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Tamakushige: a commentary on Motoori Norinaga's mode of thought

Leiden Universiteit

Tamakushige: a commentary on Motoori Norinaga's mode of thought


Daniele Caramanna s.0980943

Supervised by

Dr. Kiri Paramore

Submitted to the Universiteit of Leiden Department of Japanese Studies as part of the requirement for the MA in Japanese Studies

30th June 2011


Table of contents Explanatory notes..............................................................................................p. 4. Introduction.......................................................................................................p. 5. Section 1: exegesis and publication...................................................................p. 7. Section 2: statement of intent............................................................................p. 8. Section 3: characterization, strategy, structure..................................................p. 11. Section 4: Mytho's schematic representation....................................................p. 14. Section 5: societal order conception.................................................................p. 15. Section 6: ontological system, its genealogy....................................................p. 17. Section 7: historical view..................................................................................p. 22. Conclusions.......................................................................................................p. 27. Bibliography......................................................................................................p. 29.

Explanatory Notes
The Japanese and Chinese personal names are written in the native order with the surname first. Nevertheless in order to not overload the text with repetitions, I refer to the period scholars either with their first name or surname. All the transliterations from the MNZS ,reproduce the exact furigana notated in the text. All the places of publication for Japanese language books is Tokyo unless differently indicated. Abbreviations: MNZS: Motoori Norinaga zenshu [Collected Works]. Comp. no Susumu and kubo Tadashi. 23 vols., Chikuma Shob, 1968-1993. NST 36: Nihon shis taikei vol. 36. Comp. Yoshigawa Kjir, Maruyama Masao, Nishida Taichir, Tsuji Tatsuya. Iwanami Shoten, 1973.

Ever since Maruyama Masao's Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan the appraisal of Norinaga's political stance has become object of debate in the related literature field. Moreover he reoriented the intellectual history of the Tokugawa period toward modernity as generally modelled on the opposition between and nature-invention. The premise was that modernization is grounded on the logic of invention. Broadly speaking, two tendencies are manifest; one that considers Norinaga as apolitical f.i. Maruyama (1974), Matsumoto (1972), Noguchi (1986) and another that deems it as political--f.i. Harootunian (1988), Nosco (1990), Okada (2006). Nevertheless all the above-mentioned scholars identify Motoori Norinaga's Tamakushige as the most political imbued text of his oeuvre. In conclusion while the question related to Norinaga's political stance is still open to debate, still one point emerged as of paramount importance in order to examine this problematic that is Norinaga's conception of Nature. Broadly speaking while the Tamakushige has been partially addressed in several studies it has rarely thoroughly analyzed. Still the common approach to the text has been one of deeming it as irrational or mystic--f.i. Matsumoto (1972), Maruyama (1974), Noguchi (1986), Brownlee (1988), Nosco (1990)== the only exemptions being Harootunian (1988), who reconstrues the Kokugaku movement discourse in more postmodern terms, and Okada (2006), who discusses and reviews almost all post WWII Japanese language literature on the topic and textually analyzes almost all the major texts of Norinaga's oeuvre. There are some preliminary issues that I base my dissertation around, particularly if it is possible to address the Tamakushige as a complete paradigm of Norinaga's mode of thought; what the Tamakushige unveils about Norinaga's conception of Nature; and finally, if this treatment could help to disclose any further clue on Norinaga's political stance . However the most fundamental point my work will demonstrate is that all the calls for irrationality (f.i. Maruyama, 1974; Nosco, 1990; see n.31) are no more than modernist projections on a differently mapped intellectual environment than Tokugawa Japan was. Is Faith the antithesis of Reason? While I believe the answer to this question either overcomes an examination of so-called Western thought history and its analytic philosophy categories, still I believe it is historically correct to maintain that the their path has always been conjuncted. I argue here that to dismiss a thorough examination of the philosophical system beyond a text such as the Tamakushige, because it has been labeled as mystic or irrational is a somewhat farcical perpetuation of modern secularist ideologies. My renewed examination of the philosophical context of the Tamakushige, free of these ideological constrictions and separations between faith/reason, will disclose the mytho-speculative structure and features of this irrational mode of thought. 5

In the following pages I textually analyze Motoori Norinaga's Tamakushige and comment on it, opening up his discourse to intertextual relations making clear Norinaga's reference to other author's ideas or texts, I use selected references to other texts of Norinaga's oeuvre where I considered necessary either to widen or to define more precisely the content of elements singled out in the analysis. In the first section I present an account of the exegesis and publication of the Tamakushige (1). Then I address Norinaga's statement of intent (2). In the third section I propose a typological and topological characterisation of the Tamakushige, yet I approach the opening of the text and deduce Norinaga's argumentative structure and strategy (3). As I identify the latter's core in his mythospeculation1, I schematize his representation of the myth, in order to make it intelligible for the following analysis (4). Thus according to the topological characterization already posed, I analyze Norinaga's: conception of the correct government-societal order (5), ontological system with attention to his genealogy (6), and historical view(7).

1 See page 5, n. 28.

1 The date of completion of Motoori Norinagas jewelled comb box Tamakushige and the Secret Book of the jewelled box, HihonTamakushige , has been debated. The prevalent hypothesis is that the former was completed one year before the latter, respectively in the 1786 (Tenmei 6) and 1787 (Tenmei 7). Based on the private correspondence between Norinaga and Yokoi Chiaki (1738-1801),2 it seems plausible that the composition began a year before the effective request of advice by Tokugawa Harusada (1728-1789).3 This assumption is supported by philological proofs deducted by the process of revision of the drafts. Additionally, the absence of the appropriate honorific language in the draft manuscripts seems to reinforce this argument.4 Yet according to Norinaga himself, Tokugawa Haruniwas request for advice did not happen directly. The offer of the two works to the Lord of Kishu, was suggested by one of his disciples, a minor public official in the Han financial administration.5 Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801) was aged 58 when the Hihon Tamakushige and the Tamakushige were offered to the Lord of Kish, the 12th month of 1787. The extant titles were assigned at the time of their publications. The former originally christened Tamakushige, was published for the first time, the 5th month of the 1851 (Kaei 4) by Sakura Azumao (1811-1860). The latter named Tamakushige Bekkan, The jewelled comb box supplementary volume, was an appendix to the main text. Yokoi Chiaki published it, two years later in the 1789. While on the one hand the Hihon Tamakushige rarely circulated, even in manuscript form, for Norinaga did not allow it to be shown during his lifetime, on the other hand, the Tamakushige immediately after its publication gained popularity.6 The underlying motive for the composition of the two works is the anxiety surrounding difficult situation confronted by Tenmei period (1781-1788) society. In the Hihon Tamakushige, Norinaga presents his personal views on the political and economical administration. He confronts realistically the actual state of affairs of contemporary society. The Tamakushige is a concise explanation of the Ancient Way teachings principles and its great purpose. Norinaga intended the Tamakushige as a complement for the insights exposed in the Hihon Tamakushige as he directly refers to former many times.

2 3 4 5 6

He became Norinagas disciple in the 1785. He was a chief retainer in the Owari Han. The ninth Lord of Kish Han of Kii Province. MNZS, 8, p.36-39. Ibid., p.46. Ibid., p.36, 42.

2 To better understand the scope of this work I will first proceed to examine the elements of Norinagas own statement of purpose at the opening of Tamakushige. There he says that his intent is to offer to the addressee an explanation of the great purpose of the Way.7 What is the Way? For this problem is not directly addressed in the Tamakushige, I will look at the Naobinomitama .8 At the sbeginning of the text, Norinaga expounds what is the meaning of michi, analyzing philologicallly selected passages from the Nihonshoki (720) and the Kojiki (711-712).9 On the one hand it is intrinsically related to the kami : kami no michi ni shitagahu, on the other it is correlated to the peaceful government of the country and its state of harmonious rule.10 Thus to follow the noble custums of governing the realm,11 according to the times of the kami, without using their wits, sakashira, at all will accomplish naturally the way of the kami.12 Moreover, Norinaga sustains that the word michi ( ) did not appear in the writings of the honorable ancient times.13 Taking as reference the Kojiki, he explains that the honorific mi was attached to the chi found in umashi-mi-chi, as in other words, f.i. yamaji and nuji .14 Thus michi meant just: mono ni yuku chi, where (indicated by a thing mono ) a path chi goes. Besides he criticizes the other notions of Way, f.i. Song Confucianism metaphysical postulations (categories) and its norms,15 as dictates, sadame , proper to those different countries, adashikuni , viz. China, Korea, and India. To sum up: the way is exemplified in the customs of the kami as represented in the ancient writings. These are the source of the Ancient Way and its revelatory texts. Moreover, its purpose is the peaceful government of the ancient times.16 Thus in conclusion the customs of the kami on which the way is

7 8 9

Kono sho wa, aru mikata ni, michi no mune ima no yo no kokoroe wo kaitetatematsurerunari. MNZS, 8, p. 309. The rectifying spirit, written in the 1771. MNZS, 9, pp. 50.

10 Kamunagara yasukuni to, tahirakeku shiroshimeshikeru mikuni, ibid.. 11 Ame no shita wosame tamahu mishiwaza, ibid.. Here I must acknoledge Prof. Flueckiger's translation of mishiwaza as "august works", see Flueckinger, Peter, Mabuchi, Kamo, Reflections on the Meaning of Our Country, in Monumenta Nipponica 63:2 , 2008, p.232. While I use as translation noble customs, still I maintain costums as retaining a valence of activity. 12 Onozukara kami no michi wa tarahite, ibid.. 13 Inishihe no ohomiyo niwa, michi to ihu kotoage mo sarani nakariki, ibid.. 14 To be precise, Norinaga opens this section with michi , as it appears in the Manyoushu. 15 Mono no kotowari arubeki sube, ibid.. 16 While I will not problematize here Norinaga's idealized relationship to the ancient times, as for Instance Nosco does, reconstruing it as a romantic quest for nostalgia, still it remains an argument of extreme interest, for I believe it to have been the ideological space of projection for the rising chonin gruop-class during Tokugawa period. See Nosco, 1990, pp. 3-14.

maintained to be based on are conceived as historically happened in the past. What now becomes compelling is a better understanding of Norinagas notion of kami. What are the kami for Norinaga? While it is difficult to point out a univocal definition, for it would mean to take into analysis all the contexts in which the term appears in Norinaga's oeuvre, still a general definition can be presented. Most modern scholars locate a passage in the Kojikiden to disclose it.17 Here Norinaga writes that the term kami , as annotated at the beginning of the tome (viz. Kojiki), that is kami : expresses something, which is not realizable through names and wisdom.18 Furthermore he touches upon many examples taken from the ancient texts inishihe no mihumidomo: the various deities of heaven and earth worshiped in the shrines also called noble resident spirit, needless to say Man as well, then the birds, quadrupeds, trees and plants sorts, mountains, waters and the like.19 Among Man, Norinaga places firstly the Emperor and all the successive generations down from the ancient times. Then he singles out the men of the age of the kami, kamiyo . Here in a tautological movement he says: yet [regarding] the kami (pl.) of the age of the kami, most of the men of that age were kami, thus all the men of that age are kami, and therefore it is called age of the kami.20 In conclusion he maintains that kami characterizes whatever outside of the ordinary, or for its prodigious awe-inspiring quality [wondrousness].21 Yet he specifies the meaning of prodigious. It is not reduced to the positive sense, neither to the negative one, but it extends to both as well. kami have a bipolar valence: noble-base, strong-feeble, virtuous-uncanny. In other words they have two opposite possible attributes, positive and negative. In conclusion this represents a contradictory essence.22 As a matter of fact: Thought and action follows this pattern, thus a universal norm (order) could be hardly established.23 Norinaga critics the many Confucian traditions and their
17 That is MNZS, 9, p.125-126. For instance see, Muraoka, 2006, 1, pp.292-298; Motoyama,1978, pp.140-147; Koyasu, 2005, pp.148-166; Okada, 2006, p.122; Shigeru, 1970, pp.82-86; Nosco, 1990, pp.217-218. 18 kami to mohosu nanokokorowa imada omohiezu. Ibid., p.125. 19 Ibid.. The Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. 20 sate kamiyo no kamitachi mo, ku wa sono yo no hito ni shite, sono yo no hito wa minna kami nari shi yue ni, kamiyo towa iunari, Ibid.. My italics. Worthy of note is that among the category of human kami, he acknowledges also tadabito ordinary person, even if their recognition might happen in a minor local (province, village, family) context. 21 yonotsune narazu suguretaru koto no arite, kashikoki mono wo kami towa iunari. Ibid.. 22 suguretaru wa, tahutoki koto yoki koto, isawoshiki to nado no, suguretaru nomi wo iuni arazu, ashiki mono ayashiki mono nadomo, yoni sugurete kashikoki wo ba, kami to iu nari. Ibid.. Nosco grounds its evaluation on his reading of a passage of the Naobinomitama. He maintains this being mysterious and wondrous in the same way as I characterize it, still he does not further investigate it. See Nosco 1990, p, 191. Matsumoto 1970, p.84-85; Okada 2006, pp. 121-124. 23 kokoro mo shiwaza mo sono sama ni shitagahite, kata hito muki ni sadamete wa ihigataki mono ni namu arikeri. Ibid..

metaphysical systems which pretend to explain by reasoning the right pattern of behaviour, and ultimately comprehend the existence of all things. Moreover he disentangles his Ancient Way from the Chinese Shintao (Daoism). The two differ: for the Ancient Way is rather expressed by the expression kami naru michi than by Shinto . Eventually what Norinaga stresses here is the anti-normative character of the Ancient Way and, reinforced by the status of revelation contra establishment of the former with respect to the Dao.24 To sum up: on the one hand Norinaga s Way of the kami is revealed and represented in the noble cutsoms of the kami as reported in the ancient texts.25 For it is conceived as historically happened in the past, it is envisaged as fixed or immutable that is it is endowed with a static aspect (). On the other, the way is inerently related to the kami's wondrousness. This entails a bipolar valence, either polirized positively or negatively, for instance: good or evil, noble or base, strong or feeble, virtuous or uncanny. This polarization is reproduced in the distinction between good Gods, naobi no kami , and evil ones, magatsubi no kami , good persons, yokihito , and evil ones, ashikihito , which in return is coupled by the causation and realization of good and bad actions by these Gods.26 This mutability of valence endows the way with a dynamic aspect ().27 In conclusion Norinagas stated intent to explain the great purpose of way, is an inquiry in the ancient texts to clarify the nature of the order represented in them.28

24 Here I agree with the position maintained by Matsumoto. See Matsumoto, Sannosuke, Kokugaku Seiji Shiso no kenky, Yukikaku, Tokyo, 1957, pp.47-54. 25 See Harootunian 1988, p. 82; McNally 2005, pp. 41-42; Muraoka 2006, 1, pp. 290-291. 26 MNZS, 9, pp. 54-62. See Flueckiger 2008, pp. 232-233; Nosco 1990, p.190; Okada 2006, pp. 111-117; Matsumoto 1970, p. 98 ff.; Koyasu 2005, p. 154-155; Muraoka 2006, 1, p. 292-294; and below p. 21. 27 For instance this is Maruyama appraisal of Soraigaku: its dynamism derived by the rejection of of Zhu Xhi Confucianism static mode of thought. This was endoresed by Norinaga's thought by way of his relation to the Sorai school. Maruyama 1974, pp. 159-160. 28 See for instance, Muraoka 2006, 1, p.289 ff.; Okada 2006, p. 113.


3 The Tamakushige can be generally described as a combination of historiography, rational speculation and mytho-speculation. Last term has been coined by Eric Voegelin, he uses it in the context of Ancient Orient societies; my usage of it is, to be sure paradigmatic, and described below.29 Broadly speaking, Norinaga presents a genesis of contemporary social order starting from cosmogony. On the one hand he places in a broad worldly horizon Japan and in a more specific one Japan vis--vis China;30 on the other he uses mythological symbolism to interpret and justify present social order and its origin. I refer to Norinagas explanation of the latter, by analogy to the cosmological order he extrapolates from the ancient texts, with the word mytho-speculation. I will demonstrate that the structure of the cosmological order and its nature, is the same as the one of his presentation of contemporary social order. Besides for much of Norinagas efforts are directed to the confrontation with, or better, attempt to confute on the one hand the manifold Confucian metaphysical theories and on the other the Buddhist doctrines, I use rational speculation to describe this reasoned critical approach to his contemporary competitive school's of thought.31 While the points raised above correspond to a typological description of the work, Norinagas exposition can be divided topologically in three general fields of speculation: correct governmentsocietal order, the ground of being that is his ontological system, and history. The first, relates to his political perspective on contemporary society; the second refers to the exploration in the meaning of existence vis--vis non-existence and the nature of that existence or being; the last to his historical view. To be sure this is not the authorial coherent disposition but just my tentative breaking up of the arguments addressed in the text. After his statement of intent, Norinaga opens his exposition: The true way, which unfolds throughout Heaven and Earth, to all countries, has only one same purport.32 In other words, the right order of society-government or way, michi , is one and valid everywhere, yet it is explained
29 see Voegelin, Eric, The collected works of Eric Voegelin, vol. 6, Anamnesis, on the theory of history and politics, ed. D. Walsh, University of Missouri Press, 2002, pp. 102-104. 30 Needless to say the politico-international configuration of East-Asia in the 18th century was dominated by the presence of the Chinese Empire. Moreover the dynastic change from Ming to Ching occurred in 1644 and its consequence for the Chinese tributary system in east-asia is still subject of research. For instance the hypothesis of Tokugawa Bakufu attempt to create a small independent empire() by means of maritime policies, is taken into consideration by Koyasu Nobukuni attempt to locate the construction of Japanese cultural autonomy in the path toward modernity. see Koyasu, Nobukuni, Ajia wa dou katararetekitaka, Fujiwarashoten, 2003, p.155-158. 31 In other words by rational I mean what is produced by reasoning. It is usual to refer to this kind of argumentation as irrational (for instance: Maruyama, 1974; Nosco, 1990). This is not the place to produce a systematic critique on the matter; still I believe the latter is no more than a modernistic approach to the issue, son of the Illuminist rejection of religious interpretation of Being. As I maintain that science is substantially as much ideological as religion, and moreover historically speaking it is a recent Eurocentric development, to appraise beliefs as irrationally developed is no more than say that their argument is grounded in their contemporary horizon of understanding (for the discussion of horizon see: Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, tr. G. Barden and J. Gumming , The Seabury Press, New York, 1975, pp. 216-220, 267-274.). If otherwise irrational is a characterisation used to indicate the oppositional attitude with regards to a rationalistic mode of thought, then it is a completely superficial appraisal of the same. 32 Makoto no michi wa, ametsuchi no aida ni watarite, izure no kuni made mo, onajiku tada hito suji nari, MNZS, 8, p. 309.


by the very same scheme, or purport, suji . Here Norinaga shows already one important feature of his thought, the compactness of the experience of reality; he distinguishes between Heaven and Earth but then he reunites them in the same scheme of order. 33 The ground, moto , of the true right way is, first and above all, the musubi no mitama of the two kami takamimusubinokami, , and kamimusubinokami, . This represents on the one hand the pan-generative substance of the universe, tenchi , the various kami, shokami , the myriad of things, yorozunomono , and men along generations yoyonijinruwi , moreover the all-encompassing principle, sotai no dri , of the world yononaka . On the other hand the purpose-direction omomuki, , of the way.34 In conclusion the whole of reality, heaven and earth, were created, nariidekitari , by the very same musubi no mitama.35 Norinaga maintains the universe as a continuum, a compact reality, which as a whole participates in the same scheme order, and is generated by the same substance in other words it is consubstantial. On top of that to be remarked is that Men share the same generative principle with the Gods, in other words their substance is the same: the musubi no mitama. Still the hierarchical order is important here, first the divine after the mundane: Gods have authority over Men. Norinaga further explores the problem of the ground of the way. In the first place if we allege this musubi no mitama as the noble custums of the wondrous and prodigious kami, something said in accordance with whatever principle, will not be at all something like a human wisdom inferred injunction.36 Norinaga here means on the one hand that the way does not correspond to any already established, or fixed norms, f.i. the one proper to Heaven, ten , as in Zhu xhi Confucianism.37 On the other hand, the very reason for this assessment of the musubi no mitama is the the kami wondrousness or bipolar valence. As Norinaga stressed before, the musubi no mitama is the pangenerative substance of the universe, the various kami and the myriad of things. There is a transitive causality at play: the noble customs of the kami, necessarily comes after the creation of the same kami, which had been generated from the pan-generative substance, musubi no mitama. Thus in conclusion for the kami has been generated by the musubi no mitama, their characteristic wondrousness, is a fortiori an attribute endowed by the pan-generative substance. Ergo the bipolar valence proper to the kami can be ascribed to the musubi no mitama as well. At the same
33 Ibid.. 34 Ibid.. 35 Ibid., for instance see Nosco 1991, p. 211; Okada 2006. p. 139; Muraoka 2006, 1, pp. 294-298. 36 somosomo kono musubi no mitama to mohosu wa, kiki meumeunaru kami no mishiwaza nareba, ikanaru dori ni yorite saru zo nado ihukoto wa, sarani hito no chiwe wo nite, hakarishirubeki tokoro ni arazu, Ibid.. 37 See n. 27.


time, in posing this, Norinaga proceeds by a limitation through opposition. The contrary term of the latter is the essence of human wisdom inferred injunction.38 Ergo it is different from the essence of the musubi no mitama. In other words, while human comprehension necessarily projects a fixed or static essence on things, the essence of the pan-generative substance is different - it is dynamic.39 Motoori singles out three ratiocinations, rikutsu , to bring examples of these projections fabricated by human comprehension: ying-yang inyau , the eight trigrams hakke , and the five principles, gogiyau .40 Of course, here he refers clearly to the Book of Changes I Ching. To have an idea of the scope of such a criticism, it is sufficient to look at the paramount popularity of this book. Ng Wai-ming writes that the I Ching scholarship boomed during the Tokugawa Period..41 Indeed the book was used by many major Confucian scholars, for instance Arai Hakuseki, It Jinsai, Ogy Sorai, Dazai Shundai. With regards to Kogaku scholars, he point out in a note that their disapproval of the use of divination did not mean that they did not research this aspect of the book.42 In conclusion even though the I Ching was held as a book of wisdom, thus rationalistically approached, as a divination manual it played a significant role in policy making, ceremonies, and in the formation of institutions.43 Norinagas criticism is directed to the interpretations deducted by the I Ching.

38 See n. 26 and 28. Cfr. Harootunian 1988, pp. 82, 91, 99-101. He maintains the same position, grounding it on other texts of Norinaga's oeuvre. 39 See Maruyama 1974, p. 268-271. 40 Ibid.. 41 Ng. Wai-ming, Benjamin, The I Ching in Tokugawa Thought and Culture, University of Hawaii Press, 2000, p.49. Furthermore, see the table referring to the commentaries on the I Ching produced during the period. Ibid., p. 26. 42 Ibid. n.19 p. 220. 43 Ibid., p.55.


4 Afterwards Norinaga presents the myth he extrapolated from the ancient texts. It is the base on which he legitimates and supports his following arguments.44 The myth is articulated in the following sequence of scenes45: Izanagi ohomikami mourns profoundly for Izanami ohomikami , the concealed goddess, megami . Therefore he follows her as far as in yominokuni .46 Back in the real world, utsushikuni , Izanagi cleanses the malevolent dirtiness, yeaku , that he had been touched by. This cleanse viz. ablution, mimisogi , happens in the plain of the green trees by the little harbour nearby the mandarin in Tsuchi, tsushi no tachibana no wodo no ahagihara .47 During this purification, shiyaujiyau , Amaterasu ohomikami is generated and accorded the eternal rule of the sky, nagaku takamanohara wo shiroshimesu ,48 from the Great a Noble Father, otoohomikami no mikotoyosashiniyorite , that is Izanagi. In the end Amaterasu ohomikami gives the rule of the Ashiharanonakatsukuni to Sumemimanomikoto .49 Yet the order or command, chokumei , of the great noble deity ohomikami viz. Amaterasu, is brought from the heavens to the earth. It is the source of the great ground of way and it poses that the imperial throne, with heaven and earth, [might] last for the eternity without changes and prosper.50 Below I propose my interpretation of Norinaga's mytho-speculation following the first two topoi thematized above: the right government-societal order (5), his ontological system (6).

44 MNZS, 8, p. 310. I will only use the version of the myth represented in the Tamakushige to determine the purport of the mythological symbolism. While the present version is far more elliptic than others presented in different texts of Norinaga's oevuvre, still I will not use other versions or elements of the those as I believe that the structure of the myth presented in the Tamakushige are the only meaningful for the economy of the interpretation of this text. I will give details on elements used in the current version of the myth where appropriate. For a more general treatment and reconstruction of the myth in the Kojiki, see Matsumoto 1970, pp. 96-108; Muraoka, 1, 2006, pp. 295-298. 45 As represented in MNZS, 8, p. 310, from line 1 to line 7. 46 In the Kojikiden, Norinaga tells that it is the land where the dead go to have abode, Shinishi hito no yukite woru kuni nari, yet it is hidden in the underworld, tsuchi no shita ni kakusu; MNSZ, 9, pp. 237-239. Cfr. Matsumoto 1970, p. 107. 47 Norinaga gives a detailed lexicographic analysis of it in the Kojikiden. Ibid., pp.262-263. One hypothesis is that it could be located in kykoku , modern Kysh: Tsuchi to wa kyukoku no subena nari, Tsuchi was the general name for the kykoku, therefore the little harbor where the tachibana (mandarin) was chihisaki minato wodo ni aru tachibana to iu chi mei nari, is a name for a place that could be placed in that country. Tachibana no wodo kykoku no nai nite tazunebeshi. 48 Norinaga identifies it with the sky, ame . Takama no hara wa, sunahachi ame nari. Ibid.,p.123. Therefore he maintains Amaterasu as the Sun, Ametsuhi, . 49 Ibid., p.251. Ashiharanonakakuni wa ohokuni no na ni shite, it is the name of the great noble country viz. Japan. The latter refers to Niniginomikoto and all his descendants down to the present emperor. It symbolizes the imperial dynasty. 50 Amatsuhitsugihaametsychinomutatokihakakihanisakaemasamu, . MZNS, 8, p. 310.


5. The first characteristic of the myth proposed by Norinaga above is the contiguity of the cosmos or what I called before the compactness of reality. The Heaven, the Earth and the underworld, are connected dimensions of the same cosmos. According to Norinaga, a theogonic event, that is the birth of Amaterasu, happens on the earth, in Japan, precisely in Kysh. Thus the gods are intra-cosmic, they are included in the same human reality. As I stressed before, on the one hand the sequence is configured as firstly the divine order then the mundane one, thus the source of the ground of the way, is the order given to Sumemimanomikoto by Amaterasu ohomikami. On the other it is conceived in continuity: IzanagiAmaterasu-Sumemimanomikoto. Therefore in a temporal perspective, this is appraised both as a linear-vertical time and an eternal-horizontal time of rulership. To be more precise, the order of society is legitimated by this divine immutable protection. This can be so because the gods are on the one hand intra-cosmic, and on the other consubstantial with Men. Indeed its symbol is visible, it is the Sun, the same Amaterasu, the ruler of the sky. The second characteristic is inscribed in the generative process or birth of Amaterasu. She is generated by the ablution of Izanagi, after he had been in the underworld, moved by the mourning for Izanami's death. I will focus on the elements that this event is composed of: here the main agents are Izanagi and Izanami, and structurally speaking their relation is symbolically charged. Izanami the female deity, is clearly a chthonic symbol. The underworld marks her with the symbols of death, pollution and evil. By opposition Izanagi, male deity, is related to heaven, he descends to the underworld and then stops on the earth for the ablution, thus the symbols of purification, life, goodness are associated with him. It is no accident that Amaterasu is generated by the body of Izanagi, on the one hand it alludes metonymically to the patriarchal order of society, on the other, it functions as a dismissal of the chthonian hypothesis of the origin of Man. They are descendants of Amaterasu, generated by a male deity, symbol of heaven. In conclusion Izanagi and Izanami, with all the symbolism respectively connected to them, appear as related by a dialogic opposition. Moreover this very interaction of opposites is the intrinsic characteristic of the generative process of Amaterasu, and thus re-proposes the dynamic aspect and contradictory essence of the way. Yet conversely the latter approached from a temporal perspective represents a dialectic of change, for instance configured in the pairs: descent-ascension, life-death, pollutionablution.51 In such a natural-vitalistic perspective change is conceived as the interaction of opposites that necessarily alternates in time in order to generate life.52 To recapitulate Norinaga's
51 The above description is commonly maintained as a representation of the cyclical time in myth. See Eliade, Mircea, Cosmos and History, The Myth of The Eternal Return, Harper & Brothers, 1959, p.112, ff.. To note that this is the implicit assumption with which Nosco opens his study, the nostalgic quest. See Nosco 1990, p. 3-14. I do not deny that it can be envisaged in such a way, still I want to remark the reason for my interpretation, which is the limitation of the analysis to the diegetic elements of the very text of the Tamakushige. 52 Indeed the whole symbolisms can be read as a metaphore of the agricultural life work.


conception of societal order represented in his mytho-speculation: a) the source of the order of society is the order given to Sumemimanomikoto by Amaterasu ohomikami; b) the legitimacy and immutability of the latter are grounded in the material aspect of the consubstantiality of the various Beings of the cosmos; c) while the principle of the order is eternal and immutable (ad infinitum), its essence is contradictory or ruled by opposition. The interaction of these opposites is dialectic or ruled by alternative change during time. What appears clearly is that the social order is configured by a temporal tension between the substance and the essence of the way, for the first is eternal, and the second mutable. As a matter of fact the comprehensive symbol for this tension of reality is to be found in Amaterasu. She is the nexus of the mundane (earth) and celestial (heaven) cosmic dimensions. In addition she is generated on Earth and then made the ruler of the Sky by Izanagi (heaven), and again she is connected to the mundane for she is the one who gave the order, or the legitimacy of ruling, to his descendants (imperial dynasty). The sun represents both the cyclical, day-night, and the eternal-continual time, it rises again every day without exception.53 Her relation to the mundane thus appears as double. She is on the one hand the invisible Goddess who gave the order that is the principle of the ground of mundane right social order, and on the other the visible Sun who rules the Sky, symbol of the temporal tension of reality that is eternal-mutable. This last opposition can be traced back to the contraposition invisible/visible.54 Therefore eventually Amaterasu symbolizes on the hand the eternal-invisible principle of the right order of society, and on the other hand its protection as her mutable-visible manifestation, the Sun.

53 While it is not in the scope of my analysis, still I think it would be valuable to further examine the dependency relation between the popular and institutional conception of Time (f.i.: the calendar, festivities) and the agrarian based economic system vis--vis Norinaga's thought projection.I believe it can give clues on class struggle and class ideological practices 54 In the Kojikiden Izanagi and Izanami are said to be invisible or to be precise their body to be hidden. MNZS, 9, 157. Moreover this anticipates an other distinction not addressed here that is the one between arawanigoto , the manifest human affairs and kamigoto , the concealed divine affairs. MNZS , 8, p.320.


6 In entering Motoori's exploration on the ground of being, the first premise is that Norinaga's mode of thought shared most of its elements with the period intellectual background55. Indeed I already noted his recurrent critique of the Buddhist and Confucian doctrines. This critical, oppositional attitude suggests an incorporation of these doctrines.56 While on the one hand this is suggested by his educational formation,57 on the other proof of this is found in Norinaga's abundant use of Buddhist and Confucian terminology.58 I expose below the genealogy of what I believe to be the source of Motoori's ontological system and epistemology: his traditional Chinese medical formation. According to Harootunian and Matsumoto, Kokugaku thought represented an epistemological shift from Neo-Confucianism and Soraigaku.59 While I do agree on their conclusions, still I reconstruct ontological system and epistemology in the light of his medical practice. Needless to say the reflection below is structurally contrued on the analysis of the mytho-speculation exposed above (3). Norinaga's ontology is centred on the pan-generative substance, musubi no mitama . According to Noguchi Takehiko the latter is to be maintained as a substance, jittai , or entity, jitsuzaibutsu , ergo material or physical.60 I believe Motoori developed his notion of musubi no mitama from the concept of material force, qi (Jp. ki),61 on the ground of his medical studies and activity as physician.62 Thus at first look, Noringa's ontology assumes the

55 For the classical account of this issue, see the entire chapter IV, Part I, of Maruyama, 1974. There is no need to underscore that there is no single text in the relevant literature that denies this thesis. 56 Shigeru, Matsumoto, Motoori Norinaga 1730-1801, Harvard, 1970, pp. 9-29. 57 See f.i. Nosco 1991, p. 166 ff.; Okada 2006, pp. 40-67 58 See for instance, Takagi, Skan, Motoori Norinaga to bukkyo, hsha, 1984, pp. 15-33, 147-159. 59 Harootunian, 1988, p.29 ff.. Matsumoto, 1957, pp.45-47. While their methodology and approaches are completely different, still they emphasized the same point: the epistemology proposed by Kokugakusha took its move from a critic of the Neo-Confucian one in a position that shared much with the Kogakuha. See below. 60 Noguchi, Takehiko, Norinaga Sensh, Chikumashob, Tokyo, 1986, n.1,, p.168 61 For a definition of see of the qi , and its role in the more general Chu shi system of thought, see Maruyama, 1974, p.19-68. To be precise Mikiso Hane translates it as ether for the sake of brevity. For a direct textual exemplification, see for instance Chan, Wing-Tsit, Reflections on Things at Hand, the neo-confucian anthology compiled by Chu his and Lu Tsu-Ch'ien, Columbia University Press, 1967, pp. 5-34. This is Wing-Tsit's concise definition: Every student of Chinese thought knows that ch'i as opposed to li (principle) means both energy and matter, a distinction not made in Chinese philosophy. Both 'matter' and 'ether' are inadequate. Dubs' 'matter-energy' is essentially sound but awkward and lacks an adjective form. Unless one prefers transliteration, 'material force' seems to be the best. In many cases, especially before the Neo-Confucian doctrine of li developed, ch'i denotes the psychophysiological power associated with blood and breath. As such it is translated as 'vital force' or 'vital power', and in the case of hao-jen chih ch'i as 'strong, moving power.', in Chan, Wing-Tsit, A source book in Chinese philosophy, Princeton University Press, 1963, p. 784. 62 No major scholar in the western language literature has taken seriously into consideration Motoori Norinaga's medical activity and doctrine. I believe the reason for such a deficiency is the disciplinary sectorialization of the studies about Norinaga, as lamented by Koji Tanaka. See Tanaka, Koji, Motoori Norinaga no Shikoho, Perikansha, Tokyo, 2005 p.5-11.


characteristics of a monistic system like the Neo-confucian one. Below I briefly review and discuss Norinaga's medical thought and formation. Takahashi Masao writes that Norinaga's medical doctrine was unique. Its fundamental feature was the theory of the autonomous healing of the patient. In other words a disease is not healed by a doctor or a medicine, but the same patient who was endowed from the birth with the shining energy (capacity) of recovering by himself, kizentaru hitoiki . Thus the main duty of the physician was just to daily monitor the balance of his patient life with particuar attention to his diet and his physical and mental activity.63 Norinaga the physician was known under the name Shunan , less often Shunan . He studied in Kyoto from 1752 (horeki 2) to 1757 (horeki 7), and practiced as a paediatrician in his home city Matsusaka for the rest of his life. To combine literary studies with the medical one kanpo , traditional chinese medicine, was an extremely well-spread habit among the jusha confucian scholars, thus called juisha . Indeed Norinaga just followed the social trend of the middle Tokugawa period. It is well known that during his period in Kyoto, he studied as disciple of Hori Keizan . For what concerns his medical formation, he completed his studies first with Hori Genko (1686-1754) a famous physician of the Goseha school or rishuigaku , then with Takekawa Kojun (1725-1780).64 The Goseha school school focused on the study of the Inner Canon of Huangdi or Yellow Emperor' s Inner Canon, Huangdi Neijing .65 The latter was composed by two texts, on the one hand the basic questions, Somon , that covers the theoretical foundation of Chinese Medicine and its diagnostic methods, on the other the spiritual pivot, Reisu , which discusses acupuncture, in particular the theory of the vessel. Generally speaking, the period was marked by the presence of three schools, the above mentioned Goseha or contemporary school, kinp , the ancient school, kohha or koh , and the western teaching and techniques of the dutch school, ranpigaku ,

63 Takahashi, Masao, Motoori Norinaga, Saisei no Igokoro, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1986, pp. 42-44, 186-188. 64 Interestingly he served at the Imperial court. Takahashi, Masao, Motoori Norinaga, Saisei no Igokoro, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1986, p. 32. For a brief panoramic on the period medical schools, see Elman, Benjamin A., Sinophiles and Sinophobes in Tokugawa Japan: Politics, Classicism, and Medicine During the Eighteenth Century in East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal, 2.1, 2008, pp. 93-121. While I found the former article useful for its numerous reference, still I want to precise that I do not agree with his appraisal of Motoori's practices. Yet once again it appears clear to me that the relation between the medical, literary, intellectual doctrine, is but just a modern compartmentalization of a more compact every-day practice. By this I mean that for me is of extreme value to have a more comprehensive study of the various practices from which a system of thought could be taken as a general subject of inquiry. For a Japanese language brief outline of Norinaga's relation to the Tokugawa period medical schools see, Takahashi, Masao, Motoori Norinaga, Saisei no Igokoro, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1986, pp 15-42. 65 For a detailed study on the canon associated with the title, and its history see, Unschuld, Paul U., Huang Di nei jing su wen, Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text, University of California Press, 2003.


or just ranp . Norinaga is considered to be an eclectic with regards to the affiliation to his contemporary medical schools.66 In his Zuihitsu , composed in a period between the 1752 and the 1772, he writes down some thoughts which informs his medical theories. In particular in the passage below he faces various conceptions of Nature he probably encounter during his studies:67 Master It68's Nature, let it be said endowment by birth69, [is] an extremely interesting thing, the Nature of righteousness, there is nothing above it. Master y70 says that the teachings of the Sages do not give prominence to Nature, yet [this is] interesting; that Nature is very minutely determined, rather it was not in the Sage's consideration. What Master Sha71 says about Tathagatagarbha72 is of great discernment, generally difficult to deal with. Thus emulating this, Song Confucianism73 explains Nature74 in a puzzling way, something un-discernible by reasoning, going thus far to say: 'men are nearly alike, by practice they get to be wide apart'75, being therefore at loss, [they] inappropriately differentiate between 'Original Nature'76 and the Nature of the endowed material force 77. Song Confucianism, let it be called Zen Confucianism, maintains as right even absurdities, nevertheless [according to] Wang Yangming the Great of Zen Confucians, for example let it be said that the essence of the Nature is beyond good and evil78, [this is] interesting; the character for Nature should be rendered just with the expression 'endowment by birth' , that was the proper term. The passage is not to be found in the

66 Ibid.. 67 See MZNS, 13, kaidoku p. 34. 68 It Jinsai (1627-1705). 69 . 70 Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072). 71 Shaka (VI-V sec. BCE) that is Shakyamuni or Gautama Buddha. 72 Shinyoteisei . 73 Neo-Confucianism. 74 Seiri . cfr. seisokuri : nature is based on the principle, Heaven. 75 Analects, 17:2. 76 Honzen no sei . Nature is based on principle, and principle is always good. Wing-tsit, 1967, p.29. 77 Kishitsu no sei . The endowment of material force is unequal, and is therefore in some cases good and in other cases evil. Ibid.. 78 Muzen muaku wa sei no tai . Cf. O yomei Wang Yangming, shikukyo four sentences of teachings: muzenmuaku kore kokoro no tai .


various Tang [scholars] commentaries, 'Nature is a mixture of good and bad'79 [then] Yy80's one were not low-minded like words. Master Ogy81's opinion that the [being] good or bad of the Nature is not determined in the words of the Sages is interesting, whatever Nature, it is not something that might be maintained as good or bad, [but] just as endowment by birth. (MNZS, 13, 598.)

This passage is not only rich with information about Norinaga's appraisal of the kogakuha scholarship, but it gives clues on the scope of his reflections. He passes on Buddhism, Chinese classics and poetry, Song, Tang, and Ming Confucianism, evaluating their conceptions of the Nature of being. Two tendencies seem to be put forward here, first, a materialistic one, correlated with It, Ogy, and Yang Xiong, leading toward immanence. All Nature, either that of the mind and body, is the product of a physical substance. Inasmuch as it is physical it is possible to modify it by practice.82 Thus the importance of the early Kings teachings, f.i. the rites and music, reiraku , whose scope was this.83 In conclusion this ontological unity projects an empiricist-oriented attitude, that is human nature can be manipulated for its being firstly phisical and not ideal as it was maintained to be by Song confucianism. The second is an idealistic one, correlated with Shakyamuni and Wang Yangming leading toward a transcendental aetiology: nature found its cause and origin in the transcendence of reality.84 Nature is either beyond good and evil or a mixture of it; it cannot be fathomed by reason. In conclusion this is an attitude that hinges on a so-called positive attitude toward mysticism, as well as on an epistemological scepticism sui generis. While it is difficult to give a coherent definition to the approach proper to such an ontological system, I propose to define it as empirical transcendentalism, whose epitome is the concept of musubi no mitama. Norinaga seems to build his reflection on two broad questions: 1) If Nature is endowed by birth, and yet it is a mixture of good or bad for it transcends the physical world, how can its origin be subsumed by the mind which is immanent as much as the body? 2) If the essence of Nature is a mixture of good and bad, how can its physical appearance be distinguished in a finite statement expressed by a static language if its essence is dynamic? Below I will discuss in detail the premises and process of his reflection based on these questions. Norinaga accepts It Jinsais
79 Sei wa zenakumasu . Fa yan, 3:2. 80 Yang Xiong (53 BCE 18). 81 Ogy Sorai (1666-1728). 82 See NST 36, p.137. 83 Ibid.. 84 Or a transcendental movement into reality. I maintain the meaning of transcend as going beyond reality according to its original etymology that is from Latin transcendere, climb over or beyond, surmount from transbeyond + scandere to climb.


conception of Nature, sei . Norinagas reading of mumaretsuki , endowment by birth refers to It's belief in the qi ontology.85 Generally speaking, It's shift from Zhu Xi Confucianism toward Ancient Learning kogaku , meant on the one hand a methodological change with respect to the philological approach, and on the other a move away from Zhu Xi's dualistic ontology.86 This is not the place to address this complex problematic in detail87,but it is important to understand that here Nature, sei , is conceived as the product of the material force qi . In fact, to privilege the material qi over the idealistic principle li , marks a move toward empiricism on the plain of methodological, ethical, and political pracitices. This is proper to the thought of the Kogakuha scholars.88 Practically speaking, for Ogy and It consider human reality as the product of Man's own activity. The norms are fabrications of the Sages that in turn are historical human beings. Ergo the importance attributed to the practice of rectifying names.89 Moreover, Sorai says that by practicing goodness one becomes good, by practicing evil, one becomes evil, zen ni naraheba sunahachi zen, aku ni naraheba sunahachi aku nari.90 Yet for him the nourishment derived from this pracitice, is only obtained by the study of the early kings teachings thus acquired by imitation.91 Norinaga does not accept this epistemic condition that is knowledge is to be found exclusively in the early kings teachings. For him the source of nourishment is on the one hand endowed by birth, thus as material substance - pan-generative substance - on the other hand its origin is not material but transcendental. Therefore in his conception the musubi no mitama has a contradictory essence.

85 See Wang, Edward, Q., It Jinsai and the Cross-Cultural Development of Neo-Confucianism: The Ancient Meaning School and the Rise of Restorationism in Taiwan Journal of East Asian Studies, 5:2,10, 2008, p. 94; or It, Keichi, It Jinsai ni okeru 'sei' to 'jin', in Dotoku kyoiku gakuronshu, 1, 1976.p. 63. 86 Wang, Edward, Q., It Jinsai and the Cross-Cultural Development of Neo-Confucianism: The Ancient Meaning School and the Rise of Restorationism in Taiwan Journal of East Asian Studies, 5:2,10, 2008, p 94-100. 87 For the classical account of this shift see Maruyama, 1974, pp. 19-68. 88 I believe this is the meaning of what Maruyama calls gradual elimination of subjectivity. Ibid. p.78-79. 89 For instance, see NST 36, p.12. 90 Ibid., p. 137. 91 Ibid..


7 Norinaga's historical view is exposed later in the text with respect to the opening mythospeculation. Interestingly, before exposing it, Norinaga briefly repeats the mythical event of Izanagi's mourning and descent into the underworld, so to stress the analogy he will construct. As a matter of fact he states Deeming this92 as [paragon] of genuine factual receptiveness, Men too must certainly be realized in accord with a principle alike.93 In other words the way of Man and the way of the kami must follow the same principle. Before going deep into Norinaga's historical view, I clarify the conception of temporality with regards to his epistemology. I already stressed above the consubstantiality of Gods and Men as the reason for such a compactness of the experience of reality, yet it must be noted that the genuine factual receptiveness, shinjitsu no seijo , is related to an important concept in Norinaga. That is the mono no aware , with which I will not deal with here. According to Matsumoto it is the pivot of Norinaga's epistemology.94 Thus following the differentiation between mono , or the static aspect, and koto , or the dynamic one, already mentioned above with reference to the definition of kami, I think that from a temporal perspective, the factual receptiveness marks the gnoseological limits of human comprehension Norinaga poses a phenomenal temporality to the objects of knowledge. This means on the one hand that a thing () could be perceived but on the other its Being in development or movement () cannot be neither defined not surmised from strictly a priori laws. Ergo while the synchronic state is accessible to cognition, the diachronic one can be investigated just on the base of its origin and telos within the context of its contingency. In the following passages Norinaga concisely expouses its historical view. By way of comparison with China ancient history, he judges the events of the last 400 years, that is from Kamakura Bakufu up to Tokugawa period:
92 The myth referred to above. 93 korezo shinjitsu no seijiyau ni shite, se no hito mo, kanarazu sayau ni nakutewakanahanu dori nari, MNZS, 8, p.316. 94 See Matsumoto, 1957, pp.69-74. Here he defines mono no ahare is defined as the being moved in accordance with the external world-things, the guidance toward the Way of the Gods () realized in conscience. Mastumoto contents that the opposition to the rationalional-idealistic epistemology proper to the Confucian doctrines, propelled the break toward the positivistic empirical () stance of Kokugaku. Shinjyo the true feeling and mono no aware are but two expressions of this. The main characteristic of mono no aware is the drive to emotional-sensuous perception kanjyo kankaku no ugoki . The inner perception ninshiki relies completely on the five senses or sensory organs . The things mono , as phenomena of the external world () are the indispensable material() stimuli () for the psychological activity seishinteki katsudo viz. aware . Cfr. Harootunian 1988, pp. 79-117 passim; Nosco 1990, pp. 179-181; McNally 2005, pp.28-35. With regards to the genealogy of the concept of mononoahare, two authors have made interesting connections between popular culture and the genesis of Norinaga's conception. On the one hand Tatsuo Hino denies Norinaga's intellectual authorship. Moreover he asserts that it was a well-spread and common used concept and expression in urban life and artistic activity: for instance he indicates a passage from Tamenaga Shunsui (1790-1844) .See Hino, Tatsuo, Motoori Norinaga sh, Shinchsha, 1983, pp 507-551. On the other hand, Enomoto Eri argues that Norinaga's emotionalist view derived from popular culture.In particular he singles out the influence of joruri and kabuki theater's representations. See Enomoto, Eri, Motoori Norinaga no kyoykeisei to kyto in Nihon no kyoy shigaku: kyoy shigaku kiy 49, 2006, pp. 6-18,.


In foreign lands they do not know that all the evil and wicked things of life are the result of the actions of evil deities. When the calamities and good fortunes that befall human beings do not accord with their principles, they theorize that the cause is the karmic retribution, or they allege that it is the Mandate of Heaven or the Way of Heaven. As I said above, the theory of karmic retribution was invented for the sake of expediency, and it is not worth discussing. The Mandate of Heaven and the Way of Heaven were used in ancient China by men such as Tang 95 and Wu96, who overthrew the ruler and seized the country.They sought to avoid referring to their crime as treason, which was unjustifiable, so they advanced pretexts to try and justify it. If there really were a principle of the Mandate of Heaven, everything would always be in accord with it. Why then are so many things not in accord with this principle? These ideas are mere fabrications invented to make the best of things and they are not in accord with the true traditions of the Age of the Gods. As explained above, since everything is the result of the actions of both good and evil deities, there have been many good and bad, right and wrong occurrences throughout the ages. Even the imperial court belonging to the line of the Sun Goddess has been made light of.97 Here Norinaga's general critique of the Buddhist and Confucian traditions became utterly an attack upon ideological principles, respectively the karmic retribution, ingahoo , and the Mandate of heaven and the way of heaven, tenmeitendo . These principles' configuration of the sensible world in some either already established or idealistically conceived order are the subjects of his attack . In particular, with regard to the latter, the perfection associated with the ultra-mundane Heaven, ten , seems to be a two-folded object of critic. On the one hand its fixed inner course, alternation of Yin and Yang; on the other one its constituents ostensibly discriminated static ideal essences: in order to pose a positive new one, the necessary condition is to distinguish it from a negative past one. Finally what I just sketched above corresponds to the doctrine of ying-yang alternation. Norinaga instead maintains Good and Evil as being pure transcendental absolutes. This is why their phenomenal appearance in actions () is ruled by Gods,
95 King Cheng Tang (dates of reign: ca. 1675 BC-1646 BCE) the founder of the Yin (Shang) dynasty. 96 King Wu (dates of reign: 1049/45-1043 BCE), first ruler of the Zhou dynasty. Cfr. Tobuhobatsuron . Generally speaking, during the Edo Period the three revolutions related to the dynastic successions between Xia, Shang, Zhou, was a much debated argument by scholars. It was a codified debate on the matter of the relationship between Lord and Vassal kunshin . Moreover Mencius position on the latter was well-known (for instance see : The work of Mencius, 1,1:7; 1, 2:8; ) that is he approved revolution and supported the righteous government oudo . This was the base of the many sustainers of the jinseishiso benevolent government thought. Yet needless to say this was directly addressed the role of the Sages seijin . Norinaga harshly criticizes Mencius in the Tamakatsuma , MZNS, 8, p. 318. See Okada, 2006, pp.127-137. 97 This translation is adapted from Brownlee, John, S., The Jeweled Comb-box. Motoori Norinaga's Tamakushige, in Monumenta Nipponica 43:1, 1988, pp.53-55. It refers to MZNS, 8, 316-318. Moreover all the notes are mine.


intra-cosmic but invisible entities. Material beings () are by Nature () a mixture of Good and Evil, no pure or essentially Good or Evil entity is to abide reality. Norinaga poses the ruses of history to be in dependence of the acts of the Gods. Later in the text he goes thus far as to describe human condition with the metaphor of the marionettes, ningyo , controlled by manipulator Gods.98 Nevertheless human agency is not neglected in toto. Even if to a more limited extent, human activity has its importance and influence. This is cristallized in the distinction between manifest affairs, arawanigoto , that is the sphere of human activity, and concealed affairs, kamigoto , that is the sphere of divine activity.99 In other words the consequences and results of human actions transcend the present horizon of volition on the broader historical plane. I believe this to be the reflection of the above exposed sceptical epistemological attitude. Willfully carrying out their wicked schemes and employing military force, traitorous subjects such as the Hojo100 and Ashikaga 101 have arisen. Such men as these caused the court to decline and the people of the empire yielded to them. It is not true that there have been no times of disorder, but it is a principle of the Age of the Gods that evil cannot ultimately overcome good.102 And because the divine edict of the Sun Goddess cannot be shaken,103 the houses of such traitorous subjects were finally destroyed and left no trace behind them. The empire was restored to resplendent peace under imperial rule, and the imperial court was stabilized in its majesty. How could this be considered the result of human power? And how could foreign lands attain to this good fortune? It is commonly believed that the great decline of the imperial court in the middle ages104 was due to the disorder of the empire. In reality, however, it was because the imperial court was caused to decline that disorder arose in the empire and everything decayed. This interpretation should be carefully considered. By the end of the Ashikaga era, the empire was in an unprecedented condition, plunged, as it were, in perpetual darkness.
98 MNZS, 8, pp.320-321. 99 Ibid. see Nosco 1990, p.217; Harootunian 1988, p.152. 100 The Hojo clan was the most influential family during the period of the Kamakura shogunate (1203-1333). See Hall, John Whitney et al., The Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 3, Medieval Japan, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 47- 177 passim. 101 The Ashikaga clan controlled power from 1336 to the 1573. See Hall, John Whitney et al., The Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 3, Medieval Japan, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 177-225, passim. 102 According to Noguchi Takehiko this refers to what is said in the Kuzubana , MZNS, 8, p.165. There Norinaga says that for every 1000 people Izanami ohomikami kills, Izanagi ohomikami gives birth to 1500. Thus by correlating good with life and evil with death, the right of life over death is affirmed. Noguchi, Takehiko, 1986, n.7, p. 181. 103 It is indeed the order of Amaterasu ohomikami, see n.42 above. 104 Here Norinaga refers to the middle-age that is Kamakura (1185-1333) and Muromachi period (1336-1573).


Everything was in decline, and corruption reached its extreme. But at that moment, there appeared the generals Oda Nobunaga105 and Toyotomi Hideyoshi106, who put down disorder and rebellion, reconstituted the imperial court, and showed respect to the Emperor. At last peace was restored to society, and the empire was finally restored to its present condition of good government. The country now flourishes, with a return to a splendid imperial rule that was rare even in ancient times. This is due to the merit and virtue of Azumateru Kamu Mioya no Mikoto.107 His merit and virtue lay in, first, following Nobunaga and Hideyoshi in further restoring the imperial court that had sunk to an advanced state of decline. Displaying ever deeper respect for the court, he gradually came to govern in succession all the classes of warriors and common people. This great achievement was naturally in accord with the true Way and with the desire of the Sun Goddess. The gods of Heaven and Earth also afforded their protection, and as a result we enjoy the splendid government of the present day. I do not speak in this fashion to flatter the current regime, nor are these words lightly said. There is no need to point out that the Tokugawa house is at the height of its military fortune and the empire has long been at peace. Tokugawa rule has produced innumerable splendid features, unknown in previous ages, and all of them confirm my words.108 Generally speaking Norinaga appraises negatively both Hojo and Ashikaga's appropriation of power during the Kamakura shogunate and the following Muromachi period. This judgment is introduced by the reiterated critic of the Mandate of Heaven and of King Wu and King Tang's accession to the throne. Interestingly these very elements were used by Arai Hakuseki (1657-1725) to sustain Ieyasu rule legitimacy and status in the aftermath of sekigahara (1600) in the hankanhu (1702) and saishiko (1712).109 With regard to the latter, Norinaga completely inverts cause and effect: the Imperial court is made the source of prosperity and peaceful order. This conforms to the belief in Amaterasu's order exposed in the context of the mytho-speculation. The Imperial court is untrusted with the right to rule, thus not to follow this disposition is the cause of disorder in the realm. Still human reality is maintained as subject to the higher interplay of the divine activity: as a matter of fact the traitors Ashikaaga and Hojo succeded
105 Oda Nobunaga , (1534 - 1582). 106 Toyotomi Hideyoshi , (1536 -1598). 107 that is Tokugawa Ieyasu , (1542-1616). 108 See n. 97. 109 See Tsuji, Tatsuchi, Nihon no kinsei, dai ni kan: Tenno to shogun, Tokyo, Chkronsha, 1991, pp. 203-204. To be noted that according to the author the historical view of Hakuseki was grounded on the book of changes. Ibid. p. 206-207.


in usurping the power of the Imperial court. Therefore the contradictory essence, I referred to above with regard to a thing ( ), f.i. good-evil, life-death, is here transformed into the ambivalent possibility of an event outcome ( ). That is the aftereffects of an event could be positive or negative, f.i. of prosperity or decadence, notwithstanding its presupposed result. In conclusion I believe that it is not Human action which is bounded to the manipulation of the Gods, but the valences these actions will assume in the aftermath.


In the exegesis and publication section I gave some preliminary technical information about the Tamakushige, in order to ground the scope of Norinaga's statement of intent at the opening of the text. Yet to re-construe the purport of the text I clarified the meaning of some key terms as michi and kami by using selected passages mainly from the Kojikiden and the Naobi no mitama. Therefore I block out Norinaga's intent in the Tamakushige that is to explain the great purpose of way, as an inquiry in the ancient texts to clarify the nature of the order represented in them. Moreover, I characterized the Tamakushige on the one hand typologically as a combination of historiography, rational speculation and mytho-speculation, on the other topologically as divided in three general fields of speculation: correct government-societal order, the ground of being that is his ontological system, and history. Along the lines of this second characterization, I developed my analysis of the text, the results of which have been demonstrated in the section on societal order conception (5), on the ontological system and its genealogy (6), and on Norinaga's historical view (7). The starting point has been to posit the paramount feature of Norinaga's mode of thought to be the compactness of the experience of reality. By using this principle I have been able to decode the myth at the opening of the text and demonstrate how the two aspects,--one static and the other dynamic--were re-produced by Norinaga in the previously divided fields of speculation. Moreover at the end of the genealogical reconstruction of his ontological system, I proposed to define Norinaga's attitude as empirical transcendentalist. Besides I demonstrated, in accord with the major positions in the field (Maruyama 1974, Nosco 1990, Harootunian 1988, McNally 2006, Flueckiger 2008), the conjunction between Norianga's mode of thought and either the Kogaku school, and in a less specific way, with Buddhism. Thus far these have been the main points touched upon in this dissertation. Can the findings of this dissertation be generalized as expression of Norinaga's mode of thought? What would be the consequence of such an appraisal? On the one hand, these are open working questions that need to be researched by a textual analysis based on Noringa's oeuvre. This will in case, confirm and further expand the understanding of Norinaga's conception of Nature so to more solidly ground the evaluation of his political attitude. On the other hand, as a first step, what is needed is an intertextual examination and reconstruction by comparison of either the conceptions and strategy used by the thinkers Norinaga had been influenced by, f.i. Sorai and Jinsai. Yet the next step will be a radical historicization of the ideologies that this modes of thought mapped out. In other words, that is to contrast the logic this texts projected onto reality with contemporary society actual institutional order. In conclusion this will bring into light the ideological divergences left uncovered 27

by either the modernistic (Maruyama 1974, Matsumoto 1972) and post-modernistic (Harootunian 1988, Koyasu 2005) reading of the matter.


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