It was the course of preserving ones heart by holding

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Unformatted text preview: ist sects had been destroyed during the advance toward unification in the late sixteenth century. And although Buddhism remained very much part of the daily lives of the people, it not only ceased to hold appeal for many Japanese intellectuals but indeed even drew the outright scorn and enmity of some. The vigorous and colorful outburst of artistic creativity in the Momoyama epoch was the first major reaction to the gloom of medievalism. With the advent of the Tokugawa period, this reaction spread to the intellectual field and stimulated a great Confucian revival. Interestingly, as we observed in an earlier chapter, it was the Buddhist church—and especially the Zen sect—that paved the way for the upsurge in Confucian studies during Tokugawa times. Japanese Zen priests had from at least the fourteenth century on assiduously investigated the tenets of Sung The Flourishing of a Bourgeois Culture 171 Neo-Confucianism, and in ensuing centuries had produced a corpus of research upon which the Neo-Confucian scholarship of the Tokugawa period was ultimately built. Neo-Confucianism had evolved during the Sung period in China partly as a reaction against Buddhism, which from mid-T’ang times had increasingly come to be criticized as an alien and harmful creed, and partly as an attempt to revitalize native Confucian values and institutions. In the process of its formulation, however, Neo-Confucianism absorbed much that was fundamentally Buddhist, including an elaborate cosmology and metaphysical structure. Of the various schools of Neo-Confucianism that emerged in China, it was the teachings of the great twelfthcentury philosopher Chu Hsi (1130–1200) that eventually were accepted as the orthodox doctrine of Confucian learning. From the early fourteenth century until the abolishment of the examination system in 1905, Chu Hsi’s brand of Neo-Confucianism was painstakingly studied and rehashed by countless generations of candidates for the degrees of official preferment and entry into the ministerial class that were traditionally bestowed by the Chinese court. In Japan, too, it was Chu Hsi’s Neo-Confucianism that was embraced by the Tokugawa shogunate as an orthodoxy. Although shogunate auth...
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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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