- 日本漢文学研究 (ISSN:18805914)
- vol.3, pp.356-313, 2008-03
In the course of modern Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges, the historical background for the Japan adventure of Buddhist Master Toukou Shinetu of the Caodong sect (1939-1695) was the same as that of Buddhist Master Ingen Ryouki of the Oubaku sect (1592-1673) and Confucian scholar Zhu Shun-shui (1600-1682). Zhu Shun-sui was appointed as a government advisor to impart practical knowledge and theories, and he had far-reaching influence on the development of Mitogaku (Mito School) in Japan. All three scholars were once involved in the anti-Q'ing activities back home in China. But Master Shinetu was little known in Japanese academic circles and he was barely mentioned in academic papers from Taiwan and Mainland China. Toukoushinetu was invited by Abbot Chou Ichi of Koufukuji to visit Japan in 1677. He traveled to Kyoto in 1680 and was recruited by the second Duke of Mito, Tokugawa Mitsukuni (16281700), following in the footsteps of Zhu Shun-shui. Master Shinetu immersed himself in the study of Buddhism. In arts and crafts, he specialized in seal cutting and mastered in calligraphy and guqin (a seven-stringed plucked instrument). He also liked writing poetry. As the guqin instructor to Hitomi Chikudou (16211688), a shogunate official, he made friends with quite a few Japanese scholars both in academic circles and in government, and he caused significant reverberations in Japan's cultural circles. He was considered another important personage following Zhu Shun-shui engaged by Tokugawa Mitsukuni to make up for the inadequacy of Han teaching in Mito. This paper purports to explore how during the middle stage of Tokugawa shogunate Master Shinetu and Japan's intellectual and cultural communities influenced each other. The study focuses on three issues: 1. What was Shinetu's thinking on national identity before and after he traveled to Japan? 2. Based on the materials obtained from public libraries in Nagasaki, Uji-shi, Mito and other towns, as well as historical materials newly discovered from Buddhist temples associated with Shinetu, what were the subjective and objective evaluations of Shinetu in the eyes of Japanese scholars and political figures who had had contact with him? 3. What doctrines did Master Shinetu impart on Japan's intellectual and cultural communities during his stay in Japan and what was his influence? By answering such questions, this paper will clarify the truth about the intellectual evolvement of Master Shinetu and propose new viewpoints.