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Lionel Babicz

Maître de conférences University of Sydney

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lionel.babicz[at]usyd.edu.au

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EHESS
CNRS
UMR 8173 Chine Corée Japon

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Confucianism in Modern Japan

Conference - Jeudi 18 mai 2017 - 11:00Conférence de Takahiro NAKAJIMA, Professeur à l’Université de Tôkyô, professeur invité à l'EHESS en mai 2017, dans le cadre du séminaire collectif du Centre de recherches sur le Japon.In the process of modernization in Japan, Confucianism played an important role to educate modern intellectuals. Mishima Chūshū was a founder of Nishōgakusha, in which Confucianism mainly based upon modern Yōmeigaku as well as modern law influenced by French law were taught. It was not an institute of traditional Confucian education, but a modern institute for modern scholarship. Natsume Sōseki who was one of the alumni of Nishōgakusha and became the first national novelist in modern Japan was deeply influenced by Mishima and his teaching of Confucianism. Nakae Chōmin who was a representative Yōmeigaku scholar and a translator of Jean-Jacques Rousseau was also impacted by Mishima. By focusing on the influence to students such as Sōseki and Chōmin, I would like to figure out the overlook of Confucian Education at Nishōgakusha and put it in a wider context of Meiji Education. Then I turn to think of philosophy of Mishima himself, especially focusing on his “doctrine of the unification of moral righteousness and profit” 義利合一論, which supported Japanese capitalism from the ideological point of view in tandem with Shibusawa Eiichi. As a conclusion, I would like to sketch one aspect of Confucian education in Modern Japan not as a simple reactionary conservatism, but as a modern device of Japanese modernity.

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