Yamazaki Ansai was one of the first and most committed Japanese followers of the orthodox Cheng-Zhu School of neo-Confucianism, which can be traced back to the philosophy of Cheng Yi. Later in life, he melded the ethical and metaphysical teachings of Confucianism with the values and spiritual pantheon of Shintō, founding his own school of both Confucianism and Shintō. Ansai embraced reverence and duty as the core tenants of his form of Confucianism, and he extolled the absolute duty to the emperor, which made his form of Confucianism compatible and attractive to followers of both Shintō and bushidō and would later contribute to extreme versions of Japanese nationalism and emperor worship.
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