Nakae Tōju

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Nakae Tōju

Nakae Tōju (中江 藤樹, 21 April 1608 – 11 October 1648) was a Japanese Confucian philosopher known as "the sage of Ōmi".

Quotes[edit]

  • Man’s mind is the mind of the sensible world, but we have another mind which is called conscience. This is reason itself, and does not belong to form (or “mode”). It is infinite and eternal. As our conscience is one with (the divine or universal) reason, it has no beginning or end. If we act in accord with (such) reason or conscience, we are ourselves the incarnations of the infinite and eternal, and have eternal life.
    • as quoted in Will Durant, Our oriental Heritage
  • “I had for many years been a devout believer in Shushi says Nakaye Toju (1608-48), “when, by the mercy of Heaven, the collected works of Oyomei were brought for the first time to Japan. Had it not been for the aid of their teaching, my life would have been empty and barren.”
    • as quoted in Will Durant, Our oriental Heritage

Quotes about Nakae Toju[edit]

  • In Japan, even more than in China, the influence of Confucius on philosophic thought overwhelmed all the resistance of unplaced rebels on the one hand, and mystic idealists on the other. The Shushi school of Seigwa, Razan and Ekken took its name from Chu Hsi, and followed his orthodox and conservative interpretation of the Chinese classics. For a time it was opposed by the Oyomei school, which took its lead from Wang Yangming, known to Nippon as Oyomei. Like Wang, the Japanese philosophers of Oyomei sought to deduce right and wrong from the conscience of the individual rather than from the traditions of society and the teachings of the ancient sages. “I had for many years been a devout believer in Shushi says Nakaye Toju (1608-48), “when, by the mercy of Heaven, the collected works of Oyomei were brought for the first time to Japan. Had it not been for the aid of their teaching, my life would have been empty and barren.” So Nakaye devoted himself to expounding an idealist monism, in which the world was a unity of ki and ri—of things (or “modes”) and reason or law. God and this unity were one; the world of things was his body, the universal law was his soul. Like Spinoza, Wang Yang-ming and the Scholastics of Europe, Nakaye accepted this universal law with a kind of amor dei intellectualis, and accounted good and evil as human terms and prejudices describing no objective entities; and, again strangely like Spinoza, he found a certain immortality in the contemplative union of the individual spirit with the timeless laws or reason of the world.
    • Will Durant, Our oriental Heritage
  • Nakaye was a man of saintly sincerity, but his philosophy pleased neither the people nor the government. The Shogunate trembled at the notion that every man might judge for himself what was right and what was wrong.
    • Will Durant, Our oriental Heritage

External links[edit]

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