Fukuzawa & Japan

Length: 4 Pages 990 Words

Heaven never created a man above another nor a man below another. Therefore when men are born, Heaven's idea is that all men should be equal to all other men without distinction of high and low or noble and mean, but that they should all work with body and mind, with dignity worthy of the lords of creation, which they are, in order to take all things in the world for the fulfillment of their needs in clothing, food, and dwelling, freely but without obstructing others, so that each can live happily through life (Autobiography 391). This most quoted of Fukuzawa's sayings is one of his many expressions in order to reach out to the Japanese people since he considered the human being as the most sacred and responsible of all statuses. Having been recognized as a man well informed on Western Civilization, Yukichi Fukuzawa wished both to promote the "new knowledge" of the West and to elevate the moral standards of men and women of his land to make them absolutely worthy of a civilized nation. As a result, Fukuzawa believed that Japan could acquire national wealth and power only if it grasped and absorbed the basic ideals of "civilization" from the Western example through encouragement of learning to revolutionize his peoples ideas f Continue...


To reiterate the previous idea, Fukuzawa quotes After all, the present is the result of the past. In addition, in the Jitsugokyo it is said, "if a man does not study, he will have no knowledge. Since ancient times, Japan has been an island country far to the east of the Asian continent, not associating with foreign countries. This glorious condition ofour country cannot be but the fruit of the good inheritance from ourancestors. This encouragement of learning that he upholds takes this stance for its intention. They must progress through stages by planning great accomplishments for the Kelley 2future and commit themselves entirely to their realization to attain a modern civilization status. I have nothing to complain of on looking backward, nothingbut full satisfaction and delight (Autobiography 335). Thus, he stresses that the Japanese must focus on European civilization as the pathway to the future. ------------------------------------------------------------------------Bibliography. However, it cannot remain content with its stage of semi-development. A man without knowledge is a Kelley 3fool" (390 Autobiography). Established as an intellectual leader of Japan, Fukazawa presented such ideas as the meaning of education and learning, the dignity of an individual, freedom and independence aimed at deepening the understanding of what "civilization" means. The subjects of the books in which Fukuzawa said an individual should study from are geography, natural philosophy, history, economics, and ethics. Moreover, the government of the new age proved itself dauntless in applying the new thoughts by going beyond what was recommended in his Seiyo Jijo (Things Western) book. Japan cannot be satisfied with the level of civilization attained by the West due to the afflictions such as war, robbery, and murder.