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Tokugawa Approaches To The Rituals Of Zhou: The Late Mito School And “Feudalism”

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Chapter Summary

The Rituals of Zhou functioned for Tokugawa scholars largely as an authoritative reference work, so to speak, and for the most part they did not engage in critical analysis of the text or interpret it prescriptively. This chapter focuses on positive views of Ogyū Sorai's disciple Dazai Shundai and then turn to the group for whom the text assumed the largest significance, the late Mito school active in the last decades of the Tokugawa regime. Aizawa Seishisai and his fellows thus identified in the Rituals of Zhou a map for integrating the countryside with the seat of government in such a way as to avoid both the problems that had arisen in earlier periods of Japanese history, when the samurai resided on the land, and those resulting from the fact that they no longer did so.

Keywords: Aizawa Seishisai; Dazai Shundai; Feudalism; Mito School; Ogyū Sorai; Rituals of Zhou; Tokugawa; Tokugawa samurai



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