Sacred-Texts Confucianism Shinto

The Shundai Zatsuwa

(A Japanese Philosopher)

by Kyusō (Murō Naokiyo)

translated and edited by George Wm. Knox

[Tokyo, 1892]
{Reduced to HTML by Christopher M. Weimer, September 2002}

This book is an exposition of orthodox neo-Confucian thought from Tokugawa Japan. Kyusō lived from 1658-1734, and the Shundai Zatsuwa was compiled and published posthumously by his grandson in 1750. According to Knox, the work is not considered to be a classic, but it was well respected and "[i]n the Shundai Zatsuwa of Kyusō Murō we have the ruling ideas of the Japan that has forever passed away." (Introduction, p. 25). In addition to philosophy, the book has many anecdotal stories from Chinese and Japanese history illustrating the results of the virtuous conduct of the Confucian sage and the honorable samurai. This translation was originally published in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, volume 20, part 1 [1892] under the title A Japanese Philosopher. The remainder of that issue (60 more pages) was also taken up with discussions relating to this article, which are not presented in this iteration.

The Sino-Japanese characters in the footnotes have been eliminated (replaced with ###), apologies. Also, some of the footnotes were numbered inconsistently and consequently had to be renumbered, and some of the typographical errors in the text were silently corrected.