Yukichi Fukuzawa and Kitaro Nishida
平山氏からの依頼により、2019年10月12・13日に米国ハワイ州ハワイ大学マノア 校で開催された International Association of Japanese Philosophy（IAJP）での発表 ”Yukichi Fukuzawa and Kitaro Nishida”（10月13日）の英語原稿と音声を 平山氏の了解のうえアップロードします。
Yukichi Fukuzawa and Kitaro Nishida
Yo HIRAYAMA, University of Shizuoka
① Fukuzawa and Nishida were born in Jodo Shinshu sect family
Audiences might feel surprised that Yukichi Fukuzawa ( 1835 ～1901 ) and Kitaro Nishida ( 1870 ～1945) are compared. This is because they seem to have something in common only as university teachers born in 19th century Japan. Fukuzawa was born in the Edo period, 30 years before the Meiji Restoration, and is from the samurai class. Nishida was born after the Meiji Restoration and is from the Shoya class. It ’s hard to find something in common. However, there is something in common that you can't imagine. The commonality is the fact that they both grew up in Jodo Shinshu, a Japanese Buddhist sect. In the writing, both of them say, "There is no close relationship between our thought and the faith of Jodo Shinshu."
But is that true? Both of them attended the Jodo Shinshu service from an early age and listened to the preaching of Buddhist temple monks. Even if they think they are not affected, they may be affected without their knowledge. The purpose of this presentation is to clarify the relationship between two seemingly unrelated thoughts.
② About Jodo Shinshu in Japanese Buddhism
Some audiences might do not know about Buddhism, so I will explain Buddhism very easily. Buddhism was opened by Shaka, the king of the kingdom in northern India around the 5th century BC. He opposes Brahmanism based on strict discrimination, and as a Buddhist doctrine, he laid the foundations of absolute indiscriminateness in the real world and the training of the heart leading to its ideals.
This early Buddhism was called Small-Buddhist Buddhism (Theravada Buddhism) and spread to Myanmar, Thailand, southern Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. A major doctrinal change was made to this Buddhism around the first century AD, which is called Mahayana Buddhism. This Mahayana Buddhism aims not only for personal relief but for the entire human race. Mahayana Buddhism spreads to China, Korea, and northern Vietnam. It was introduced to Japan in the beginning of the 6th century.
The Buddhist scriptures passed on to Japan were not Sanskrit originals but Han translations. In China, Confucianism had already been adopted as a political thought since BC, so it was good to say that Buddhism imported into Japan was originally Confucian Buddhism. In China, Korea, and Japan until the 9th century AD , the nation was operated by this Mahayana Buddhism, but in China and Korea, Buddhism eventually declined. However, Mahayana Buddhism survived only in Japan, and more than 90 % of Japanese people are still performing funerals in it.
The Jodo Shinshu, which both the Fukuzawa and Nishida families worshiped, was also a part of Mahayana Buddhism and was opened by Shinran at the beginning of the 13th century. This faith is also aimed at the salvation of all mankind, and the salvation there is a teaching that "By believing in the Amida Buddha, Shaka's teacher, it will be restored to the paradise Gokuraku after death". This is called "Jobutsu" , rivival as Buddha , by "absolute power".
Shinran's Mission mainly spread from the Kinki to Chubu regions of Japan. In the 15th century, Ishikawa Prefecture, where the Nishida family was located, was called a land dominated by Jodo Shinshu sect. On the other hand, the Fukuzawa family was based in Oita Prefecture, but it is clear that its ancestors were in Shinano country, Nagano Prefecture, until the early 17th century. Perhaps the faith of the Fukuzawa family has been since Shinano.
Next, I will clarify the influence of Jodo Shinshu in the thoughts of Fukuzawa and Nishida in the order of Nishida and Fukuzawa. The order of the ages is reversed, but to understand it, it is easier to understand Fukuzawa following Nishida.
➂Jodo Shinshu in the Nishida philosophy
Kitaro Nishida was born in 1870 in a wealthy Shoya house. Shoya is a house that leads nearby farmhouses. Therefore, according to the pre-modern status system, although it is a farmer's status, it seems that he did not farm himself. Nishida's birthplace was next to the Jodo Shinshu temple. His mother was an enthusiastic guru and read him “the text “of Renyo, the successor of Shinran. Among them is the so-called “white bone chapter”. In Jodo Shinshu, it is a passage of a lotus letter that must be read at funerals.
You can't leave the dead body forever, so you do the cremation. The corpse continues to burn all night, while smoke rises. Only white bones are left behind. What was this life for? Those who see it grieve the situation, but I think it is a strange impression. This is what happens when you look through your life. It is fate. (Rennyo "White Bone Chapter")
Although Nishida grew up in an economically rich family, he suffered from the misfortune that se preceded his wife and a child. In contrast to Nishida, Fukuzawa grew up in an economically poor family, succeeded in the Shogunate, married a daughter of a wealthy family, and all nine children were adults. Fukuzawa has realized a rare family-like atmosphere at that time. Nishida, who had to experience many farewells with his relatives, was always aware of how to deal with death. That is religion. In general, Nishida's philosophy is divided into four periods: “pure experience”, “awareness”, “place”, and “absolutely contradictory self-identity”. And at any time, religion is considered the basis of academic morality. Nishida was particularly interested in religion and considered it deeply in the first half of “Study of Goodness” ( 1911 ) , the middle term “Sustainable System of the General” ( 1930 ), and “ In the “Religious World View” ( 1945 ). I can't elaborate now, but I think the attitude toward religion is consistent in the following three ways.
(1) He considers religion mainly in relation to ethics and religion as the limit of ethics. For example, “Study of Goodness” has the same meaning as “Ethics” if the title is understood as it is.However, the part of ethics in "Study of Goodness" is only dealt with in the third volume, and the conclusion is the subject of religion. In other words, ethics is considered to be included in religion.
(2) He believes that religion is not a matter of value, but a matter of grounds for the existence of a self. In other words, religion is not a question of "how to live", but a question of "why I exist". From the standpoint of philosophy, it is possible to consider the problem separately from religion. But Nishida considered the problem of “why I exist” as a problem of religion.
Furthermore, as (3),for him, religion is the issue of the relationship between individuals and transcendents, specifically the issue of the homogenous relationship or the immediate relationship between the two. In general monotheism, individuals (ie creations) and transcendents (ie the Creator) are not homogeneous. However, since Nishida's idea is based on Buddhism, it does not assume a qualitative difference from monotheism.
Let's cite Nishida's fundamental concept and Jodo Shinshu sect, specifically referring to these basic parts. First, “Knowledge and Love” in “Study of Goodness” is an essay that reexplains the conclsion of the whole story that pure experience was the manifestation of a religious absolute.
Both academics and morals are the light of Buddha. Religion is the ultimate of Buddha's light. Although scholarship and morality are different phenomena in terms of expression, they are eventually lit by the light of Buddha. Religion is to be in contact with the absolute infinite Buddha himself on the whole universe. (Omitted) "Is the name of Amida Buddha the cause of being born in Jodo or is it a bad act that falls into hell? I can't know all of them. " That is the perfection of religion. ("Study of Goodness" "Knowledge and Love")
The scholarship in this quote refers to the first volume of "Pure Experience" and the second volume "Reality" of "Study of Goodness". “Morality” refers to the third book “Good”. Nishida's conclusion at this point is that both learning and morality are the actions of Buddha's teachings.
How did this idea change in later years? December 23, 1944, (ie, six months before his death) an important description should be noted from Nishida’s letter to the Risaku Mutai.
In place logic, individuals and the general coexist while always interacting. In other words, Almighty Buddha and incompetent self always face each other. As the place reveals itself, we are included in the Gottheit of Buddha . There is place logic in that place, which lays the foundation for the Jodo Buddhist world view.( December 23, 1944, Nishida’s letter to the Risaku Mutai)
Here Nishida insists on the place logic as an inclusion of the Jodo Buddhistic world view, that is, the position of “Study of Goodness”. And you can see that the remaining part that cannot be grasped only by the Jodo Buddhism world view is assumed. The rest is all religions other than Buddhism. At the time of “Study of Goodness”, Nishida did not understand monotheism (in short, Christianity). Therefore, Christianity was described as a Buddhist sect. However, after about 30 years of study, he came to a positioning logic based on both monotheism and Buddhism.
④Jodo Shinshu in Fukuzawa thought
The relationship between Nishida philosophy and Jodo Shinshu is over. Then, let's talk about the relationship between Fukuzawa's thoughts and Jodo Shinshu. Fukuzawa is 35 years older than Nishida and is just as old as his father. As I mentioned earlier, Nishida was a farmer, but Fukuzawa was a junior samurai in the Edo period. Perhaps the only commonality between the two is that they were born in the Jodo Shinshu family. In “Preface of Fukuzawa complete works”, Fukuzawa says,“My brother praised that the Japanese text was best written by Rennyo in a conversation with friends.” The Fukuzawa family should have been familiar with the “White Bone Chapter”. In fact, some of Fukuzawa's later writings have content that corresponds to the “White Bone Chapter”. This is the tenth episode of “ A Hundred episodes of Fukuzawa”, “The human mind is vast,” commonly known as “Life Beetle”.
Human life is, an indeed shabbily miserable thing with something like the maggots be. From the universe, it is just like playing or joking for a short period of about 50 or 70 years that the morning dew evaporates. So don't think too much about everything in the universe, including yourself. You should rather look light and not be too enthusiastic. (The tenth episode of "Hundred episodes of Fukuzawa" "The human mind is vast")
Needless to say, Fukuzawa is a driving force for modernization in Japan. Although it did not join the government after the Meiji Restoration, it is generally considered to be a utilitarian who worked hard to make Japan an economic power. That's the basic line, and I agree with it, but on the other hand, I'm also writing such a short story. I think that these aspects that have not been emphasized about Fukuzawa are derived from the Jodo Shinshu. However, unlike Nishida, Fukuzawa does not have full confidence in Jodo Shinshu. The Jodo Shinshu of Kyushu region, which Fukuzawa touched in the 1840s, seems to have been undergoing corruption of the clergy, unlike the Hokuriku region, where Nishida was deeply involved in the 1870s. And Fukuzawa after the Meiji Restoration was also suspicious that Jodo Shinshu priests were hereditary.
Fukuzawa wrote " A fate of Jodo Shinshu"(complete works unreleased) on "Jijishinpo" on May 20, 1882, it says in the following manner.
Jodo Shinshu temple inherits the priesthood in the same family, so it is not suitable for the current civilization. The same applies to the Otani family, a descendant of Shinran, to small temples. It is nonsence that the doctrines are transmitted where there is a blood relationship between the father and son. Even ancient people knew that doctrines were not transmitted where there was a blood relative, and it was not after the age of civilization. Shinran started this sect during the Kamakura period when it was the administration of Hojo kran. Since this period was the feudal era, the doctrines may have been thought to be inherited. However, in the present civilization period, the hereditary system was abolished and even Daimyo disappeared. ( " A fate of Jodo Shinshu" "Jijishinpo" May 20,1882)
In this way, Fukuzawa was dissatisfied with the management method of Jodo Shinshu, but he still did not abandon his position as a guru until the end. The Buddhist affairs are never neglected, and his tomb is located in the Jodo Shinshu temple, Zenpukuji in Azabu,Tokyo. Also, as far as I have examined, Fukuzawa does not seem to say that Jodo Shinshu's doctrines are bad. Fukuzawa had many exchanges with foreign Christian missionaries and was probably encouraged to join. Fukuzawa did not become a Christian because he believed in Jodo Shinshu after all.
Originally Jodo Shinshu is a religion for farmers. Farmers cannot carry out the good deeds of deciding on Buddhist Buddha in the daily routine of farm work. The most important part of the teaching is that if you live the right life by converting to Amida Buddha and then cast the spell “Namu-ami Da-butsu”, the paradise will be decided.
Since Fukuzawa was a samurai figure, it was not always necessary to be trapped in the teachings of Jodo Shinshu. Although Fukuzawa did not miss Buddhists as a nobleman, he did not go deeper into the path of faith. Because Fukuzawa's house was not rich, he was interested in how economic success was possible.
The representative of the Fukuzawa family has long been involved in finance as a junior staff member of Nakatsu Gaverment. Specifically, the representative of the Fukuzawa family was working on selling the annual rice vines collected in the Osaka warehouse under favorable conditions in the market. This position is a position that makes daily contact with rice merchants, and it seems that Fukuzawa was one of the reasons why he was a samurai and had no prejudice against merchants.
In short, the representative of the Fukuzawa family was a kind of merchant who sold rice from Nakatsu. On the other hand, the representative of the Nishida family served as intermediary acting on behalf of the delivery of annual tribute rice to Kanazawa Goverment. I think that Fukuzawa's interest eventually turned to business, and Nishida's understanding of labor, which had never worked to move his body, was somehow out of place due to differences in their growth.
Fukuzawa's position is often referred to as “Money worshipers”. However, this title was not created by critics of him, but began to be chanted by his disciple Yoshio Takahashi.
This money worship is different from the miser. Fukuzawa insisted that one should move from independence to family independence, from family independence to country independence. Fukuzawa wanted to say that he could behave finely if he could afford it. There is a habit of knowing the etiquette by adding clothes and food. In Fukuzawa's view, money was necessary in order to behave in a manner consistent with Jodo Shinshu.
That's why "Fukuzawa’s Autobiography" is closed when three hopes unrelated to the Money worshipers were spoken. The three hopes are as follows. First, make Japanese dignity, especially gender dignity, and not be ashamed of the name of civilization. Secondly, calming the country with a moderate religion and calming the country. Third, the establishment of a purely academic institute and gathering excellent researchers there.
What I want to do while I am alive is to guide the elegance of men and women across the country little by little and to further advance civilization. Buddhism and Christianity are acceptable, but religion is thriving to make the whole country gentle. Furthermore, invest a lot of money to create a place for research in various fields. ("Fukuzawa’s Autobiography" "There is no limit to human greed")
Among these three hopes, the first is in “Japanese Women's Theory”, “Gender Relationship Theory”, “Japanese Men's Theory”, and the posthumous work “Women's University Criticism, Shin Women's University” etc. Secondly, “A Hundred Episodes of Fukuzawa” and “Over A Hundred Episodes of Fukuzawa” were spread to some extent. Third, it was realized in part by supporting the so-called Kitasato Institute, which was established by the medical scientist Shizaburo Kitasato.
⑤ Summary- Fukuzawa, and Nishida have similarities and differences
So, I will summarize the commonalities and differences between Fukuzawa's thoughts and Nishida's philosophy. First, I can point out three points in common.
The first thing in common is that both Fukuzawa and Nishida were born in the Jodo Shinshu family, and they lived a life that is not ashamed of Amida Buddha in the daily life, whether they are conscious or not.
The second point in common is that Fukuzawa and Nishida both thought that the most important thing for human beings was the spiritual civilization, and that the material civilization had secondary value.The third point in common is that both Fukuzawa and Nishida thought that humans would first exist as individuals, and that there was a whole as an aggregate. This was the opposite of totalism, whether philosophically or politically, and because it was based on it, both Fukuzawa and Nishida were critical of socialism.
I can point out three differences from these common points.
First of all, the first difference is that Fukuzawa thought that there was ethics at the root of religion, whereas Nishida said that religion was at the root of ethics. From this point of view, it is possible to evaluate that Nishida was a true believer but Fukuzawa had no faith.
The second difference is that for Fukuzawa, religion was part of life, but for Nishida, all life was within religion. The most important thing for Fukuzawa was to build an economic foundation for good behavior. This is true not only for individuals but also for nations. For Nishida, on the other hand, religion is everything, so there was no idea of economic independence.
And the third difference was that although Fukuzawa did not abandon the essence of the Jodo Shinshu, he eventually pursued what should be called universal religion, as in “Fukuzawa’s Autobiography” ( 1899 ). On the other hand, Nishida did not place particular emphasis on Jodo Shinshu at the time of “Study of Goodness” ( 1911 ). However, Nishida became more respectful of Jodo Shinshu in later years.
The term ‘Jodo Buddhist view of the world ‘is not found in the early Nishida phlosophy. For Fukuzawa, the meaning of Jodo Shinshu has decreased gradually throughout his life, but for Nishida, it seems that his importance is increasing in the second half. This may be due to the deepening of exchanges with Shinsune philosopher Manshi Kiyosawa.
The above is a summary of the comparison between Yukichi Fukuzawa's thoughts and Kitaro Nishida's philosophy.
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