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In Search of the WayThought and Religion in Early—Modern Japan, 1582-1860$
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Richard Bowring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795230

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795230.001.0001

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The encouragement of learning

The encouragement of learning

Chapter:
(p.146) 10 The encouragement of learning
Source:
In Search of the Way
Author(s):

Richard Bowring

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795230.003.0010

This chapter covers matters of learning and education as levels of literacy increased and the dissemination of information became an industry. The focus is on the writings of Kaibara Ekiken, who was an ‘educator’ par excellence. This was also the period that saw the beginnings of an interest in the study of nature, which was given impetus with the arrival in Japan of the encyclopaedic Bencao gangmu with its detailed botanical descriptions, which in turn gave rise to a number of Japanese examples. This was not exactly the rise of ‘science’ but certainly a step in that direction. In tandem with these developments came a rise in self-confidence among members of the merchant class, who began to define what they called The Way of the Merchant in an attempt to justify their vital place in a society that still placed them at the bottom of the social ladder.

Keywords:   Kaibara Ekiken, education, learning, botany, science, Way of the Merchant, Andō Shōeki

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