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November 20th (Friday), 3:00 PM at 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
Confucianism for the People in Modern Japan: Ishizaki Tōgoku and Osaka Yōmei Gakkai
Takahiro Nakajima (Professor of Chinese Philosophy, University of Tokyo)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Please join us in two weeks and welcome Professor Takahiro Nakajima of the University of Tokyo, who is currently a visiting professor and research scholar at Princeton University. 

Takahiro Nakajima (Professor of Chinese Philosophy and Comparative Philosophy, University of Tokyo)
Confucianism for the People in Modern Japan: Ishizaki Tōgoku and Osaka Yōmei Gakkai
Friday, 20th November, 3:00 PM
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
Free and open to the public, No registration required

When investigating modern Japanese Confucianism, we can find two different trends. The first is “Confucianism for the nation”, a school of thought which existed for the purpose of creating the Japanese nation; the second is “Confucianism for the people,” another body of teachings rooted in commoner society, and which separated from and transcended the bounds of nation-making. The modernized teachings of Wang Yangming (Yōmei-gaku in Japanese) are what allowed these two Confucianisms to take shape in tandem. It must be noted that this modern Yōmei-gaku was an exceedingly unique interpretation of the Ming dynasty teachings that it referenced. It was deeply conscribed by the experiences of early modern and modern Japan — that is, from the end of the 18th century to the start of the Meiji period and after.

In this presentation, I would like to explain the process by which these two Confucianisms emerged as twins of each other. Furthermore, I examine one aspect of the thought of Ishizaki Tōgoku, who established the academic society called the Osaka Yōmei Gakkai, as an important example of Confucianism for the people. Following that, it seeks to uncover a potential path towards another set of universalities within Confucianism for the people that are different from those sought after by Confucianism for the nation.

Made possible by the Orient Finance Company Endowment for the Donald Keene Center.

Visit our website,, for the latest information on our events. All events are free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Upcoming Events for Fall 2015
[All events take place at Columbia University. The following information is subject to change.]


Thursday 19 November 6:00 PM, 403 Kent
John Whitman (Professor of Linguistics, Cornell University)
Glossing and Other Traces of Vernacular Reading
(Cosponsored by the Columbia Program in World Philology)

Friday 20 November 3:00 PM, 403 Kent
Takahiro Nakajima (Professor of Chinese Philosophy and Comparative Philosophy, Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo; Visiting Research Scholar and Visiting Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University)
Confucianism for the People in Modern Japan: Ishizaki Tōgoku and Osaka Yōmei Gakkai

Friday 11 December, 5:30 PM, C.V. Starr East Asian Library Reading Room, 300 Kent Hall
Steven D. Carter for The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays (Columbia University Press, 2014)
Terry Gallagher for his translation of Toh Enjoe's Self-Reference ENGINE (VIZ Media, 2013)
Stephen D. Miller and Patrick Donnelly for their waka translation in The Wind from Vulture Peak (Cornell East Asia Series, 2013)
2015-2016 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature
RSVP requested by Nov. 20th - please email the full names of attendees to:

Wednesday 16 December, 1:30 – 7:30 pm, 918 International Affairs Building (420 West 118th Street)
The Many Worlds of Yamaguchi Yoshiko: An International Workshop
Cosponsored by Weatherhead East Asian Institute

Copyright © 2015 Donald Keene Center, All rights reserved.

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