Aizawa Seishisai (1782-1863), whose work Shinron was read by many scholars and samurais, was an important thinker in mid-nineteenth century Japan. His political idea of saisei itchi (the unity of ritual and governance) and his idea of kokutai were the main topics discussed in Shinron. Kokutai, as a political concept that justified the emperor's authority through his divine descent and the unbroken line of emperors, was widely used in modern Japanese history. This concept of kokutai was first created by Aizawa Seishisai. However, how did Aizawa construct his discourse of kokutai? This paper will examine this problem by looking into the intellectual relationship between Ogyū Sorai (1666-1728) and Aizawa Seishisai and between the Shinron and Aizawa's other works about the Confucian classics. Both Sorai and Aizawa used the Confucian classics to understand ancient Chinese history, and the rituals and political institutions of ancient China to explain and imagine ancient Japan. This paper will focus on the rituals and wars mentioned in the discourse of kokutai, and clarify the difference in their understanding of ancient Chinese and Japanese history. Finally, this paper will explain how Aizawa used historical knowledge derived from the Confucian classics to idealize the divinely-ruled ancient Japan as a form of kokutai.
|Translated title of the contribution||Historical narrative in the thought of aizawa seishisai (1782-1863)|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||36|
|Journal||Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology Academia Sinica|
|State||Published - 1 Mar 2018|