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Unformatted text preview: n Shoki
of the eighth century. In perhaps his best-known work, Observations on
History (Dokushi Yoron), Hakuseki presented a careful analysis in terms of
cause and effect of Japanese history from the time of the establishment
of the Fujiwara regency in the Heian period until Hideyoshi’s unification
of the country in the late sixteenth century (with particular emphasis on
the rise of the military class to preeminence).
Whereas Arai Hakuseki employed techniques of historical methodology that we would consider quite modern, other scholars of the early and
mid-Tokugawa period undertook histories of Japan of a more traditional
kind, written in Chinese and based on classical Chinese models of textual
organization. One of these was The Comprehensive Mirror of Our Country
(Honchò Tsugan)13 of the Hayashi family; another was The History of Great
Japan (Dai Nihon Shi), compiled by a school for historical studies established in the Mito han. The Mito work, which was not actually completed
until 1906, is a chronicle of Japan’s imperial line from the time of the
mythical founding of the state by the first emperor in 660 b.c. until unification of the Northern and Southern Courts in 1392. Strongly moralistic in tone, it was greatly admired by loyalists of the late Tokugawa
period, who attacked the shogunate and urged a restoration of the emperor to power. In fact, the early Mito scholars, whose daimyo was related
to the Tokugawa family, had by no means intended their history to be
subversive of the shogunate. Nevertheless, The History of Great Japan,
which stresses the continuity and sanctity of the imperial institution in
Japanese history, greatly aroused the nationalistic sentiments of those who
finally carried out the Meiji Restoration of 1868. 216 Heterodox Trends Another source of inspiration for the loyalists of the Meiji Restoration
was the collected writings of the School of National Learning (kokugakuha). This school arose in the eighteenth century as an antiquarian literary movement whose members investigated such ancient masterpieces
as the Man’yòshû and The T...
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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