The strange journey of Confucius to Japan, by Olivier Ansart
Golden Nihon Collection
ISBN: 978-99920-68-07-6 DL: AND.237-2015; distribué par Sodis
This book goes against conventional wisdom. It is intended to show that while Japan has adopted the values and vocabulary of Confucianism, they have been powerless to profoundly change Japanese society. Staying away from the sinister world, Japan has never listened to its own traditions, even to explain them in the prestigious vocabulary of Confucianism.
It is not therefore a fixed and intangible Confucianism that Japan has developed. A blossoming of discourses called by the political and social context, put at the service of uses, are gathered there, under the only reference to the singularity of the original message. However, they are often far removed from the principles of Chinese Confucianism.
Japan and the West: an impossible meeting? The Japan we imagine is filtered by the most opaque screens. One of the most likely to generate misunderstandings and misunderstandings is undoubtedly that of the “Confucian culture” lent so often to this country. It is she who would have subjected the man to the group, stifled his freedom under the shackles of many obediences, and in doing so, would be responsible for all that Japan presents of admirable, repulsive or incomprehensible to our eyes.
The author shows that it is not so and that if Confucius traveled to Japan, he could not resist a deep assimilation.
The author: After teaching at Waseda University in Tokyo, Olivier Ansart heads the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published numerous articles on the history of ideas in pre-modern Japan. He is also the author of The Empire of Rite, OGYU Sorai’s Political Thought (Droz, 1998, Reissue 2010) and An Indigenous Modernity (Les Belles Lettres, Japan Collection, 2013).
Update: Release June 1 of the second volume of the Golden Nihon Collection: The strange journey of Confucius in Japan by Olivier Ansart
Launch Event: a debate in Paris with the author Olivier Ansart, organized by the Ricci Institute with participants: Eddy Dufourmont, Guillaume Carré, Patrick Sigwalt.