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Japanese Factors in Building Understanding on Confucian Tradition in Modern Korea
WhenFriday, Mar 8, 2019, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room120
Event typesLectures/Seminars

As the Confucian characteristics of Japanese modernization, especially Meiji Restoration has been confirmed by recent researches, it became necessary to examine the origin of the misunderstanding of totally contradictory relations between Confucianism and Modernity in modern Japan. As the Japanese government took the policy of Westernization, the discourses criticizing Confucianism as an obstruction for modernization became the major ones from the beginning of the Meiji era. Fukuzawa Yukichi was a representative intellectual of this perspective which was not correct as based on limited understanding of the Confucianism by mainly focusing on its political and social role in the Tokugawa era. Since the 1880s, Confucianism revived as an ideological constituent not only of the authoritarian regime by the government but also of nationalism movement by the intellectuals of the younger generation. As based on modern political interests as like state-building and nation-building, their understandings of Confucianism became also biased ones too. As some political factions and intellectuals of Korea began to regard Meiji Restoration as a major model for Korea’s modernization especially during and after the Sino-Japanese war, Japanese understandings and the political uses of the Confucianism became known and there came various reactions from acceptance to resistance in Korea where Confucianism was the major tradition. This process of diffusion and reaction combined with existing internal development played a crucial role to stabilize the perspective of the contradictory relations between Confucian tradition and western modernity in modern Korea. In this presentation, Dr. KANG will show the history, results, and meaning of this process.

Dr. KANG Dongkook is a professor at Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University. He has researched modern political thoughts of East Asia focusing on Korean cases. He published dozens of papers in Shiso, Chosenshikekyukairobunshu, Ganyeomguasotong etc. and several co-worked books from University of Tokyo Press, Minerubashobo, and Changbi. His research has been acknowledged by several research funds including “Fund for the Promotion of Joint International Research(Fostering Joint International Research)” of Japan Society for Promotion of Science, which dispatched him to Center for Korean Studies UW as a visiting scholar in 2017.

For more information, please call 206-543-4873, email or visit….

To request disability accommodations, contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance of the event: 543-6450 (voice); 543-6452 (TDD); 685-7264 (fax);

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