Confucianism ideals are popular among the Japanese. Confucianism appoints various philosophical movements that had different views in Japanese culture. For instance, Jukyo explained that Confucianism was a scholar’s teaching and Jugaku described it as learning of scholars. Japanese traced Confucian philosophy from ancient history. This was illustrated during the Tokugawa period, which characterized politics of Samurai to the Meiji era. The Meiji era was viewed as a restoration of the colonial rule. However, the most remarkable development of Confucian philosophy was linked to the Tokugawa period.
Japanese Confucianism was viewed as a social system embedded on morality than rules. It was viewed that if a person was led and respected the laws to escape punishment, the person had no intelligence. But, if a person was directed by moral guidance and respected the code of conduct, that person had wisdom and was guaranteed of an upright life.
The Japanese culture placed a strong emphasis on group and social harmony. These views were showed in the Japanese ideas of Wa, the idea of being a group and perpetuating harmony. The thoughts of shared responsibility and decision making by consent was fixed to social harmony in the society. Hence, being special from the group was viewed as disruptive manners.
The Confucian values in ancient and modern day Japan are viewed as a teaching of fidelity and devotion. Fidelity and devotion are pillars to the Confucian ethics. However, equally important is the collective ethical prescriptions such as Jin (humaneness). Humaneness was explored differently in Japanese culture, mostly, Japanese linked humaneness with being careful not to offend others. Humaneness was viewed as model of all Confucian virtues. Similarly, another ethical view of Confucian ethics was Justice, gi. Justice was translated to mean ‘rightness’ and ‘righteousness’. Gi also showed wisdom in perspective or accountability, commitment and duty. To draw someone was a gi elicited ethical honor, while failure meant conviction. Gi was harmonized with humaneness to form Jingi. J ingi illustrated justice and humaneness . These were political merits that shaped lucid legitimacy of an organization embracing them.
The Confucian viewed mind as supreme to the body because it influenced body activities. When ri, principle, and generative force, ki, were combined, the mind controlled the body. This was because the mind had the ability for lucid and unclouded intelligence.
Emulation was embraced by heterodox thinkers such as Ogyu Sorai and Ito Jinsai. Jinsai was famous for using calligraphy to elucidate that education can be acquired by emulation (Berthrong and Evelyn 65). Thus, using emulation, a learner was given a teacher’s sample to emulate it. A learner who showed consistent practice and efforts increased his/her chances of comprehension of the task. The growth of education in Japan increased. Hence, advanced literacy rate in the nineteenth century led to developing mass printing, fixing of schools in various Samurai’s and the rise of learning movements linked to Japanese culture and literature. Learning movements were critical of Chinese style philosophy. The Confucianism view on education was that it was an essential aspect of human life which enabled a person to attain better life and live harmoniously in the society.
Berthrong, John H and Evelyn Nagai-Berthrong. Confucianism: a short introduction, Oxford: Oneworld, 2000. Print.