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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

Chapter:
(p.61) Two The Confucian Way as Cultural Transformation
Source:
Imagining Harmony
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804761574.003.0003

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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