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Edited by Bettina Gramlich-Oka and Gregory J. Smits

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.



This volume presents the first unabridged translation of Itô' Jinsai's (1627-1705) masterwork, the Gomô jigi (Philosophical Lexicography of the Analects and Mencius, 1705), into any western language.
The extensively annotated translation opens with a brief textual study of the Gomô jigi and an intellectual biography of Jinsai. While highlighting the Neo-Confucian text, the author suggests that the Gomô jigi espouses a systematic philosophical worldview for chônin, or townspeople, living in the ancient imperial capital, Kyoto, even during an age of ascendant samurai power.
The translation makes accessible to Western readers one of the earliest texts of Tokugawa philosophy. Those interested in Chinese and East Asian philosophy will find it enlightening since the topics that Jinsai addresses are also seminal ones in those fields.


Edited by W.J. Boot

Critical Readings in the Intellectual History of Early Modern Japan provides an overview of recent research into the most fascinating period in the development of Japanese thought. Against a background of Buddhism, which all through the period remained the state-sponsored religion, Chinese studies spread and became the basis of all higher education. Chinese studies, and the Confucianism they implied, provoked a reaction, "National Studies", which took the philological method elaborated by the Chinese scholars and applied it to the ancient Japanese corpus, in an attempt to articulate a "Japanese" identity. Simultaneously, the growing interest of physicians and astronomers in European science gave rise to "Dutch Studies." These four fields of intellectual endeavour together comprise the subject of the book.

Mining, Monies, and Culture in Early Modern Societies

East Asian and Global Perspectives


Edited by Nanny Kim and Keiko Nagase-Reimer

Mining, Monies, and Culture in Early Modern Societies explores substantial and methodological issues in the early modern history of mining for monetary metals and monies of Japan, China, and Europe. The largest group in the thirteen articles presents empirical research on mining, metallurgy, and metals trade in the context of global trade systems. Another group focuses on the effects of money in government and everyday life. Several articles investigate scroll paintings and material remains as sources for the history of technology, or apply Geographic Information Systems to the analysis of spatial dimensions of mining areas.


Edited by Keiko Nagase-Reimer

This volume sheds light on the important role of copper in early modern Sino-Japanese trade. By examining the demand for copper and the policy on copper procurement in Japan and China as well as the role of Osaka merchant houses, this volume provides a new slant on the “life” of Japanese copper – from production and distribution to consumption. In addition, papers on other significant traded products such as sugar, seafood, and books give us a better understanding of Sino-Japanese trade overall. The latest discussions on this field, which were mostly published in Japanese, have been brought together in this book and made accessible to an English-speaking audience.
Contributors include: IMAI Noriko, IWASAKI Yoshinori, LIU Shiuh-Feng, MATSUURA Akira, and Keiko NAGASE-REIMER.

Historical studies in Japan (VII).

1983-1987 Japan at the XVIIth International Congress of Historical Sciences in Madrid

Edited by National

Kiyoaki Kitō 'International Relations in Ancient East Asia'.
Eiichi Katō 'The Age of the Great Voyages and Japan's "National Seclusion"'.
Nobuyuki Yoshida 'The Early Modern City in Japan'.
Kazumi Kobayashi 'Popular Movements and Religion in China and Korea'.
Nobuko Nagasaki 'South Asian Popular Movements and Religion'.
Bunji Kubota 'China and the Debate on Asian Modernization'.
Hiroshi Band(1,165

Christianity in Early Modern Japan

Kirishitan Belief and Practice


Ikuo Higashibaba

When the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier introduced Catholic Christianity to Japan in 1549, it developed quickly in the country. The Japanese called this new religious movement and its believers Kirishitan. This volume explores the popular religious life and culture of the native adherents, which have been so often ignored in conventional studies of Christianity in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Japan.
Subjects included are lay missionaries, followers’ engagement in symbols and rituals, Japanese catechism, and apostasy, underground practice, and martyrdom under persecution.
This book provides fascinating new information about the faith and practice of the Japanese followers, and expands the horizon of historical studies of Japanese Christianity. It will be an important source for students of Japanese studies, religious history, and studies of cross-cultural interaction.


Edited by B. Shillony

The imperial dynasty of Japan is the oldest on earth and the only one the Japanese have ever known. It is unique in the sense that Japanese emperors hardly ever decided policies, commanded troops, administered the state, passed judgments, or decreed on matters of faith. Actual power was usually in the hands of subordinates, whether aristocrats, warlords, bureaucrats or politicians. Despite their political and military weakness, the emperors of Japan occupied the highest position in the realm, enjoyed a sacred status, and their dynasty could not be overthrown. This 4-volume publication presents learned articles and book chapters in English on various aspects of the Japanese emperors from the ancient past until today, including Hirohito's controversial role in the Pacific War.

Brill's Critical Readings publications are a one stop reference resource in English, presenting high quality scholarship on one subject area assembled by experts in the field. By selecting the best material published to-date from a huge bank of sources, and contextualizing it thematically, the editor creates a unique tool for rapid access not only to seminal works but also to less familiar texts.

Japanese-Mongolian Relations, 1873-1945

Faith, Race and Strategy


James Boyd

This book offers the first in-depth examination of Japanese-Mongolian relations from the late nineteenth century through to the middle of the twentieth century and in the process repositions Mongolia in Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese relations. Beginning in 1873, with the intrepid journey to Mongolia by a group of Buddhist monks from one of Kyoto’s largest orders, the relationship later included groups and individuals from across Japanese society, with representatives from the military, academia, business and the bureaucracy. Throughout the book, the interplay between these various groups is examined in depth, arguing that to restrict Japan’s relationship with Mongolia to merely the strategic and as an adjunct to Manchuria, as has been done in other works, neglects important facets of the relationship, including the cultural, religious and economic. It does not, however, ignore the strategic importance of Mongolia to the Japanese military. The author considers the cultural diplomacy of the Zenrin kyôkai, a Japanese quasi-governmental humanitarian organization whose activities in inner Mongolia in the 1930s and 1940s have been almost completely ignored in earlier studies and whose operations suggest that Japanese-Mongolian relations are quite distinct from other Asian peoples. Accordingly, the book makes a major contribution to our understanding of Japanese activities in a part of Asia that figured prominently in pre-war and wartime Japanese strategic and cultural thinking.


Kigensan Licha


This paper introduces embryological discourses in early modern Sōtō Zen. It demonstrates that these discourses formed a vital and integral part of Sōtō teachings and concludes that embryological, or, more widely, reproductive and sexual notions, formed part of the late medieval and early modern Japanese Buddhist mainstream. To make these points, the paper draws on Sōtō kirigami, secret, initiatory documents passed from master to disciple. Based on these, the paper argues that Sōtō embryological discourse focused on two topics. Firstly, ontogenesis was conceptualised in terms drawn mainly from funerary contexts. This reflects the growing importance funerals occupied in early modern Zen. Secondly, Zen meditative practice itself was cast as a return to the origin qua womb in a network of associations uniting cosmogonic, doctrinal, soteriological, and sexual notions. Consequently, Zen monks came to understand Dharma transmission as reproductive in nature. The paper concludes that the embryological discourses found in Sōtō Zen are one example of how Zen monks developed their teachings in conversation with the intellectual climate of their times and suggests that to classify this conversation in terms of “orthodox” or “heterodox” doctrines or “elite” or “popular” practices diminishes its complexity and reflects academic biases rather than historical reality.