HARVARD EAST ASIAN MONOGRAPHS
Cover: Anti-Foreignism and Western Learning in Early Modern Japan in PAPERBACK

Harvard East Asian Monographs 126

Anti-Foreignism and Western Learning in Early Modern Japan

The New Theses of 1825

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$25.00 • £20.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674040373

Publication Date: 08/05/1992

Short

This study analyzes New Theses (Shinron) by Aizawa Seishisai (1781–1863) and its contribution to Japanese political thought and policy during the early–modern era. New Theses is found to be indispensable to our understanding of Japan’s transformation from a feudal to a modern state.

Focusing on Aizawa, Bob Wakabayashi traces the development of xenophobia during the Tokugawa period and examines the basis of anti-Western sentiment. He shows how knowledge of Christianity inspired Aizawa to develop the potent concept of kokutai (“what is essential to a nation”). His analysis explains why the Edobakufu’s policies of national isolation (sakoku) and armed expulsion of Westerners (jōi) gained widespread support in the late Tokugawa. Wakabayashi also describes how information on Western affairs and world conditions decisively altered Tokugawa Confucian conceptions of civilization and barbarism, and how this in turn enabled the Japanese to redefine their nation’s relationship to China and the West.

Rather than place Aizawa and his New Theses of 1825 at the beginning of a process leading up to the Meiji Restoration, Wakabayashi discusses New Theses in conjunction with the bakufu’s Expulsion Edict issued in the same year. He concludes that the convergence of the two events in 1825 marks the emergence of modern nationalism in Japan, and therefore should perhaps be seen as more epoch–making than the 1868 Restoration itself.

The study also presents a complete translation of New Theses.

From Our Blog

Jacket: Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom, by James Danckert and John D. Eastwood, from Harvard University Press

Responding to Boredom during Self-Isolation

No one likes to be bored, but it’s almost inevitable during this time of social distancing and self-quaratine. John D. Eastwood, coauthor of Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom, explains some things that we know about boredom, how to address it—and even what we can gain from it. We have been here before. During the SARS outbreak of 2003, upwards of 23,000 people in the Greater Toronto Area were quarantined. House

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.