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HIST 3760A Modern Japan- Confucianism and the "Way of the Warrior"

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HIST 3760
Joshua Fogel

1thMonday October 24 2011HIST 3760ACONFUCIANISM AND THE WAY OF THE WARRIORIn east Asia particularly in China literally tens of thousands of volumes written on ConfucianismConfucius himself lived somewhere between 600 BCE and 450 BCEHas been around in society for at least two millenniumsIn general there is a convergence of 3 concepts in this discussion may think of them as contradictory concepts in a sense they do not all fit neatly togetheroThe Way daooNotion of a scholar or official idealReason to be scholar is to take the examination to become an official somedayoThe warrior ideal in Japan bushidoWhy study this To implement scholarship and virtue and on the basis of those things actions in the political and social realmoThat is the point of studying Confucian idealsoStudy ancient works to find ideals in them to form their livesConfucianism has a resonance with religionReverence in Confucian thought for the Golden Age a time when Sages roamed the world a time that no time since can measure up to everything downhill sinceoThe point of learning and being a virtuous person is to live up to the Golden Age or try to measure upoLook for ideals not necessarily creating new ideals living up to the past modelsWhat are these scriptural writingsoThey are supposedly written by the SagesoNo one takes these writings literally but there are qualities associated with themOne comparison is like saints of the church but they are not quite the same thingWhether the Sage kings ever lived is quite unclearConfucius lived in a time in China when there were many kingdoms He tried to go around and talk to people about his plans and answers for the world One of his first suggestions was for people to make him an official so that he could make his plans into action People rejected himoDuring those days he was fairly unsuccessfuloBut how does a complete failure like him survive What did he do When he cannot do he taught
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