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Imagining HarmonyPoetry, Empathy, and Community in Mid-Tokugawa Confucianism and Nativism$
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Peter Flueckiger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804761574

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804761574.001.0001

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The Confucian Way as Cultural Transformation

The Confucian Way as Cultural Transformation

Ogyū Sorai

(p.61) Two The Confucian Way as Cultural Transformation
Imagining Harmony
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines why Ogyū Sorai sought to make Confucianism relevant to managing Tokugawa society by depicting it as a tool for governance in early eighteenth-century Japan. He saw the Confucian Way as a human creation, rather than an extension of the natural order of the cosmos. The discussion analyzes how he envisioned the cultivation of the Way by individuals as a process of socialization. It describes his depiction of the relationship between the Way as a cultural system and the raw material of human nature that it works upon, and how his conception of this relationship is tied to a vision of government as the coordination of distinct human abilities toward a common goal.

Keywords:   Confucianism, Confucian Way, eighteenth-century Japan, Ogyū Sorai, Tokugawa society

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