History of the Development of Japanese Thought: From 592 to 1868

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This revised and expanded edition of a classic work traces the development of the history of philosophy in pre-modern Japan. While many historians take the view that Japanese philosophy only started with the Meiji Restoration and the entrance of Western culture into Japan, Hajime Nakamura demonstrates that there has been a long history of philosophy in Japan prior to the Meiji. Beginning in 592 AD, when Japan first became a centralized state and continuing into the early modern era, this work deals with the important problems and salient feature of Japanese philosophical thought at all stages in its development, dealing with subjects such as the philosophical ideas of the Nara and Heian periods, Japanese medieval thought, the major sects of Buddhism, the way of meditation, controversy between Buddhism and Christianity, modern trends in the Tokugawa period, religion and capitalism, Buddhist influences upon Japanese ways of thinking, and the basic features of Japanese philosophical thought.
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Editorial Reviews

Arguing that there is a long history of Japanese philosophy running from before the Meiji Restoration and the entrance of Western culture, Nakamura (former Director of the Eastern Institute in Tokyo) traces the history of philosophy from pre-modern Japan to the 1700s. Focusing primarily on Buddhist thinkers, chapters chronologically look at how Japanese philosophers have grappled with questions and problems that, according to Nakamura, are fundamentally of the same kind as those discussed in the West, in India, and in China. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780710306500
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/15/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

I The Ideal of a Universal State and its Philosophical Basis - Prince Shotoku and his Successors 1
1 The Universal State 1
2 Administration of the Centralized State 8
3 Cultural Policy 14
4 Philosophical Thought 17
II Philosophical Ideas of the Nara and Heian Periods 39
1 Introductory Remarks 39
2 Voidness 43
3 Existence in Interrelation 45
4 The Absolute 48
5 Affirmation of the World 49
6 Synthesis of Philosophies 52
III Medieval Thought 59
1 The Social Background 59
2 The Supremacy of Religion 61
3 Compassion and Schools of Pure Faith 70
4 The Way of Meditation 86
5 The Concept of Time and Change 93
6 Philosophy of History 100
7 Conclusions 104
IV Controversy Between Buddhism and Christianity - The Period of Contact with the West 111
1 The Encounter of Jodo Buddhism and Christianity - A Case Study of Banzui'i Shonin 111
2 Suzuki Shosan's Criticism of Christianity 126
V Modern Trends - General Features of the Tokugawa Period 151
1 Introductory Remarks 151
2 Critical Attitude 152
3 Changes in the Valuation of Traditional Symbols 161
4 Changes in the Valuation of Man 166
VI Modern Trends - Specific Problems of the Tokugawa Period 193
1 Religion and Capitalism 193
2 The Science of Philosophies - Tominaga Nakamoto (1715-1746) and the History of Philosophies 211
VII Problems of Japanese Philosophical Thought 240
1 Basic Features of the Legal, Political, and Economic Thought 240
2 Buddhist Influence upon Japanese Ways of Thinking 270
Concluding Words 288
A Bibliography of Works in Western Languages 291
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