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Anti-Foreignism and Western Learning in Early-Modern Japan The New Theses of 1825

ISBN-10: 0674040376

ISBN-13: 9780674040373

Edition: 1986

Authors: Bob T. Wakabayashi

List price: $25.00
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This study analyzes New Theses (Shinron), by Aizawa Seishisai (1781-1863), and its contribution to Japanese political thought and policy during the earlymodern era. New Theses is found to be indispensable to our understanding of Japan's transformation from a feudal to a modern state.Focusing on Aizawa, Wakabayashi traces the development of xenophobia during the Tokugawa period and examines the basis of antiWestern sentiment. He shows how knowledge of Christianity inspired Aizawa to develop thepotent concept of kokutai ("what is essential to a nation"). His analysis explains why the Edobakufu's policies of national isolation (sakoku) and armed expulsion of Westerners (jotilde;i) gained widespread support in the late Tokugawa. Wakabayashi also describes how information on Western affairs and world conditions decisively altered Tokugawa Confucian conceptions of civilization and barbarism, and how this in turn enabled the Japanese to redefine their nation's relationship to China and the West.Rather than place Aizawa and his New Theses of 1825 at the beginning of a process leading up to the Meiji Restoration, Wakabayashi discusses New Theses in conjunction with the bakufu's Expulsion Edict issued in the same year. He concludes that the convergence of the two events in 1825 marks the emergence of modern nationalism in Japan, and therefore should perhaps be seen as more epochmaking than the 1868 Restoration itself.The study also presents a complete translation of New Theses.
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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 1986
Publisher: Harvard University, Asia Center
Publication date: 8/5/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Foreword and Acknowledgments
Prologue: Looking Backward
The Civilized and the Barbarian
Civilization: Where Confucian Ritual Obtains
Japan: A Land of Splendid Barbarians
Innate Japanese Superiority: The Rise of Kokugaku
The Excellence of Western Barbarians
The Mito Synthesis: Japan as Middle Kingdom
Knowledge and Hatred of the West
The Road to National Isolation: Misconceptions of Sakoku
Aizawa's View of Christianity: Conquest Without Warfare
The Threat from the North: Russia
The Threat from the South: Spain and (New) England
Western Learning and Confucian World View
Aizawa and his New Theses
Rangaku and Expulsion by Force: Takahashi Kageyasu
The World Situation in 1825 as Seen in New Theses
New Theses on Domestic Reform
The Sages and their "Expedient Device"
Kokutai and "A Long-Range Policy"
Epilogue: Looking Ahead
Translation: New Theses
Prefatory Remarks
What is Essential to a Nation [Kokutai] (I)
What is Essential to a Nation [Kokutai] (II)
What is Essential to a Nation [Kokutai] (III)
World Affairs
The Barbarians' Nature
National Defense
A Long-Range Policy
Selected Bibliography