- Kada no Azumamaro
- (1669-1736)One of the founders (according to some the main founder) of the kokugaku or fukko shinto school of thought which looked for a return to Japanese origins through sources such as the Kojiki and the Nihongi—and in Azumamaro's case the Kujiki, though he later came to regard it as a forgery—rather than in Buddhist or Confucian texts. He was a lay priest at the Inari shrine in Kyoto who had built up a personal library of ancient Japanese texts. He was strongly influenced by the Japanese Confucian scholar Ogyu, Sorai who had campaigned for a new investigation of the oldest Confucian classics. In 1728 Azumamaro successfully submitted a petition (written in ornate classical Chinese) to the shogun Tokugawa, Yoshimune in which he praised the spread of Confucian and Buddhist learning during the Tokugawa peace but lamented the longstanding neglect of the scholarly, especially textual, study of Japanese sources. He requested that a school of 'national learning' and a lending library of rare texts should be established in Kyoto, parallel to the Confucian fukko (return to antiquity') enterprise of the Sung dynasty in China. From a kokugaku 'lineage' point of view he is seen as one of the four great inspirational scholars of kokugaku along with Kamo no Mabuchi, Motoori Norinaga and Hirata Atsutane.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.
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