The I Ching in the Shinto Thought
of Tokugawa Japan
By Wai-ming Ng

Philosophy East and West
V. 48:4 (1998)
pp. 568-591

Copyright 1998 by University of Hawaii Press
Hawaii, USA



p. 568

The I Ching or Book of Changes, both a book of magic and a book of wisdom, is one of the most influential and popular of the Chinese classics. More than a Confucian classic, it is a powerful metaphysical and symbolic system representing different aspects of Chinese culture. In China, Confucianism, Taoism, the Yin-Yang school, and some schools of Buddhism and folk religion all claimed the text as their own, appropriating the text's philosophy and divination methods. The same scenario can be found in Japan, where Shinto, Buddhism, Onmyodo (Way of Yin and Yang), and some "new religions" tried to incorporate the I Ching into their systems of thought. [1] This article will examine the relationship between the I Ching and Shinto in Tokugawa Japan (1603-1868).

    It might seem strange to put the I Ching, a Chinese classic, and Shinto, a Japanese religion, together. But in fact, the I Ching played an important role at different stages in the development of Shinto, [2] and it is no exaggeration to say that the I Ching was one of the most important influences on Shinto. Our investigation will focus on two main themes: the role of the I Ching in the discussion of Confucian-Shinto relations and the project of transforming the text from a Confucian classic into a Shinto text. The first section of this article examines how early Tokugawa Confucians (in particular those from Neo-Confucian schools), as well as Shintoists, used the I Ching to elucidate the doctrine of the unity of Confucianism and Shinto and to develop their Shinto ideas. The second section outlines the change in Confucian-Shinto relations during the mid-Tokugawa period through the voices of some Confucian scholars. In the last section, we will see how scholars of Unden Shinto, kokugaku (the school of National Learning), and the Mito school turned the I Ching from a Confucian classic into a Shinto or Japanese text in late Tokugawa times.


The Confucianization of Shinto in the Early Tokugawa Period

    Although animistic beliefs and their shrines existed in ancient times, Shinto in the ancient and medieval periods did not contain a clear set of doctrines. "Shinto" (or shen-tao), a term from the I Ching, was uncommon in the ancient Japanese vocabulary. It first appeared in Japan in the eighth century-it was used in the Nihon shoki a mere three times-and its meaning was never settled during the medieval period (1186-1603). [3] Medieval Shinto developed within the Mahaayaana Buddhist system. Zen Buddhist monks, by utilizing the doctrine of honji suijaku, or Buddha manifested in the form of ancient Japanese Shinto deities, attempted to include Shinto within the world of Buddhist teaching. Shinto was also



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affiliated with Confucianism, Onmyodo, and folk beliefs and did not generally come to be perceived as a separate indigenous or national religion until the late Tokugawa and early Meiji periods. [4]

    As Confucianism (both the Sung and Han schools) gradually became a powerful intellectual force in the early Tokugawa era, it exerted a tremendous impact on Shinto. The two teachings formed an anti-Buddhist alliance in the seventeenth century. Some Confucians sought to include Shinto within Confucianism, while Shintoists wanted to use Neo-Confucian metaphysics to enrich their own teachings. [5] In both cases, the I Ching was the principal text they used to achieve their goals. [6] We will first document how prominent Confucian scholars and Shinto priests used the I Ching to explicate their views on the unity of Confucianism and Shinto.

    Most early Tokugawa Confucians, despite their different schools and their disagreements over a number of issues, shared similar ideas about Confucian-Shinto relations. First, Confucianism represented a universal principle, and could be used to explicate Shinto. Second, Confucianism and Shinto were in agreement with each other in political ideology, ethics, and metaphysics. Third, Shinto originated in China, and was also a way of the sages. It was not subordinate to Buddhism and was not a way exclusive to Japan. Major Shinto currents in Tokugawa Japan were seen to be wrong because they encompassed shamanistic practices. In brief, early Tokugawa Confucians attempted to incorporate Shinto into the Confucian framework by emphasizing the universality of Confucianism and the similarity of Confucianism and Shinto.

    Hayashi Razan (1583-1657), a Chu Hsi scholar, was among the earliest Tokugawa scholars to advocate the unity of Confucianism and Shinto based on the I Ching. He was a Confucian first and a Shintoist second, attempting to incorporate Shinto into Confucianism and not vice versa. His view of Shinto can be summarized in two sentences: "Shinto in my country is in agreement with the way of the Chou I," and "Shinto is within Confucianism." [7]

    Razan's major work on Shinto was the Shinto denju (The transmission of Shinto) (1648), in which he introduced the history of Shinto and the main ideas of different Shinto schools. He concluded that any efforts by Buddhism to explain Shinto would be in vain, and that Shinto could be understood only through the reading of the Confucian classics and Japanese historical writings. In particular, he believed that the I Ching and the Nihon shoki were the keys to unlocking the mystery of Shinto. He used the theory of yin-yang wu-hsing to explain the Age of the Gods. For instance, he identified the Shinto deity Kuni-no-tokotachi-no-mikoto with t'ai chi (the Supreme Ultimate), and asserted that the founding Shinto deities Izanagi and Izanami represented the two primal forces (yang and yin) and the first two hexagrams (ch'ien and k'un),



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respectively. He also compared the five major Shinto deities to the wu-hsing (five basic agents or stages). [8] Attributing the origins of his Shinto ideas to the I Ching and the Nihon shoki, Razan stated that while these two books belonged to different ages and countries, they shared the same view on the formation of the universe: "The Nihon shoki states that the combination of the God of Yang and the Goddess of Yin, and their marriage, gave birth to everything.... In the Chou I, it is expressed in [the form of] ch'ien and k'un." [9]

    In the same book, Razan also mentioned two other interesting ideas. First, by putting the doctrine of honji suijaku in a Confucian context, he maintained that many Shinto deities were in fact from China, that Emperor Jimmu was the Chinese Prince, Wu T'ai-po, and that the Three Regalia were of continental rather than divine origin. Thus Shinto was derived from Chinese learning. [10] Second, Razan pointed out that both Shinto and the I Ching favored the number eight, because it reflected the mystery of the numerology of the universe. [11] In the Shinto hiden setchu zokukai (Synthesis and simple explanation of the Secret Transmission of Shinto) (1676), he used the hexagram kuan (contemplation) to link Confucianism and Shinto together: "The hexagram kuan of the I Ching reads: 'The sages, in accordance with the spirit-like (shinto) way, laid down their instructions, and all under heaven yield submission to them.' Isn't this the way of the kings? Isn't this the way of the sages? " [12] Thus, Razan treated Shinto as the way of the Chinese sages, and believed that both Shinto and Confucianism shared the same natural principle.

    Yamazaki Ansai (1618-1682) was the founder of Suika Shinto as well as a Chu Hsi scholar. Like Razan, he used the I Ching and Nihon shoki to explain the Age of the Gods and to formulate his Shinto views. He regarded the I Ching as the most important Chinese book, and referred to it as "China's kamiyo no maki" or scroll of the Age of the Gods. Likewise, he saw the Nihon shoki as "Japan's I Ching." Using the theory of yin-yang wu-hsing, he developed a description of the Age of the Gods that was similar to Razan's. "Izanagi was the God of Yang, and Izanami was the God of Yin. These two gods supported the wonderful forces of wu-hsing. " [13] Ansai also wrote: "The first generation of the gods were the Gods of Heaven and Earth. From the second to the sixth generations lived the Gods of Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, and Earth. The seventh generations were the Gods of Yin and Yang." [14] He asserted that Confucianism and Shinto possessed the same principle, and that their ultimate purpose was to cultivate moral character and a proper relationship between the emperor and his subjects. [15]

In Japan, at the time of the opening of the country, Izanagi and Izanami followed the divination teachings of the Heavenly Gods, obeyed yin and yang, and thus correctly established the beginnings of ethical teachings. In the uni-



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verse there is only One Principle, [although] either Gods or sages come forth depending on whether it concerns the country where the sun rises [Japan] or the country where the sun sets [China]. The [two] ways (of Shinto and Confucianism] are, however, naturally and mysteriously the same. [16]

    Although Confucianism and Shinto shared the same origin, Ansai did not think that they should fuse into a single entity, because Japan and China had different national characters. Hence, he made few attempts to blend the two. [17] In his late years, he even proclaimed that Shinto was superior to all other teachings. This extreme stance distinguished him from Razan and other early Tokugawa Confucian scholars who held Shinto beliefs.

    Kumazawa Banzan (1619-1691), a Wang Yang-ming scholar, elaborated the idea of "the divine way of heaven and earth" (tenchi no shinto), which was very similar to Watarai Nobuyoshi's "natural principle" (shizen no ri). Banzan said: "We do not have two principles. The way of the sages in China is also the divine way of heaven and earth. Shinto in my country is also the divine way of heaven and earth. The I Ching is also the divine way of heaven and earth." [18] What he meant by the Shinto of heaven and earth was the way of benevolence and righteousness. Based on this idea, Banzan developed a cultural perspective that treated both the I Ching and the Three Regalia as symbols of the divine way of heaven and earth:

The sages understood the deep and subtle principle of the gods, which is hard to manifest since it has neither form nor color. No words and essays can fully explicate it. Therefore, [the Chinese] made the hexagrams and came to understand this principle by looking into these symbols.... The Three Regalia of the Age of the Gods show us the subtle and unspeakable virtues in visible form. They are symbols. [19]

In the ancient past, we did not have a writing system. In China, the works of the sages before Yao and Shun, the indoctrination of virtues, and the establishment of institutions were only expressed in the lines of yin and yang in the I Ching, because there were no books to transmit them. Also in Japan, we had the Three Regalia as symbols, and they functioned like the lines of the I Ching. [20]

Banzan concluded from his comparison of these symbols that "the Three Regalia and the three lines [of a trigram] of the I Ching are alike." [21] The most striking similarity between the I Ching and Shinto, he believed, was that they both favored the number eight, which reflected the universality of the divine way of heaven and earth:

The Chinese sage, Fu Hsi, was the first to draw the lines of ch'ien and k'un, which were later developed into the six lines, the eight trigrams, and [eight times eight to produce] the sixty-four hexagrams. Similarly, we [Japanese]



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used the number eight in words, such as the Yatano [Mirror] and the Yasaka [Jade], because the divine way of heaven and earth is one, and it is naturally the same wonderful principle shared by both Japan and China. [22]

In addition to his work on symbols, Banzan also produced a textual analysis of the I Ching, and quoted two passages from it to prove the Chinese origins of Shinto. The first is from the famous hexagram kuan. The second passage reads: "Manifesting the virtue of the spirit-like way (shinto), one can consult with the gods, and receive their blessing." [23]

    Yamaga Soko (1622-1685), a precursor of the scholars of Ancient Learning, like Banzan, disapproved of Shinto in its existing form, but did not reject Shinto itself. Like many of his Confucian contemporaries, he believed that Shinto was one of the ways of the sages, which could be practiced in any nation and which had a validity that was not necessarily limited to Japan. He maintained that both Shinto in ancient Japan and the way of the Chinese sages represented the proper way to govern, and had nothing to do with shamanism and magic. One of his disciples recalled Soko's view of the relationship between Confucianism and Shinto:

One question was: "Our country is a divine nation, so why don't we use Shinto to govern?" My master [Soko] replied: "Every nation in the world is a divine nation, and why do you confine it to our country?" The T'uan Chuan (Commentary on the decision) of the I Ching comments on the hexagram kuan. It reads: "When we contemplate the spirit-tike way of heaven [shinto], we see how the four seasons proceed without error. The sages, in accordance with the spirit-like way [shinto], laid down their instructions, and all under heaven yield submission to them." That is the Shinto of the sages. The way of the sages is to use Shinto to rule the nation. However, nowadays, the school of magicians and diviners advocate Shinto because they work in Shinto shrines. What do they know about the Shinto of the sages? [24]

    Ogyu Sorai (1666-1728), a scholar of Ancient Learning, also advocated the way of the sages. According to Sorai, Shinto and the way of the I Ching were both included in the way of the sages. He quoted the hexagram kuan to elucidate the political implications of the way of the sages: "The sages, in accordance with the spirit-like way [shinto], laid down their instructions and acted according to the will of heaven. It is not limited to divination and magic, and should include ritual, music, administration, and punishment. This is the way of benevolence." [25] Sorai criticized lto Jinsai (1627-1705) for denying the existence of Shinto: "Why did Master Jinsai say that Confucius did not talk about gods and ghosts? Ancient people worshipped the sages because the latter acted according to the way of heaven. Therefore, [the I Ching] says: The sages, in accordance with the spirit-like way [shinto], laid down their instructions." [26] Sorai's examination of the ancient history of Japan reinforced his belief that Shinto and the way of the sages were in agreement.



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He allied that "Worshipping heaven and ancestors, laying down instructions based on the Way of the Gods [Shinto], and making decisions concerning administration, punishment, and reward in [ancestral] temples and shrines have been practices since the Early Three Dynasties [in Japan]. This is the way of my nation, which is equivalent to the ancient way of the Hsia and Shang." [27] Of course, Sorai did not believe every story that the Shintoists told. For example, he dismissed the authenticity of the supposed written characters of the Age of the Gods, and maintained that the hexagrams of the I Ching were the real origin of Chinese and Japanese characters. [28]

    Early Tokugawa Shintoists also studied the I Ching and adopted elements from Chinese learning, employing the text extensively to interpret and enrich Shinto. While stressing the similarity of Shinto and Confucianism, they did not entertain the idea that Shinto was also a way of the sages imported from China. This differentiates them from Confucians
who held Shinto views. We will focus our discussion on the leaders of two major Shinto schools.

    New Ise Shinto and Yoshida Shinto. New Ise Shinto is characterized by its strong association with the I Ching. [29] The founder, Watarai Nobuyoshi (1615-1690), exerted a considerable impact on early Tokugawa Confucians and Shintoists. His major work was the Yofukki (Records of the return of Yang) (1650), a text whose name was borrowed from the hexagram fu (return). He used the I Ching and the Nihon shoki to explain every detail of the Age of the Gods. For instance, Izanagi and Izanami were represented by the hexagrams ch'ien and k'un. He believed that these two books were equally important, because they shared a similar idea of the way of heaven, earth, and human beings:

In our country, many of the ancient stories that have been transmitted agree with the I Ching. The authors of Shinto books sometimes borrowed terms and ideas from the I Ching. Japan's holy relics are in agreement with the Book of the Sages [the I Ching] from China. One might wonder how this could be. The natural way of heaven and earth does not vary with nations. That is the way Shinto should be. [30]

What was the way of heaven, earth, and human beings? According to Nobuyoshi, it was the way of loyalty and honesty to which Shinto and the way of the I Ching belonged: "Some people say the way of the I Ching is flawless. I think the reason for its infallibility is that it is the same as Shinto in our country; both are the way of loyalty and honesty." [31] Here, he suggested the interesting duality of ri and do (principle and expression), teaching that the way of loyalty and honesty was the natural principle (ri), but that each nation had its own expression (do) of the principle. This explained why Japan had Shinto, China had Confucianism, and India had Buddhism. Nobuyoshi's conclusion was that people



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should abide by the expression to which their nations belonged, and therefore Japanese should be faithful to Shinto. He had never forgotten his identity as a Shinto priest, and thus held that Shinto was not subordinate to the way of the I Ching:

Because both Shinto and the way of the I Ching follow nature, their teachings are in accordance with the truth. In particular, the Nihon shoki obviously borrowed many words from the I Ching. However, Shinto does not derive from the I Ching. If people read foreign books, and begin to suspect that Japanese Shinto might have come from the I Ching, they merely have the bodies of Japanese, and do not realize their indebtedness to the nation. They have the heart of the alien. [32]

In his reading of the Nihon shoki and Gobusho, Nobuyoshi was convinced that Shinto existed before the importation of Confucianism, and therefore it was not a way of the sages imported from China. This was the most significant difference between Shintoists and Confucians in their understanding of the relationship between Confucianism and Shinto.

    Kikkawa (Yoshikawa) Koretari (1616-1694), the champion of Yoshida Shinto, enjoyed a reputation equal to that of Watarai Nobuyoshi in early Tokugawa times. Believing that the Age of the Gods was imbued with the principle of the I Ching, he used the theories of t'ai-chi and yin-yang wu-hsing to construct his theological and ontological views. He identified Kuni-no-tokotachi-no-mikoto, the first Shinto deity who appeared after the beginning of the universe, as t'ai-chi, and Izanagi and Izanami as the gods of Yang and Yin. The story of the meeting of Izanagi and Izanami on a floating bridge was interpreted as a metaphor for the harmony of yin and yang. Koretari adopted the theory that metal, water, wood, fire, and earth are the five primal agents in the universe. In the Tsuchikan no den (Treatise on the agents of earth and metal), he added that earth and metal were the essences of everything from which the other three agents were created, and that they represented the most important virtues of all, loyalty and righteousness.

    Koretari contributed to the discussion of Shinto-Confucian relations by popularizing the explanation of a Shinto prayer. According to tradition, the legendary emperor, Sui'nin (29 B.C.-A.D. 70), composed a prayer, to-o-kami-emi-tame, kan-ken-shin-son-ri-kon-sui-ken. People believed that this prayer had mystic power, and recited it from generation to generation, even though no one seemed to understand its meaning. Looking at the phonetic similarities, Koretari claimed that the first sentence represented the five agents, and the second sentence the eight hexagrams, and thus concluded that Shinto was in agreement with the way of the I Ching. [33] He also explained the extensive use of the number eight in Shinto, such as in the Three Regalia and the architecture of the Shinto shrine, in terms of the combination of the two key ideas of the I Ching:



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the three powers (san t'sai) and the five agents. [34] Although Koretari's ideas were similar to those of Razan and some early Tokugawa Confucians, he put stronger emphasis on Shinto exorcism, prayer, and the virtue of makoto (sincerity).

The Separation of Confucianism and Shinto in Mid-Tokugawa Times

    Of course, not all Confucians and Shintoists in early Tokugawa times agreed with the doctrine of the unity of Confucianism and Shinto, and by the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries we witness growing disagreement over this assumption. [35] It is not easy to explain why Confucians and Shintoists began to separate Shinto from Confucianism by the mid-Tokugawa period. I think this phenomenon was a by-product of two intellectual movements: the pursuit of purity and the original teaching of Confucianism, and the emergence of an influential nativist current. Strikingly enough, however, even those who opposed the doctrine of the unity of Confucianism and Shinto used the same source material from the I Ching. We will look at two Confucians as examples to demonstrate the characteristics of a brief transitional period of approximately a half-century in mid-Tokugawa times.

    Muro Kyuso (1658-1734), a Chu Hsi scholar, denied that there existed any relationship between Confucianism and Shinto, and attacked Suika Shinto in particular. According to Kyuso, people in his times believed in the unity of Confucianism and Shinto because they misread the hexagram kuan. He asserted that the term shen-tao (shinto) in the I Ching simply meant "the wonderful way" (shen-miao chih tao), and not "the way of the gods" (shen-tao):

[The I Ching reads:] "The sages gave instructions according to shen-tao." We call the way of the sages shen-tao because of its wonder. We can also call it the way of benevolence. Shinto is not the only way. I have tried to understand the theory of today's Shinto, which regards the way of our country as superior to the way of the sages. I find it hard to understand. [36]

According to Kyuso, the basic difference between Confucianism and Shinto was that the former put emphasis on ethical principles, whereas in the latter it was mystery:

Is the so-called Shinto of the present day the same as the way of the sages or different? Its [Shinto] books have many subtle words and few explicit [moral] lessons. The more they talk about gods and ether, the fewer ethical lessons they present.... The I Ching says: "Even if the difference [at the beginning] is only an insignificant unit of measure, [later] their difference will be as wide as a thousand miles." [37]

The second difference was that Confucianism was universal, whereas Shinto was national. In a letter to a friend, Kyuso criticized Shinto for its



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exclusiveness, and insisted that the Way should belong to the world and not be a private thing of Japan. [38] The third difference was that Confucianism was political, while Shinto was religious. He regarded the way of the sages as a way to govern through politics and education, and quoted the following sentence from Ch'eng I (1033-1107) to explain this idea: "Rulers before the Early Three Kings laid down their instructions in accordance with the wonderful way. It goes without saying that their purpose was to educate the people. We saw the success of the Way in Yao's times. " [39] The fourth difference was that Confucianism was historical, but Shinto ahistorical. Kyuso pointed out that Japan had a short history of slightly more than two thousand years, and therefore the Age of the Gods was only a myth. [40]

    Dazai Shundai (1680-1747), a scholar of Ancient Learning, was also a critic of Shinto. Defining the Way of the Gods (Shinto) as a way of the sages, which meant a respect for supernatural beings, Shundai recognized its practical value, but denied its authenticity. He asserted that the sages themselves did not believe in Shinto, and that they used it as a means to educate the foolish and superstitious people of primitive times. He explained the hexagram kuan in this way:

Nowadays, people think Shinto is the way of our nation, and regard it as one of the ways along with Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. That is a big mistake. Shinto at first belonged to the way of the sages. The Chou I reads: "When we contemplate the spirit-like way [shinto] of heaven, we see how the four seasons proceed without error. The sages, in accordance with the spirit-like way [shinto], laid down their instructions, and all under heaven yield submission to them".... The [early] rulers knew the truth. The ordinary people were very foolish and had doubts about everything. If gods and ghosts were not used as a means to teach them, the heart of the people would not settle. The sages knew that in order to teach the people, they had to claim [authority] from the gods and spirits to produce order. That is the meaning of Shinto of the sages, and of the phrase "the sages laid down their instructions in accordance with the spirit-like way [shinto]." [41]

According to Shundai, Tokugawa Shinto was completely different from the Shinto of the sages. Japanese Shinto was a kind of shamanism and historically recent. Shundai did not believe that Shinto had ever existed in ancient Japan: [42]

Today's version of Shinto did not exist in pre-medieval times. We cannot find any records in ancient historical writings and Japanese literature. Hence, you should know that in the time of Shotoku Taishi (574-622), we did not have Shinto yet.... The term shinto was from the Chou I; it was one of the meanings of the way of the sages. Today, people take the way of divination as Shinto.... That is a big mistake, a ridiculous and unreasonable things. [43]



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He pointed out that medieval Shinto was built upon a Shingon Buddhist framework, and that Yoshida Kanetomo (1435-1511), the founder of Yoshida Shinto, added Buddhist and Confucian elements into Japanese shamanistic practices, which later became the mainstream Shinto school in the early Tokugawa period. Hence, Tokugawa Shinto was an inappropriate combination of Confucianism and Buddhism.


The Shintoization of the I Ching in Late Tokugawa Times

    Although the relationship between the I Ching and Shinto underwent tremendous changes, the two remained very close throughout the entire Tokugawa period. In the first half of the Tokugawa, Shinto moved closer to Confucianism and away from Buddhism. Many Confucians and Shintoists used the I Ching to advocate the doctrine of the unity of the two teachings along with some Shinto ideas. During the second half of the Tokugawa period, Shinto distanced itself from Confucianism and established its status as Japan's indigenous religion. [44] The two maintained a subtle relation. Shintoists tended to denounce Confucianism openly, but were still influenced by it consciously or unconsciously. The I Ching was no longer used to uphold the doctrine of the unity of the two teachings. Although it was still influential in Shinto, it was used less and less with reference to Confucianism and China. [45] If the Confucianization of Shinto through the I Ching was a major theme in early Tokugawa Confucian-Shinto relations, the late Tokugawa period is characterized by the Shintoization of the I Ching. Schools that were strongly nationalist-kokugaku in particular-attempted to transform the I Ching from a Confucian classic into a Shinto text. In this section, we will investigate the project of Shintoization of the I Ching started by Unden Shinto, kokugaku, and the Mito school.

    Unden Shinto was founded by Jiun Sonja (1718-1804), a Shingon priest who attempted to enhance Shinto through a fusion with Buddhist and Confucian ideas. [46] Comparing the similarities between the I Ching and Shinto writings on such views as the heavenly mandate, divination, numerology, gods and spirits, and politics, he alleged that the creation of
the I Ching may have been influenced by Shinto. According to Chinese tradition, Fu Hsi created the eight trigrams based on the Ho t'u (Yellow River diagram). Jiun speculated that the Ho t'u was inspired by a Shinto mirror: "The images of the Ho t'u were manifested through the Okitsu Mirror [a round bronze mirror kept in the geku (Outer Shrine) of the Ise Shrine, one of the ten Shinto treasures]. Fu Hsi used the Ho t'u as the base for drawing the eight trigrams." [47] He even speculated that the text of the I Ching was derived from Shinto divination in the Age of the Gods:

Every word and sentence in the I Ching is interesting and significant. The two parts of the main text and its Ten Wings are perfect in politics and ethics. [The authors of the I Ching] copied our ancient divination of Takama-ga-hara [the



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plain of the high heaven where Izanagi and Izanami lived] and formulated its text and style. The whole book is completely borrowed from us. [48]

Jiun's discussions on the Shinto origins of the I Ching were only piecemeal. He did not address important questions, such as how Fu Hsi and other Chinese sages were influenced by Shinto. A full-fledged theory of the Shinto origins of the I Ching did not appear until the emergence of the Hirata school a few decades later.

    Early kokugaku scholars condemned the I Ching, but late kokugaku scholars, particularly the Hirata school, Shintoized or Japanized the I Ching so that they could use its metaphysical ideas to enrich their Thought. [49] This becomes one of the most interesting intellectual themes in late Tokugawa times.

    Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801 ), like other earlier kokugaku scholars, was quite indifferent to, and even looked down upon, the I Ching. He referred to it as "a white elephant" (muyo no chobutsu) created by the Chinese sages to deceive people, with the criticism that "Confucians believe that they have grasped the meaning of the universe through the creation of the I Ching and its very profound words. But all that is only a deception to win people over and be masters over them." [50] Hence, Norinaga attacked people who used the idea of yin-yang wu-hsing to explain the Age of the Gods. [51] He preferred the Kojiki to the Nihon shoki, because the latter was influenced by the I Ching and used the theory of yin-yang wu-hsing to discuss the Age of the Gods. Norinaga distinguished Japanese Shinto from Chinese Shinto. The main difference was that, as Norinaga put it, Chinese Shinto was strange and abstract, whereas Japanese Shinto was historical and existent:

However, a Chinese book [the I Ching] reads: "The sages established Shinto [shen tao]." Some people thus believed that our country borrowed the name Shinto from this book. These people do not have a mind to understand things. Our understanding of gods has been different from the Chinese from the beginning. In China, they compare gods to the yin and yang of the universe and the unpredictable spirit. Their discussion is only empty theory without substance. Deities in our country were the ancestors of the current imperial emperor and are not empty theories like the Chinese [notion of gods]. [52]

When he wrote this passage, the chief object of his attack was Dazai Shundai. Here, Norinaga made three points: Japanese Shinto was unrelated to the I Ching, Shinto existed in ancient Japan, and Shinto had strong political implications. In brief, he regarded Shinto as an indigenous religion of ancient origin, and condemned the Buddhist Shinto of the past and the Confucian Shinto of his own times.

    Izumi Makuni (1765-1805), a student of Norinaga's, was a maverick in kokugaku circles. His knowledge of the Chinese classics was exceptional, but his relationship with other kokugaku scholars was poor. He



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wanted to fuse Shinto, the I Ching, and the Chung Yung (Doctrine of the mean). In his major work, Meidosho (Book to explicate the way), published in 1830, housed the I Ching and Chung Yung to analyze Shinto. However, his stance was different from that of early Tokugawa Confucians. Being a kokugaku scholar, he considered Shinto an independent entity, and not a component of Confucianism. He defined Shinto as the natural way of heaven and earth, and as an ideal ideology that was in agreement with the teachings in the I Ching and the Chung Yung. [53] Although Shinto was universal, he argued, Japan was the only nation that had always been in accord with it since the Age of the Gods:

The Chou I, Chung Yung, and other books have many right words and are well written. However, the so-called way of honesty has from the beginning been merely empty words on paper from the foreign land [China], and thus the Chinese did not gain profit from it at all. In our imperial kingdom, although we did not have the name of the Way or the books to teach, the thing itself [the Way] has been carried out correctly from the Age of the Gods, and it has filled the nation for ten thousand generations. Its benefits can be seen even now. [54]

He further asserted that the political ideal of the I Ching, ikan (simple administration), had also been practiced in the Age of the Gods.

    Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843) changed the direction of the whole discussion. His early views on the I Ching followed those of Norinaga closely, and he adopted a similar perspective on the different kinds of Shinto in China and Japan. The main difference between Shinto in these two nations, Atsutane pointed out, was that the Shinto of the I Ching did not have a real god, whereas Japanese Shinto was the way of the gods. [55] Atsutane divided Shinto into two categories: Shinto in Japan was real Shinto, and the Shinto of the Chou I and other schools of Shinto that interacted with Confucianism and Buddhism were vulgar Shinto. He wanted to clear all non-Japanese elements from Shinto, and thus disagreed with those who used the yin-yang wu-hsing theory to explain it.

    In his later years, Atsutane became deeply interested in the I Ching and established his own views on the text. His most original and significant idea on Confucian-Shinto relations was perhaps his distinction between the Chou I and the I Ching. He came up with the idea that the I Ching was not an alien work of literature but the handiwork of a Japanese deity. He wrote the Saneki yuraiki (The origins of the early three versions of the I Ching) (1835) and Taiko koekiden (The I Ching of the ancient past) (1836) to trace the alleged Shinto origins of the ancient I Ching. [56] Turning the honji suijaku theory upside down, he argued that all sage-kings and deities in ancient China were from Japan. For example, Fu Hsi was actually a Shinto deity named Omono-nushi-no-kami, who was supposedly the creator of the trigrams, I Ching charts, oracle bones,



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and Chinese characters. [57] He asserted that "Later, our god, Omono-nushi-no-kami, also called Taiko-fukki-shi, granted [the Chinese] the Ho t'u and Lo shu (Writings from the River Lo), and created the wonderful trigrams... . Based on the images of oracle bones, he invented Chinese characters." [58]

    Forced to explain why a Japanese deity went to China, he reasoned that "[Fu Hsi] was actually a god of our holy land, Omono-nushi-no-kami, who went to exploit that land [China] and cultivate the foolish people. In order to teach them the way of human relations, he went [to China] for a short period, and acquired this Chinese name." [59] The I Ching was thus seen as originally the work of a Japanese deity. [60] Atsutane alleged that the I Ching was modified by Shen Nung and Huang Ti (the Yellow Emperor), both of whom he claimed were Japanese deities, and held that the modified I Ching later became the Lien Shan and Kui Ts'ang. These two early forms of the I Ching were also transmitted orally and adopted by the Hsia and Shang dynasties, respectively. Atsutane blamed King Wen, the founder of the Chou dynasty, for changing the order of the hexagrams and the number of yarrow stalks to justify the revolution that overthrew the Shang regime. The Chou I, he argued, was further distorted by the Duke of Chou, Confucius, and his students, and later became a Chinese and Confucian text. He asserted that the only way to reconstruct the ancient I Ching was to study the Ta Hsiang (Commentary on the great images). In the Koeki taishokyo (The Ta Hsiang commentary of the ancient I Ching), he argued that the Ta Hsiang was a commentary on the lost Lien Shan, and thus preserved many elements of the original I Ching. Atsutane rearranged the order of the hexagrams, and reduced the number of yarrow stalks from forty-nine to forty-five, believing that he had restored the ancient I Ching. [61]

    Atsutane trained many students. According to Furukawa Tetsushi, a Japanese historian of Tokugawa thought and religion, the Hirata school is characterized by its active participation in I Ching studies. [62]

    Ikuta Yorozu (1801 -1837), a faithful disciple of Atsutane's, believed everything his teacher told him about the ancient I Ching, agreeing that it was the work of a Japanese deity called Okuni-nushi-no-kami, who felt' pity for the Chinese when he saw their stupidity. As a result, this kami went to China, and wrote the I Ching to enlighten them:

Alas! When the realms of humans and gods began to separate, our god, Okuni-nushi-no-kami, also called the Holy Fu Hsi by the Chinese, went across the ocean to China and taught the foolish people about morality. The I Ching was made as a tool for this purpose. This happened four thousand eight hundred and eighty-some years ago. [63]

Following Atsutane, Yorozu asserted that the ancient I Ching was maliciously corrupted first by the Duke of Chou and then by Confucius. The



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only way to restore the ancient I Ching, he felt, was to study the Ta Hsiang. He wrote the Koeki taishokyo den (Commentary on the Koeki taishokyo) as a commentary on Atsutane's book, but added many original ideas of his own. Yorozu realized that he and some kokugaku scholars were making a breakthrough in I Ching studies:

People in this world who talk about the I Ching all refer to King Wen, the Duke of Chou, and Confucius. Diviners and the like only read the books of several people, such as Hirasawa [Tsunenori], Baba [Nobutake], Arai [Hakuga (1725-1792)], and Mase [Chushu (1754-1817)]. Only two or three of us want to learn the ancient I Ching. How wonderful our projects are! [64]

    Okuni Takamasa (1791-1871), also a student of Atsutane's, provided a new explanation for the Japanese origins of the I Ching. At first, he adopted the view that the Chinese sage-kings were from Japan, but he changed their names. For instance, Fu Hsi was no longer Okuni-nushi-no-kami, but Yashima Shinomi-no-kami. Later, having read some Chinese books, Takamasa adopted an interesting view that Shinto deities had not become Chinese sages; they had merely gone to China, and acted as advisers of Chinese sages, he suggested. [65] His most striking idea was that Japan had its own written system in the Age of the Gods, the jindai moji, which he believed was the mother of all languages, including Chinese, Sanskrit, and Dutch. It goes without saying that he believed that the hexagrams of the I Ching, allegedly the primitive form for all Chinese characters, were derived from these Japanese characters from the Age of the Gods. He gave examples (shown in figure 1) to demonstrate the transformation from jindai moji to hexagrams and Chinese characters. [66]

    In addition, he saw the Japanese language as the most beautiful lan-

Jindai moji             Hexagrams                         Chinese Characters

docu0277.jpg (12406 bytes)

Fig- 1. The transformation from jindai moji to hexagrams and Chinese characters. (Calligraphy by Peter Kobayashi.)



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guage in the world, because its five basic vowels (a, i, u, e, o) matched wu-hsing (in the order of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). He alleged that the wu-hsing theory existed in ancient Japanese books and had been recovered by Norinaga and Atsutane, and he claimed that the Confucian interpretation of wu-hsing was false and empty. [67]

    This kind of reasoning, although seemingly ridiculous, should be understood as an attempt to put the school of National Learning in a global context and to justify Japanese borrowing from other cultures. [68] From Atsutane to Takamasa, we see an expanding intellectual force that sought to include other elements into its system. It also demonstrates the changing attitude toward China and the West in late Tokugawa times.

    Aizawa Seishisai (1781 -1863) of the Mito school attacked Norinaga's and Atsutane's ideas in his defense of the I Ching. Paraphrasing a passage from the Naobi no mitama (The spirit of the deity Naobi), he maintained that the shen-tao (Shinto) mentioned in the I Ching was not an empty theory, but had once been put into practice by the sages. [69] Seishisai used the I Ching frequently in his discussions on the Age of the Gods, international relations, politics, and morality. His most significant idea was perhaps to put the I Ching in the context of Japanese politics and history. [70] In his explanation of the hexagram kuan, he used the Japanese deities and the imperial ancestors to replace the sages of ancient China: "In the past, the imperial ancestors [the Sun Goddess and Shinto deities], in accordance with the way of the gods, laid down their instructions. Hence, loyalty and filial piety became known and human relationships were settled." [71] He defined Shinto as a natural way of revering heaven and worshipping deities. He again used the hexagram kuan to show that Shinto was a teaching created by Japanese deities based on natural human feelings:

In our heavenly dynasty, leaders [of the ancient times] worshipped the gods of, heaven and earth and were respected by the people. Therefore, [the I Ching reads]: "The sages, in accordance with Shinto, laid down their instructions, and all under heaven yield submission to them." The I Ching is implicitly in agreement with the Shinto of our heavenly dynasty. [72]

Here, the I Ching was used without any reference to China. The project of Japanizing the I Ching thus went through two stages: it was started with Hirata Atsutane and his students, who claimed the book had Japanese origins, and ended with Aizawa Seishisai, who put it in a Japanese context.



Shinto, for much of its history in Tokugawa times, had no independent status. It was subordinate to Buddhism institutionally and Confucianism intellectually. [73] Early Tokugawa Shinto was heavily indebted



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to the I Ching for the formation of its ideas. Many Chu Hsi scholars strove to accommodate Shinto to their Neo-Confucian syntheses. But history took a reverse course in late Tokugawa times. Thanks largely to the Hirata school, Shinto had been conceptualized and politicized, and the idea that Shinto was Japan's indigenous religion gained wide currency in the nineteenth century. The Hirata school absorbed elements from Chinese learning and Dutch studies (Rangaku). Including the I Ching with Shinto was only a part of this expanding discourse.

    This essay has developed two themes. First, the I Ching played a crucial role in the discussion of Confucian-Shinto relations. In the early Tokugawa period, when the relationship was harmonious, both Confucians and Shintoists used the I Ching to uphold the doctrine of the unity of Confucianism and Shinto. When the school of National Learning became a powerful intellectual force and the arch-rival of Confucianism in the latter half of the Tokugawa period, both kokugaku scholars and some Confucians denied any affinity between Confucianism and Shinto. Kokugaku Shintoists rebuked Confucianism in public, but many of them were still influenced by it. They used the I Ching for its metaphysical and divinational value. Second, early Tokugawa Confucians endeavored to Sinicize or Confucianize Shinto by pinpointing its Chinese origins. The Hirata school turned this argument upside down, initiating the project of Japanizing the I Ching by claiming its Japanese origin. This project was completed by Aizawa Seishisai of the Mito school, who used the form of the I Ching but emptied it of its Chinese content. The history of the transformation of the I Ching from a Confucian classic into a Shinto or Japanese text demonstrates the emergence of a nativist movement and the subtlety of Confucian-Shinto relations.



This article was written under the guidance of Marius Jansen. The author also wishes to thank Martin Collcutt, Alan Chan, Barry Steben, and two referees for their comments.

1. For an overview of the role of the I Ching in Tokugawa Buddhism, see Wai-ming Ng, "The Yijing in Buddhist-Confucian Relations in Tokugawa Japan," Studies in Central and East Asian Religions 10 (1998) forthcoming.

2. The relationship between the I Ching and Shinto can be traced to the ancient and medieval periods. Shinto classics like the Kojiki (Records of ancient matters) (712), Nihon shoki (Chronicles of Japan) (720), and Gobusho (Five Shinto classics) (ca. thirteenth century)



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contain yin-yang wu-hsing (two primal forces and five basic agents) and other I Ching-related ideas. Medieval scholars like Kitabatake Chikafusa (1293-1354), Ichijo Kanera (1402-1481), and Yoshida Kanetomo (1435-1511) used the ideas of the I Ching extensively to develop their Shinto thought. See Wai-ming Ng, "The History of I Ching in Medieval Japan," Journal of Asian History 31 (1) (1998): 25-46.

3. For its etymological change, see Kuroda Toshio, "Shinto in the History of Japanese Religion," journal of Japanese Studies 7 (1) (Winter 1981): 1-21. See also Murooka Tsunetsugu, Studies in Shinto Thought (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), pp. 1 -11.

4. On the formation of Shinto as a state religion, see Helen Hardacre, "Creating State-Shinto: The Great Promulgation Campaign and the New Religions," journal of Japanese Studies 12 (1) (Winter 1986): 29-63. An overview of Western scholarship on Shinto studies can be found in Susan Tyler, "Is There a Religion Called Shinto," in Adriana Boscaro, Franco Gatti, and Massimo Raveri, eds., Rethinking Japan, 2 vols. (Sandgate, England: Japan Library Limited, 1990), pp. 261-270.

5. Discussions of Confucian-Shinto relations in the early Tokugawa period can be found in Peter Nosco, "Masuho Zanko (1655-1742): A Shinto Popularizer between Nativism and National Learning," in Nosco, ed., Confucianism and Tokugawa Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), pp. 166-178. See also Abe Akio, "Juka Shinto to kokugaku," and Taira Shigemichi, "Kinsei no Shinto shiso," both in Abe and Taira, eds., Nihon shiso taikei, vol. 39, Kinsei Shintoron: Zenki kokugaku (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1972),  pp. 497-558.

6. Although it was the Sung Neo-Confucian movement that led to renewed interest in the I Ching in Japan during the late medieval and Tokugawa (1603-1868) periods, both Chu Hsi scholars and kogaku (Ancient Learning) scholars pursued I Ching scholarships in Tokugawa times. The Chu Hsi school was the largest school of I Ching studies, contributing much energy to the punctuation and interpretation of Sung commentaries. However, the kogaku movement produced the finest and most original I Ching scholarship of the entire era. See Wai-ming Ng, "Study and the Uses of the I Ching in Tokugawa Japan," Sino-Japanese Studies 9 (2) (1997): 24-44.

7. Shinto denju, in Saigusa Hiroto, ed., Nihon tetsugaku zensho, vol. 4, Shinto hen, Jukyo hen (Tokyo: Daiichi Shobo, 1936), pp. 80, 94. Razan used Neo-Confucian ideas of the heavenly way, mind, heart, human nature, and principle to construct his Shinto views. See



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Nosco, "Masaho Zanko," pp. 171-172, and Taira, "Kinsei no Shinto shiso," pp. 514-519.

8. Shinto denju, pp. 43, 50. The concepts of yin-yang and wu-hsing cannot be found in the main text of the I Ching and were incorporated into the I Ching system by the late Chou period (771-221 B.C.). This research treats these concepts as an integral part of the I Ching system.

9. Ibid., p. 79. This idea was influenced by Watarai Nobuyoshi (1615-1690), a Shinto priest who was associated with Yamazaki Ansai (1618-1682) and Razan, and it exerted a tremendous impact on their Shinto views.

10. Ibid., p. 53. See also Ryusaku Tsunoda, Wm. Theodore de Bary, and Donald Keene, comps.. Sources of Japanese Tradition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958), p. 358. Kumazawa Banzan held similar views.

11. Shinto denju, p. 94.

12. In Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 20, Fujiwara Seika, Hayashi Razan (Tokyo: Shinto Taikei Hensankai, 1988), p. 449. The original sentence is longer. There are two reliable English translations. James Legge translates this as: "When we contemplate the spirit-like way of heaven, we see how the four seasons proceed without error. The sages, in accordance with this spirit-like way, laid down their instructions, and all under heaven yield submission to them" (Legge, trans.. The Yi King: Book of Changes [Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 1882], p. 230). Richard Wilhelm translates: "He affords them a view of the divine way of heaven, and the four seasons do not deviate from their rule. Thus the holy man uses the divine way to give instruction, and the whole world submits to him" (Wilhelm, trans., rendered into English by Cary Baynes, The I Ching or Book of Changes [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987], p. 486). This was the most-quoted passage when Tokugawa intellectuals discussed Confucian-Shinto relations.

13. Atobe Yoshiaki, Suikao shinsetsu (Shinto ideas of Master Suika), 3 scrolls (1707), in Ishida Ichiro, ed., Nihon no shiso, vol. 14, Shinto shiso shu (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1970), p. 264. Atobe Yoshiaki (1658-1729) succeeded his teacher Ansai as the champion of Suika Shinto.

14. Kondo Keigo, ed., Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 12, Suika Shinto, pt. 1 (Tokyo: Shinto Taikei Hensankai, 1984), p. 410.

15. The essence of Suika Shinto was keii chokunai, gii hogai (by devotion we strengthen ourselves within; by righteousness we square the



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world without), a phrase from the Wen Yen (Commentary on the words of the text) of the I Ching. Ansai's interpretation was that people should purify their bodies with reverence, and then could execute their duty to family and country. This was different from the Chu Hsi commentary, which took the "within" and "without" in the phrase as referring to the heart and the self. Ansai's two beloved disciples, Sato Naokata (1639-1719) and Asami Keisai (1625-1711 ), disagreed over this unorthodox view, and this caused their expulsion from the Ansai (or Kimon) school. Ansai also used the wu-hsing theory to establish his metaphysics and ethics. He stressed the importance of the interaction of the agents of earth and metal in regulating fire, the most fundamental agent, identifying the agent of earth and metal with the virtues of devotion and righteousness.

16. Kohan zensho (An anthology of the Hung fan), quoted in Herman Ooms, Tokugawa Ideology: Early Constructs, 1570-1680 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), p. 234.

17. Taira Shigemichi, "Suika Shinto," in Ishida Ichiro, ed., Nihon shisoshi koza, vol. 4, Kinsei no shiso, pt. 1 (Tokyo: Yuzankaku, 1977), p. 176.

18. Miwa monogatari (Stories of the three-wheel doctrine), in Nihon tetsugaku zensho, 4:220.

19. Keijijoden (Commentary on the first half of the Hsi tz'u), in Masamune Atsuo, ed., Banzan zenshu, vol. 4 (Tokyo: Meicho Shuppan, 1978), p. 421.

20. Miwa monogatari, p. 155.



23. Banzan zenshu, 4:421.

24. In Hirose Yutaka, ed., Yamaga Soko zenshu, shiso hen, vol. 9 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1941), p. 579.

25. "Sorai shu," in Yoshikawa Kojiro, ed., Nihon shiso taikei, vol. 36, Ogyu Sorai (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1973), p. 543.

26. Rongocho (Investigation of the Lun yu), in Ogyu Sorai zenshu, vol. 3 (Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, 1974), p. 291.


28.Ogyu Sorai zenshu, 2:683 and 18:599. This issue spilt Sorai's disciples into two factions. One group, represented by Yamagata Shunan (1687-1752), remained faithful to Sorai and believed that Shinto and the way of the sages were basically the same. The other



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group, led by Dazai Shundai (1680-1747), was more critical of Shinto.

29. Shimonaka Yasaburo, ed., Shinto daijiten (Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten, 1986), p. 110.

30. Yofukki, in Nihon no shiso, vol. 14, Shinto shiso shu, pp. 188-189.

31. Ibid.

32. Jingu hiden mondo (Secret transmission of the Ise Shrine: Questions and answers), in Nishikawa Junshi, ed., Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 7, Ise Shinto, pt. 2 (1982), p. 74.

33. Koretari matched them as follows: (Five Agents) to/shui (water), o/huo (fire), kami/mu (wood), emi/chin (gold), and tame/t'u (earth); (Eight Hexagrams) kan/k'an (abysmal), ken/ken (keeping still), shin/chen (arousing), son/sun (gentle), ri/li (clinging), kon/k'un (receptive), sui/tui (joyous), and ken/ch'ien (creative). See Taira Shigemichi, Kikkawa Shinto no kiso teki kenkyu (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1966), pp. 284-285. This was a secret teaching of Ise Shinto that originated in late medieval times. It became quite prevalent among different schools of early Tokugawa Shinto. Some Confucian Shintoists, such as Hayashi Razan, Yamazaki Ansai, and Tamaki Masahide, put forth similar ideas. See Shinto daijiten, p. 1026.

34. See Taira Shigemichi, ed., Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 10, Kikkawa Shinto (1983), pp. 18-21.

35. Peter Nosco has pinpointed two tendencies that emerged in mid-Tokugawa Shinto: the simplification of metaphysical speculations and the separation from Neo-Confucian synthesis, using Masuho Zanko as an example. See Nosco, "Masuho Zanko," pp. 178-187. However, Zanko was a transitional figure and he still used the yin-yang wu-hsing theory frequently in his explanations of Shinto. See the "Jinji no maki" of Endo tsukan (1715) in Noma Koshin, ed., Nihon shiso taikei, vol. 60, Kinsei shokudoron (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1976), pp. 206-235.

36. Shundai zatsuwa, in Inoue Tetsujiro, ed., Nihon rinri ihen, vol. 3, Shushigakuha no bu, pt. 1 (Tokyo: Ikuseikai, 1902), p. 104. A century later, Yamagata Banto (1748-1821) expressed the same idea in his Yume no shiro (In place of dreams). See Inoue Tetsujiro, ed., Nihon tetsugaku zensho, vol. 12, Shukyo ron: Heiho bujutsu ron (Tokyo: Daiichi Shobo, 1935), p. 118.

37. Araki Kengo, ed., Nihon shiso taikei, vol. 34, Kaibara Ekken, Muro Kyuso (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1970), p. 249.

38. Ibid., p. 245.



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39. Ibid., p. 371.

40. He recognized the historical value of the Three Regalia as relics, but rejected their religious and ethical implications. Thus, to him, the Three Regalia were no longer sacred treasures, and they did not represent the Three Confucian Values.

41. Bendosho (Book differentiating the Way), in Inoue Tetsujiro, ed., Nihon rinri ihen, vol. 6, Kogakuha no bu, pt. 2 (Tokyo: Ikuseikai, 1902), pp. 205-206.

42. He stated that ancient Japanese behaved like animals. For example. he discovered that marriage between brother and sister was not unusual in the Kojiki and Nihon shoki, and argued that Japan became civilized only after the importation of the way of the sages from China.

43. Nihon rinri ihen, vol. 6, Kogaku no bu, pt. 2, p. 208.

44. The rise of nativist thought was one of the most striking developments in eighteenth-century Japan. It can be observed in the growing influence of kokugaku (National Learning), the increasing independence of Shinto from Confucianism and Buddhism, the formation of a vernacular language, and the naturalization of Chinese learning. For details on the formation of a vernacular language, see Naoki Sakai, Voices of the Past: The Status of Language in Eighteenth-Century Japanese Discourse (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991 ).

45. Many "new religions" affiliated with Shinto founded in late Tokugawa times used the oracles of the I Ching frequently. They included Kurozumikyo and Misogikyo.

46. Influenced by Ancient Learning, Jiun strove to return to original Buddhism by studying Buddhist sutras in Sanskrit. For his Buddhist views, see Paul B. Watt, "Jiun Sonja (1718-1804): A Response Confucianism within the Context of Buddhist Reform," in Nosco, Confucianism and Tokugawa Culture, pp. 188-214.

47. Shinju gudan (Discursive talks on Shinto-Confucian relations), in Imai Atsushi and Yamamoto Masao, eds., Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 14, Unden Shinto (1990), p. 31.

48. Ibid., p. 50.

49. Some early kokugaku scholars recognized the divinational and metaphysical value of the I Ching. Amano Sadakage (1661 -1733) and Yoshimi Kowa (Yukikazu) (1672-1761) wrote several books on it. Peter Nosco also points out that Kada no Azumamaro (1669-1736) was influenced by the yin-yang theory in constructing his



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cosmology and ontology. See Peter Nosco, Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in Eighteenth-Century Japan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), pp. 87, 94.

50. Kuzubara (Arrowroot) (1780), in Kamada Jun'ichi, ed., Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 25, Fukko Shinto, pt. 3, Motoori Norinaga (1982), pp. 227, 253. The translation is modified from Harry Harootunian, Things Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Ideology in Tokugawa Nativism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 99.

51. For his criticisms of Razan's and Nobuyoshi's Shinto views, see Motoori Norinaga, Kojikiden (Commentary on the Kojiki), vol. 3 (1767), in Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 25, Fukko Shinto, pt. 3, Motoori Norinaga, pp. 331, 386. In addition, he criticized the Nihon shoki for describing lzanagi as "yang kami" and Izanami as "yin kami." See ibid., pp. 176-177. Also see Matsumoto Shigeru, Motoori Norinaga (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970), p. 89.

52. Naobi no mitama (The rectifying spirit) (1771), in Shinto taikei: Ronsetsu hen, vol. 25, Fukko Shinto, pt. 3, Motoori Norinaga, pp. 17-18.

53. See Nihon shiso taikei, vol. 51, Kokugaku undo no shiso, pp. 51, 184.

54. Ibid., p. 186.

55. See Kiyohara Sadao, Kokugaku hattatsushi (Tokyo: Unebi Shobo, 1940), pp. 315-316.

56. Although scholars of later generations paid little attention to Hirata's scholarship on the I Ching, his student, Okuni Takamasa (1791-1871), rated the Taiko koekiden with three others as Hirata's greatest works. See Fujii Sadafumi, Edo kokugaku tense! shi no kenkyu (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1987), p. 37.

57. Indeed, Ueda Akinari (1734-1809), an arch-rival of Norinaga in kokugaku circles, had already alleged that Fu Hsi was a Shinto deity. This idea was denied by Norinaga. Atsutane used the wu-hsing theory to rationalize this idea. According to Atsutane, since some ancient Chinese books suggested that Fu Hsi belonged to the agent of wood, Fu Hsi was a Japanese deity who came to China from Japan because wood implied the direction of the East (Japan).

58. Hirata Atsutane zenshu, vol. 6 (Tokyo: Hobunkan, 1935), p. 2.

59. Ibid., p. 6.

60. The first person I can trace in Japan who advocated the Shinto origins of Chinese classics was a Suika Shintoist, Suzuki Teisai, a



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student of Asami Keisai (1652-1711), in his Shingaku kokinben (Discourse on the differences between ancient and today's Shinto). See Denki Gakkai, ed., Yamazaki Ansai to sono monryu (Tokyo: Meiji Shobo, 1933), p. 268.

61. See Muraoka Tsunetsugu, Norinaga to Atsutane (Tokyo: Sobunsha, 1957), pp. 170-175. Atsutane used Confucian texts and apocrypha to reconstruct the ancient I Ching. However, his contributions were minor because he did not break new ground in either textual reconstruction or intellectual discussions. As early as the Southern Sung, Wang Ying-lin (1223-1296) had already pointed out that the Kui Ts'ang had only forty-five yarrow stalks in his Yu hai. K'ao-cheng ("evidential research") scholarship in Ch'ing China also discussed this issue.

62. Furukawa Tetsushi, ed., Nihon shisoshi koza, vol. 4, Kinsei no shiso (Tokyo: Yuzankaku, 1977), p. 235.

63. Tan'eki seigi, in Ikuta Yorozu zenshu, vol. 3 (Tokyo: Toji Shobo, 1986), p. 469.

64. Koeki taishokyo den (Commentary on Koeki taishokyo), in Ikuta Yorozu zenshu, 2 :412-413.

65. Gakuto benron (Discussions on intellectual lineage), in Tahara Tsuguo, ed., Nihon shiso taikei, vol. 50, Hirata Atsutane, Ban Nobutomo, Okuni Takamasa (Tokyo: lwanami Shoten, 1973), p. 487.

66. Ibid., p. 489. Norinaga did not believe in the existence of jindai moji, whereas Atsutane accepted it in his last years. Takamasa's student Ohata Harukuni (1818-1875) elaborated this idea in the Kanjigen (Origins of the Chinese characters). Harukuni believed that Chinese came from Japanese, and that Sanskrit was derive from Chinese.

67. Koden tsukai (Explicit explanation of the classics), in Nomura Denshiro, ed., Okuni Takamasa zenshu, vol. 7 (Tokyo: Yukosha, 1939), pp. 1-12.

68. Thus, Takamasa felt comfortable using the ideas from the I Ching to interpret the Age of the Gods in his Naobi no mitama hochu (Naobi no mitama: Supplement and Annotation). Also, he used the I Ching for divination. Some of his students applied it to agriculture. In addition to Yorozu and Takamasa, other late kokugaku scholars who studied the I Ching along the line suggested by Atsutane were Hirata Kanetane (1798-1880), Arai Shuson (1808-?), and Izumi Ietane (1819-1886).



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69. See Toku Naobi no mitama (Reading Naobi no mitama), in Takasu Yoshijiro, ed., Mitogaku taikei, vol. 2, Aizawa Seishisai shu (Tokyo: Ida Shoten, 1941), pp. 453-454.

70. Seishisai did not create this argument. Its origins can be traced to an early Mito scholar, Mori Shoken (1653-1746), who openly replaced China with Japan in the discussion of Confucian-Shinto relations. Shoken said: "The I Ching reads: 'The sages, in accordance with Shinto, laid down their instructions, and all under heaven yield submission to them.' Here, it refers to our country." See Nijuyonron (Twenty-four arguments), in Takasu Yoshijiro, ed., Mitogaku taikei, vol. 5, Mitogiko: Rekko shu (Tokyo: Ida Shoten, 1941), p. 323. Yamaga Soko also expressed a similar idea. In his explanation of the hexagram kuan, he praised the Japanese political tradition from the Sun Goddess. See Takkyo domon (Questions from children during my exile), in Yamaga Soko zenshu, 12 :284-285.

71. Shinron (New thesis), in Nihon tetsugaku zensho, vol. 5 (Tokyo: Daiichi Shobo, 1935), p. 155.

72. Toku Naobi no mitama, p. 454.

73. For details on Shinto-Buddhist relations in Tokugawa Japan, see Helen Hardacre, Shinto and the State, 1868-1988 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), pp. 3-19.