“Kangaku” and the Development of Modern Japanese Political Thought, Transgression into China: the Imagination of “Doubun” and the Rise of Asianism and Nationalism
|關鍵字:||漢學;日本;中國;亞洲主義;國族主義;Kangaku” nationalism Asianism Japan China|
In the study of modern Japanese political thoughts, nationalism and the following development of Japanese imperialism and Asianism are the main concerns of many researchers. Japan’s development since the middle of the nineteenth century is usually summarized by the concept ‘westernization’; yet, such a perspective neglects the influence carried by indigenous traditions in the formation of modern Japan. The idea of modern Japanese nationalism and Asianism, in fact, relate to thoughts of the Edo-period, especially those concerning the Chinese-learning(“Kangaku” ， 漢學) and the National-learning(“Kokugaku”，國學). All the leaders of the Meiji restoration in 1868 had a “Kangaku” education background, which strongly influenced their ideas. Since Japan and China shared the same tradition of “Kangaku” and therefore the imagination of “doubun”(sharing the Writing System “Kanji”，同文), the political concepts and texts translated by the Meiji intellectuals were spread into China, thus impacted the political thoughts of modern Chinese intellectuals. This project aims to introduce the knowledge of “Kangaku” as one of the contexts in the the history of political thoughts in modern East Asia. To begin with, I will focus on how the “Kangaku” and the imagination of “doubun” developed in the Edo and the Meiji-period, arguing its relevance with Asiaism. Then I will discuss how “Kokugaku” scholars criticized “Kangaku”, how they resisted the imagination of “doubun”, and how their thoughts carried more influences in the development of Japanese nationalism. I will also survey how the Meiji intellectuals made use of the knowledge of “Kangaku” to translate the concepts and texts of modern western political thoughts, especially on those of nation building. By doing so I will argue that the translated concepts of nationalism and Asianism, spreading from Japan into China, are affected by the tradition of “Kangaku” and the imagination of “doubun”. In short, this project intends to re-examine the tensions between the Asianism and nationalism developed in Japanese and Chinese intellectual/knowledge network; expecting to reconstruct the history of modern Japanese political thoughts, to clarify the unsolved issues in modern intellectual history in East Asia, and to provide some relevant clues for further thinking.
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