Tokugawa Political Writings
The modern political consciousness of Japan cannot be understood without reference to the history of the Tokugawa period, the era between 1600 and 1868 that preceded Japan's modern transformation. Tetsuo Najita introduces the ideas of the leading political thinker of the period, Ogyu Sorai (1666-1728), a pivotal figure in laying the conceptual foundations of Japan's modernization. His basic thoughts about history and the ethical purposes of politics are presented, revealing the richness of the philosophical legacy of eighteenth-century Japan, a legacy which cannot be seen through the perspective of 'westernization'. His ideas reveal a vision of human diversity and individual virtue which can be viewed in comparative perspective, as well as an insight into the history and politics of Japan. The texts are accompanied by a chronology of Sorai's life, a glossary, a guide to persons mentioned in the text, and a guide to further reading, as well as Professor Najita's introduction, which puts Sorai's work into philosophical and historical context.
- Electronic book text
- 11 May 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; Editor's introduction: interpreting the historicism of Ogyu Sorai; Principal events in the life of Ogyu Sorai; Biographical synopses; Guide to further reading; Glossary; Bendo: a discourse on the way Ogyu Sorai; Benmei I: the clarification of names (with addenda from Benmei II) Ogyu Sorai; Keizairoku Shui: addendum to 'On the political economy' Dazai Shundai; Index.
"The distinguishing feature of Najita's book is that it provides in convenient form readable English translations of two of Sorai's key works, A Discourse on the Way and The Clarification of Names, together with Addendum to `On the Political Economy', by Sorai's disciple, Dazai Shundai. To those already knowledgeable in these fields, the book may be read with great profit." Theodore McNelly, Perspectives in Political Science "This pithy volume, edited by Tetsuo Najita of the University of Chicago, makes available to Western readers important writings on political theory by Ogyu Sorai (1666-1728)." Theodore Mc Nelly, Perspectives on Political Science "...[readers] should also be grateful that Najita has braved the challenge of making such extremely abstruse texts somewhat more accessible." John A. Tucker, Journal of Japanese Studies "This concise and appealing book presents a mayor [sic] reevaluation of Ogyn Sorai....Najita's study is a trenchment and elegant critique of Maruyama's thesis." Mark Ravina, Journal of Asian History