Kokugaku in Meiji-period Japan offers a new perspective on scholarly networks and the foundations of modern Japan. Utilizing never explored original sources and with a unique focus on the persons involved, Michael Wachutka elucidates how kokugaku as a cornucopia of traditional knowledge played an important role in raising a new generation of truly national citizens. Commonly perceived as a purely premodern Edo-period phenomenon, 'national learning' counterbalanced an overly Westernization of society in the process of nation building and identity formation.
In addition to kokugaku activities in religious administration and higher education, Wachutka provides a compelling account of the organization and endeavour of three successive academic societies whose most prominent members served as junction of kokugaku’s intellectual network in Meiji Japan.
Michael Wachutka, Dr. phil. (2007), University of Tübingen, Germany, is the Director of the Tübingen University Center for Japanese Language at Doshisha University in Kyoto. He has published several monographs and articles on Japanese intellectual history, national identity, and religion.
All interested in modern Japanese history, religious administration, higher education, the formation and activities of intellectual networks, and aspects of continuation and change in the process of nation building.