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Fukuzawa & Japan

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 from the roots. 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. He suggests that the people need to be enlightened of what constitutes a highly civilized nation. They must progress through stages by planning great accomplishments for the Kelley 2 future and commit themselves entirely to their realization to attain a modern civilization status. He also suggests that one should read translations of Western books in order to advance further and become familiar with the outside world beyond Japan. The sub...

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Fukuzawa & Japan . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:28, August 28, 2014, from