Confucian Values and Popular Zen: Sekimon Shingaku in Eighteenth Century Japan
Although East Asian religion is commonly characterized as "syncretic," the historical interaction of Buddhist, Confucian, and other traditions is often neglected by scholars of mainstream religious thought. In this thought-provoking study, Janine Sawada moves beyond conventional approaches to the history of Japanese religion by analyzing the ways in which Neo-Confucianism and Zen formed a popular synthesis in early modern Japan. She shows how Shingaku, a teaching founded by merchant Ishida Baigan, blossomed after his death into a widespread religious movement that selectively combined ideas and practices from these traditions. Drawing on new research into original Shingaku sources, Sawada challenges the view that the teaching was a facile "merchant ethic" by illuminating the importance of Shingaku mystical experience and its intimate relation to moral cultivation in the program developed by Baigan's successor, Teshima Toan.
This book also suggests the need for an approach to the history of Japanese education that accounts for the informal transmission of ideas as well as institutional schooling. Shingaku contributed to the development of Japanese education by effectively disseminating moral and religious knowledge on a large scale to the less-educated sectors of Tokugawa society. Sawada interprets the popularity of the movement as part of a general trend in early modern Japan in which ordinary people sought forms of learning that could be pursued in the context of daily life.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Analects banashi Bankei Bellah Buddhist calculation century Ch'eng Ch'eng-Chu Chinese Chu Hsi classical common Confucian Confucian scholars contemplative cultivation Dharma disciples discourse discovery discussion domain Doni's dowa Early Lessons Edo period eighteenth Elementary Learning enlightenment ethical experience filial piety followers Gento Hakuin Hsi's ideas innate iroha Ishida Baigan Ishikawa Japanese Kinsei knowing the original koan kyoiku Kyoto late lectures meditation meetinghouses Meirinsha Mencius moral movement Munan Nakazawa Doni Naokata nature Neo-Confucian Nihon one's original mind popular practice preachers principles quiet sitting religious Rinzai sakumon samurai Sanzensha seiza Sekimon Shingaku sensei sermons shian Shingaku Shingaku community Shingaku leader Shingaku members Shingaku teachers Shinto Shogaku shogunal Shosan Sung Takuan teaching terakoya Teshima Toan texts things tion Toan's Tokugawa period Tokugawa Religion tradition translated Tsurezuregusa Uekawa Kisui vernacular Wa'an Wang Words of Truth writings Yamazaki Ansai zazengi Zen master Zenmon zenshu
Page 5 - Japanese religion never tires of stressing the importance of diligence and frugality and of attributing religious significance to them, both in terms of carrying out one's obligations to the sacred and in terms of purifying the self of evil impulses and desires. That such an ethic is profoundly favorable to economic rationalization was the major point of Weber's study of Protestantism and we must say that it seems similarly favorable in Japan.