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The Liberation And Oppression Of The Human Spirit

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Yamaji Aizan's real opponent was not Kitamura Tōkoku, but state-centred educators including Inoue Tetsujirō, who was a dominant figure in educational circles. It suggests that Yamaji put forward new ideas concerning the education of women, being opposed to the state-centred view that women should be educated as 'good wives and wise mothers' (ryōsai kenbo) under the system of patriarchy, which was believed to be the essence of Japan's national polity since ancient times. Ienaga Saburō has also asserted that the characteristics of Kitamura Tōkoku's ideas were his criticisms of the utilitarianism, scientism and determinism of the Enlightenment movement. One may conclude that Yamaji's proposal for the improvement of the status of women, which was made in opposition to women's education based on state-centred nationalism, formed an integral part of his attempt to liberate the human spirit.

Keywords: enlightenment movement; human spirit; Japan's national polity; Kitamura Tōkoku; state-centred nationalism; women's education; Yamaji Aizan



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