Japan and China：A Journey of Adventures in Intellectual History
Japan’s gender gap in “Political Empowerment” and in “Economic Participation and Opportunity” is one of the worst in the whole world (Global Gender Gap Report 2022 by World Economic Forum). Female leaders in Politics and Economy are very few in Japan. But, paradoxically, it appears that Japanese women are not so angry at this situation. Feminist movement is not so strong in Japan either. Why? There are many social reasons. Moreover, there are probably historical and cultural reasons. One of them is the traditional ideal of woman, that is KAWAII(可愛的). Why have women been expected to be KAWAII in Japan? This lecture tries to answer this question.
※演講(二) Alexis de Tocqueville 與中國
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) is sometimes evaluated as “at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.” (Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop). It is regarded as a penetrating analysis of “democracy”, which was prevailing in the US at his time and would prevail in Europe in the future. But, as a matter of fact, Tocqueville’s concept of “democracy” came not only from America but also from China at his time. This lecture enunciates this forgotten fact and introduces fascinating analyses of Chinese society by Japanese historians.
So-called Meiji Restoration ( 明 治 維 新 ) (1867-) in Japan was actually a radical revolution. But it is not called 革命 in Japan. Moreover, it has not been regarded as 革命in Japan either in the traditional Confucian sense or in the modern European sense. It was, however, motivated by Confucian concepts and ideals, which had prevailed among samurai (warrior class). This lecture explains why Confucianism became the major intellectual origin of militant anti-government movements and radical reforms of the Meiji Revolution.
※工作坊(一) Religion 的衝撃――日本與中國的應對
宗教 is one of the numerous words that were coined in late 19thcentury Japan for translating European words. But the meaning of 宗教 is different from “religion” as 教 is fundamentally different from “religion”. The Japanese leaders in the late 19th-century were shocked when they found that the Europeans and the Americans, who were economically prosperous, militarily powerful and supposedly “civilized” were extremely “religious.” They wondered whether their people also had to have a “religion” like Christianity. The answer they came up with in the 1880s had a serious and prolonged influence on intellectual and political lives of the Japanese. Then, what about the Chinese? This workshop tries to explore this problem.
「男色」(the same sex love between men)was very common among the ruling samurai (武士) class in 17thcentury Japan. Such relationships between men were regarded as a sign of their “manliness” and were showed off to the public especially by high-ranking samurai. Why? Because it worked as a justification of the rule by the warrior class. This workshop tries to understand this peculiar situation and to broaden our view o n gender and sexuality.
“Individual” in English is said to be coined in 1605. “個人” in Japanese and Chinese is its translation. What does this new word mean exactly? If it denotes some new state of human being, what is that? Moreover, if it means that human beings were not “individuals” before “modernization”, what were they? What is the difference between the “modern self” and the “pre-modern self”? This workshop tries to throw some lights on these big questions by comparing Japanese and Chinese societies and their ways of life in the so-called pre-modern period.