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In her political treatise, Hitori kangae (Solitary Thoughts, 1818), Tadano Makuzu (1763-1825) presents her observations and critiques of the intellectual and socio-political landscapes of the late Tokugawa period (1600-1868). It is especially the (samurai) woman’s perspective that makes Makuzu’s treatise such a rich source of, often implicit, information on contemporary society.
The biographical details of Makuzu’s life and family are given social and historical context in terms of her self-conscious status as a samurai woman. Through close analysis of Makuzu’s philosophical and autobiographical writings, Dr. Gramlich-Oka reveals Makuzu to have been a natural product of the variety of intellectual schools and circles of her time. In extending Makuzu’s unique critique of the intellectual’s lack of concern with women to contemporary intellectual history, the author carves a new path in incorporating gender into intellectual history and biography writing.
In: Economic Thought in Early Modern Japan
In: Mining, Monies, and Culture in Early Modern Societies
This volume explores early-modern formations of economic thought and policy in a country widely regarded as having followed a unique, non-Western path to capitalism. In discussing such topics as money and the state, freedom and control, national interest ideology, shogunal politics and networks, case studies of the Saga Domain and Ryukyu Kingdom, Confucian banking, early Meiji entrepreneurship, and relationships between macroeconomic fluctuations and policy, the essays here deepen and revise our understanding of early-modern Japan. They also enlarge and refine the analytical vocabulary for describing early-modern economic thought and policy, thereby raising issues of interest to scholars of world history and economic thought outside of Japan or East Asia.