of Authenticity (Bloomsbury Press, 2020), and the research article ‘Virtues and Ethics within Watsuji Tetsujirō’s Rinrigaku in Asian Philosophy (2020). Song Qi is a lecturer at Jiangxi University of Science and Technology and a research associate at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto. He specializes in research on Edo Period intellectual history, including the thought of the 17th century scholar Matsumiya Kanzan. His recent published papers (in Japanese) include “Draft manuscript of “The Way and Education" in the Thought of Matsumiya Kanzan—a note on the original principles of the three religions concept (Shinto, Confucianism, Buddhism)” in Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies (2018) and "The Tou and Kyou in Matsumiya Kanzan’s Theory: An Analysis of the Key Principle of His Theory of Three Teachings” in Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies (2021). Yamamura Shō is a part-time instructor at Shōwa Pharmaceutical University. His research is on intellectual history and Yang Wangming thought in modern Japan. His recent publications (in Japanese) include the book Modern Japan and the Transforming of Wang Yangming Learning (Hosei University Press, 2019) and “The Meaning of ‘Personality’ in Modern Japan: From the relationship between cultivation and Yangmingism” published in Nihon Kenkyū in 2021.