ASIA212Varley

49 both ketsu and statsu were representatives of the

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Unformatted text preview: nism, imported from China, endorsed this hierarchy as based on laws thought to be as immutable as the laws of nature itself. Much of the credit for establishing and propagating Chu Hsi NeoConfucianism has traditionally been given to Hayashi Razan (1583– 1657), a man of diverse scholarly accomplishments who served four shoguns over a period of more than fifty years. Noted as a Confucian theorist, historian, and spet in legal precedence, Razan has been thought to have done more than anyone else to gain acceptance of the The Flourishing of a Bourgeois Culture 173 Chu Hsi school of Neo-Confucianism as the principal creed of the Tokugawa shogunate. Recently, however, scholars have called into question not only Razan’s role in attracting the shogunate to Chu Hsi Neo-Confucianism, but even the dating of when that creed was accepted as the shogunate’s orthodoxy.9 Neo-Confucianism’s first task in the Tokugawa period had been to disengage itself from Buddhism, a task that was accomplished by Fujiwara Seika (1561–1619) and Razan, both of whom started their careers as Buddhist priests and only later were allowed to become independent Confucian teachers. But apparently not until much later in the seventeenth century—long after Razan’s death—did the shogunate seriously turn to Neo-Confucianism. In the process, the Hayashi family, in the generations after Razan, became securely fixed as the official Confucian advisers to the shogunate and the hereditary heads of a Confucian academy in Edo. Although Neo-Confucianism was unquestionably a valuable ideological tool for the shogunate and a powerful stimulus to learning in the Tokugawa period, it also exerted a certain stultifying influence on literature and the arts in general. Confucianists have always been absorbed first and foremost with morality, and their liking for didactic literature has often led to very dull writing. But perhaps the most telling example of how the Confucian sense of propriety and reserve stifled artistic creativity in the Tokugawa period can be observed in the history of the distinguished Kanò school of painters. From the tim...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.

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