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Unformatted text preview: likening Japan to England,
the island country of the West that had also founded a far-flung empire.
Toshiaki was perhaps more blatantly imperialistic in his views than
most, but he was certainly not alone among scholars of his age in advocating alteration of the seclusion policy to permit expansion of Japanese
interests abroad. Yet, except for a brief period in the late eighteenth century, the opinions of Toshiaki and like-minded men were not especially
appreciated by the shogunate. This was partly because of a clamping
down on heterodox studies undertaken in 1790 by issuance of an edict
calling upon the Confucian schools conducted by the Hayashi family to
teach only the tenets of the orthodox creed of Neo-Confucianism. This
edict was conceived by shogunate officials who sincerely believed that
the diversity of thinking in the country was having adverse effects upon
society and who hoped to strengthen the moral fiber of the Japanese
people by insisting upon propagation once again of an orthodox philosophical line in officially sponsored schools.
In addition to the various heterodox trends we have been examining in
intellectual circles, the middle and late Tokugawa period also witnessed
what may be called heterodox developments in painting, at least insofar as
the main schools flourishing during this time were influenced to a greater
or lesser degree by Western “scientific” techniques of realistic detailing,
shading, and perspective. When one considers that, by the early Meiji Heterodox Trends 223 period (say, the 1870s), the Japanese had become so enamored of
Western-style painting that they were prepared almost totally to ignore
their own rich artistic heritage, this turning to Western techniques from
about the early eighteenth century on constituted a radical heterodoxy
One of the main schools of painting that arose in the eighteenth century, although under some Western influence, was in fact inspired by the
so-called literati artists (bunjin) of China (fig. 61). From about the late
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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 The University of British Columbia.
- Spring '13