AbstractThis paper is an examination of Setsuo-sensei shosetsu (Theories of Master Setsuo), a text compiled from the correspondence of Nakai Chikuzan, master of the Chinese-studies academy Kaitokudo, with his students and followers a text which provides insight into how, in the latter part of the Edo period, Japanese Confucian scholars increasingly came to participate in the government of their domains. A number of Confucian scholars appear in the letters collected in this work, who, though they were not of samurai origin, nonetheless were employed by domains to participate in governing: men like Konishi Ichu, Marukawa Shoin, and Matano Kazen. My aim is to discover what sort of response Chikuzan gave to letters from these scholars, and to establish how his responses might have influenced their political activities. This study concludes that knowledge of history and poetics influenced the policies they implemented; that an association for Chinese poetry pursuits known as the Kontonsha was their venue for the sharing of such knowledge; and that such knowledge might be said to have formed their basic education for careers as government bureaucrats. It further argues that in its practical application this knowledge manifested itself externally in writing (文章, bunsho) and internally in the form of a meditative discipline or concentration (敬, kei).
TypeDepartmental Bulletin Paper