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The Study on Ethics and Morality of Meiji Prophase in Japan

Author: WeiNi
Tutor: XuXiaoGuang
School: Sichuan Normal University
Course: World History
Keywords: MeiJi prophase Ethics morality social morals personalmorals
CLC: B82-09
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 32
Quote: 0
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As a critical transition from feudalist office of thecommanding officer to the modernized country in Japanese history, MeiJiprophase bred an ideological combination of the west and the east with theconflicts and compromises of traditional and modern ideas. Typically, theethics and moral idea of this period epitomize ideological conflicts andcompromise of the traditional and the modern, as well as the east and thewest.The morality in EDO has been undergone pro-middle phase andmiddle-post phase. In the first stage, the code of ethics was focused onlaw-abiding within the knight bloc while the enlightenment of mutualassistance, hardworking and thrifty was the central idea of the stratum ofthe common people. Then there came the middle-post phase in which ethicsand morality presented the complexity of multi-stratum, emphasizing theprotection of the morality by the inside through weakening the concept ofstratum, which paved way for the formation of civic morality in MeiJi era.Different ethical groups in MeiJi prophase presented different opinionsabout the relationship among moral education, intellectual education andphysical education. The representative of the court, NAGASANEMOTODA held the idea that intellectual education was a part of moraleducation. The bureaucrat of MeiJi government, ARINORI MORI elaborated the promotion of moral education through physical education.And the enlightenment thinker YUKICHI HUKUZAWA advocated theenhancement of moral education through the development of intellectualeducation in the preliminary phase. Later, he proposed the idea of moraleducation through religious enlightenment.Morals are divided into social morals and personal morals. In MeiJiprophase, social morals were specifically embodied with the ideas ofloyalty to the king, patriotism, self-regard and altruism. For loyalty, everyethical and moral group in MeiJi prophase diversified in thinking. On theother hand, either the court, government bureaucrats, or enlightenmentthinkers, all stick firmly and unanimously to the people who should beloyal to, to the effect of loyalty and to patriotism, and they unifiedpatriotism into state-systemism.Personal morals in MeiJi prophase were manifest with the concepts offilial piety and fraternal duty, freedom and independence, and real learning.Those concepts were diversified in different presentation by differentethical and moral groups. However, there is always an internal connectionbetween personal morals mentioned above and social morals.Ethics and morality of MeiJi prophase maintained further developmentin the post-phase. However, the idea of imperial power as well as patrioticand loyal to the throne became extreme while the thinking of activating thecountry by real learning was practiced in education, and the ideology ofself-esteem, self-regard, altruism and people-centered sustained theexistence and development under the KYOUIKUCYOKUGO system.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > Ethics ( moral philosophy ) > Ethical theory and methodology > Ethics History
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