In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

309 UIYAMABUMI Motoori Norinaga | 1798 [According to Norinaga’s account, after he finished Kojiki-­den, his students pressed him to write down advice for them to follow as they continued to learn about the Way. It is a rather short outline of things to do, and what texts to concentrate, with endnotes added to expound upon the twenty-­ eight main principles in the essay. I have included the notes in a reduced font. Norinaga divides the core of his methodology into four areas: Japanese religion, the principles of the Japanese court, history , and poetry. He also stresses reading the early Japanese records to help one see how the student can rid himself of Chinese influence.] There are not one, but many schools of learning in society.1 Learning refers to the study of the imperial court. Ever since ancient times, “scholarship” has only referred to Chinese learning. To differentiate between Chinese and Japanese studies, terms like wagaku or kokugaku have been employed, but these usages are particularly dreadful. Because this is the study of our own country, scholarship centered on Japan should be labeled just as “scholarship.” To make a distinction between the studying of China, the label “Chinese learning” (kangaku) should be used. If one is talking about Chinese studies, and there is confusion concerning Japanese studies, too, then it would be proper to use the title of Japanese court studies; at any rate, the usage of wagaku or kokugaku gives one the impression that we treat Japanese studies as something foreign. From the point of view of China, Korea, or Holland, our scholarship is foreign, but there is no reason for us to label Japanese things thus. Everything about China is foreign , and all things from that country are foreign, so we should say “So-and-So from China” or “Such and such of Tang China” when talking about things. Because things related to our imperial country are domestic, there is no need to use the prefix “Japanese .” From the time of the distant past there has been a general trend to make Chinese studies the focal point, and in all things Japanese have treated China as if it were their native country. Treating Japan as a foreign land is a misconception and a grave mistake. I bring this up first because it has to do with part of making sure one’s Yamato spirit is firmly grounded. By “many schools” I mean that we should first start with learning about the Way, which is mainly seen in the records of the divine age.2 This type of study is known as shingaku “the study of the kami,” and a 1. Norinaga interpolates more than twenty-­ five notes in this short treatise. I have put his notes in the text, in a reduced font. 2. Norinaga writes divine age as 神代紀, giving one the impression that he meant it from 310 Views on Scholarship person engaged in this study is known as a follower of the Way of the Kami, and these people generally have studied ancient governmental posts, ceremonies , and the legal codes. In addition, there is research centered on ancient rites and practices, dress and accessories. This is called the study of ancient court precedent. And anciently, there was the nebulous study not connected to any one school of learning that researches into the old records starting with the six national histories continuing down to records in later eras. There are perhaps several divisions within this school of learning. And then there is also the study of poetics. Among this group, there are two branches, one that deals with the composition of poetry and the other that is centered on the study of ancient anthologies and ancient tales. That is an overview and people follow the course of study that interests them. The student’s method of study varies from the designs of the teacher and the intentions of the student. Among the people who wish to enter the Way of learning, there are some who have a predetermined school they want to join, and they desire to discover the proper method on their own. Then there are those students who have no predetermined course they wish to follow, and have not pondered any research method, but inquire of those with knowledge, asking things like which course of study should be pursued, what is the best way for a beginner to study, and from which works should one start reading. This last situation is common in society...


Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.