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Problems Of The Professionalization Of Science In Late-Nineteenth-Century Japan

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Chapter Summary

Under the preceding Tokugawa regime, a number of local fief governments had maintained loosely subordinate feudal relations with the central Shogunate government. The dominant intellectual profession was that of Confucian scholars, whose teaching encompassed a wide range from politics to personal ethics. Many Confucian scholars maintained private tutorial schools, but gradually these private schools were put under government sponsorship. Astronomy was purely a governmental enterprise to issue official calendars. The positions of the Shogunate astronomers were hereditary. In 1868 the old Shogunate-fiefs regime was terminated. In replacing it, the new Meiji oligarchy government started with centralizing all administrative functions. In the early Meiji period, before the Constitution was promulgated in 1889 and the modern bureaucracy was instituted, the legal profession had not yet been established as a respectable career. Modern scientific and technological professions were the product of artificial creation solely by the hand of the new Western-oriented government.

Keywords: Confucian scholars; Meiji oligarchy government; Shogunate astronomers; Tokugawa regime; Western-oriented government



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