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Spirits and identity in nineteenth-century Northeastern Japan : Hirata Kokugaku and the Tsugaru disciples Fujiwara, Gideon 2013

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SPIRITS AND IDENTITY IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY NORTHEASTERN JAPAN: HIRATA KOKUGAKU AND THE TSUGARU DISCIPLES by  Gideon Fujiwara  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  The Faculty of Graduate Studies  (Asian Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2013  © Gideon Fujiwara, 2013  ABSTRACT  While previous research on kokugaku, or nativism, has explained how intellectuals imagined the singular community of Japan, this study sheds light on how posthumous disciples of Hirata Atsutane based in Tsugaru juxtaposed two “countries”—their native Tsugaru and Imperial Japan—as they transitioned from early modern to modern society in the nineteenth century. This new perspective recognizes the multiplicity of community in “Japan,” which encompasses the domain, multiple levels of statehood, and “nation,” as uncovered in recent scholarship. My analysis accentuates the shared concerns of Atsutane and the Tsugaru nativists toward spirits and the spiritual realm, ethnographic studies of commoners, identification with the north, and religious thought and worship. I chronicle the formation of this scholarly community through their correspondence with the head academy in Edo (later Tokyo), and identify their autonomous character. Hirao Rosen conducted ethnography of Tsugaru and the “world” through visiting the northern island of Ezo in 1855, and observing Americans, Europeans, and Qing Chinese stationed there. I show how Rosen engaged in self-orientation and utilized Hirata nativist theory to locate Tsugaru within the spiritual landscape of Imperial Japan. Through poetry and prose, leader Tsuruya Ariyo identified Mount Iwaki as a sacred pillar of Tsugaru, and insisted one could experience “enjoyment” from this life and beyond death in the realm of spirits. The Tsugaru nativists’ cause was furthered when their domain of Hirosaki switched allegiance from the Tokugawa to Imperial forces in the Boshin War of 1868 to 1869, and a domainal samurai from their group fought and died for the emperor. This young samurai was among 64 fallen soldiers who were honoured and deified in the shōkonsai ritual performed by Shinto priests of the group, an event which distinguished the domain as a loyal supporter of Imperial Japan. In conclusion, I describe the Tsugaru nativists’ experience of modernity, as members carried out religious reform, immortalized the domain through editing histories and poetry collections, and observed the rise of Hirata nativism in the creation of the Meiji state, only to witness its decline in a society which modernized rapidly, while embracing new and foreign intellectual influences.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………………ii TABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………………………...iii LIST OF TABLES………………………………………………………………………….….v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………………………vi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Overview………………………………………………………………………………..1 On Statehood, Nation, and Modernity…………………………………………….……3 Research on Hirata Kokugaku and the “Boom” of Recent Years……………………..12 The Objectives of This Study and Chapter Overview………………………………...24 CHAPTER 2: HIRATA KOKUGAKU AND ITS NATIONAL NETWORK Overview………………………………………………………………………………29 Hirata Atsutane: Early Years………………………………………………………......29 Beginnings of Hirata Kokugaku……………………………………………………….34 Spirits, the Kakuriyo Realm, and Ethnographic Studies………………………………37 Looking Northward…………………………………………………………………...43 Atsutane’s Later Years………………………………………………………………..48 Hirata Kokugaku Network: Ibukinoya, Kanetane, Nobutane, and the Disciples……..53 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….61 CHAPTER 3: HIRATA KOKUGAKU IN HIROSAKI DOMAIN Overview……………………………………………………………………...…63 History of Late-Tokugawa Hirosaki Domain………………………………………...63 Tsuruya Ariyo and the Tsugaru Disciples……………………………………………77 Pursuit of Poetry and the Ancient Way………………………………………………87 Informational Network…………………………………………………………….…94 Relations with Morioka and Akita Disciples…………………………………………96 Characteristics: Townspeople and Shinto Priest-Centered Group………………..…104 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………...106 CHAPTER 4: HIRAO ROSEN I: LIFE, ART, THOUGHT, ETHNOGRAPHY Overview…………………………………………………………………………….108 Hirao Rosen: Early Years……………………………………………………………109 Study of Folk Culture………………………………………………………………..115 1855 Visit to Ezo…………………………………………………………………….119 Between Ezo and Tsugaru……………………………………………………………130 After Returning to Tsugaru…………………………………………………………..133 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………135 iii  CHAPTER 5: HIRAO ROSEN II: CONCEIVING OF TSUGARU AND IMPERIAL JAPAN THROUGH ETHNOGRAPHIC AND KOKUGAKU STUDIES Overview…………………………………………………………………………….137 Studies of Local Life and Japan in Tokugawa Times……………………………….138 Gappo kidan (Strange Tales of Gappo)……………………………………………..142 Tani no hibiki (Echoes of the Valley)……………………………………………….150 Yūfu shinron (New Treatise on the Spiritual Realm)………………………………..161 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………..177 CHAPTER 6: TSURUYA ARIYO: MOUNT IWAKI AND SPIRITS Overview…………………………………………………………………………….179 Mount Iwaki in Ariyo’s Waka Poetry……………………………………………….180 The Gods and Mount Iwaki…………………………………………………………188 Ken’yū rakuron (Treatise on Enjoyment in the Visible and Invisible Realms)……..…191 Reception of Kokugaku Religiosity and its Practice………………………………..195 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………..198 CHAPTER 7: THE RESTORATION YEARS: THE BOSHIN WAR AND SHŌKONSAI RITUAL Overview…………………………………………………………………………...201 The Boshin War and its Northeastern Front……………………………………….201 Yamada Yōnoshin: A Hirata Disciple’s Loyalist Death…………………………..206 Shōkonsai in Hirosaki: Calling Back the War Dead………………………………212 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………221 CHAPTER 8: RISE AND DECLINE OF KOKUGAKU: TSUGARU DISCIPLES AND MODERN SOCIETY Overview…………………………………………………………………………..223 History of Meiji Period Hirosaki………………………………………………….224 Tsugaru Tsuguakira: Last Daimyo, First Governor………………………………226 The Transformation of an Educational Institution………………………………..227 The Hirata Academy in Early Meiji……………………………………………….231 The Tsugaru Disciples in Meiji……………………………………………………236 Osari Nakaakira, Ono Iwane, and Shinbutsu bunri………………………………...243 Shimozawa Yasumi: Immortalizing “Tsugaru”…………………………………....248 Hirao Rosen: The Twilight Years………………………………………………….253 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………….261 CHAPTER 9: CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………….263 TABLES….………………………….…………………………………………………….278 BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………279  iv  LIST OF TABLES  Table 1  List of Hirata Disciples in Tsugaru  v  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This study on intellectual networks and conceptions of community in nineteenth-century Japan was supported by the goodwill and generosity of my mentors, colleagues, friends, and family. I would first like to thank Peter Nosco for teaching me to think about intellectual and social history. My study of kokugaku began when I read his work as an undergraduate. His guidance and encouragement these several years have enabled me to now make my own small contribution to the field. I thank Nam-lin Hur for introducing me to Japanese history, and for his patience in teaching me the joy of grappling with primary documents. My thanks go to Harjot Oberoi for urging me to ask larger questions and to push me to address them. I express gratitude to Kojima Yasunori for introducing me to Hirao Rosen and Tsugaru, and for helping me to navigate through both research materials and the region. I thank the people at Hirosaki University for kindly facilitating my research there from 2010 to 2011 funded by the Japan Foundation. I am deeply indebted to Hasegawa Seiichi for helping me to contextualize my work within a larger history, and for arranging access to archives throughout Aomori. For their support and feedback on my work, I express appreciation to Watanabe Mariko, Kitahara Kanako, and Yamada Itsuko. For assisting me to access valuable materials for research, I acknowledge gratitude to Sato Akira at the Hirosaki City Library and Honda Shin at the Aomori Prefectural Museum. I also thank Miyakawa Shinichiro, Fukui Toshitaka, Ono Masahiko, Tsurumaki Hideki, and Mikuni Ryoichi for their help. To Miyachi Masato I express gratitude for permitting me to participate in the monthly seminar hosted by the Hirata Shrine in Yoyogi, Tokyo. From scholars of this seminar I received invaluable feedback and help with reading hand-written documents. I thank Endo Jun, Nakagawa Kazuaki, Yoshida Asako, Kate Wildman Nakai, Matsumoto Hisashi, and Kumazawa Eriko.  vi  I thank Anne Walthall for kindly sharing her insights on Hirata kokugaku through conversations, seminars, and close readings of my work. For kindly commenting on my research I thank Helen Hardacre, Bettina Gramlich-Oka, Caroline Hirasawa, Shion Kono, Peter Flueckiger, Job Jindo, Fujita Keisuke, and Niels Van Steenpaal. Many thanks go to Sato Hiroo at the Department of Japanese Intellectual History at Tohoku University for his continued guidance since my years there in the M.A. program. I appreciate constant encouragement from Takahashi Akinori, Motomura Masafumi, Kirihara Kenshin, Okawa Makoto, Nakajima Eisuke, Suzuki Hirokata, and Morikawa Tamon. The Department of Asian Studies and the University of British Columbia have been an ideal place to carry out my doctoral work. For their advice in scholarship and professional development, I wish to thank William Wray, Sharalyn Orbaugh, Joshua Mostow, Christina Laffin, and Jessica Main. I thank Nathen Clerici for our many sparring sessions where we exchanged numerous ideas in multiple countries. For their time and valuable input over the years, I thank Eiji Okawa, Robban Toleno, Oleg Benesch, and Jeffrey Newmark. I am fortunate to have received appointment in the Department of History at the University of Lethbridge. I express my sincere thanks to my colleagues for welcoming me into this fine institution, and for their encouragement this past year as I balanced first-year teaching with completion of this dissertation. This project has benefited from generous funding from various sources. I thank the Japan Foundation for a Doctoral Fellowship which funded my year of research in Japan. I acknowledge gratitude to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a Doctoral Scholarship which supported my studies and writing of this dissertation. For research and travel  vii  grants I am grateful to the Department of Asian Studies, the Centre for Japanese Research, the Okamatsu Family, and UBC. I thank Teshima Chiyo for her inspiration. For offering his time and perspectives I express gratitude to Karaki Hiroshi. To my faith community in Vancouver and elsewhere through whom I have received immeasurable blessings I convey heartfelt appreciation. I thank my parents Abraham Kenichi and Michiko Fujiwara for their love and sacrifice, and my siblings Sara, Rina, and John and their families for constant support. Finally, I wish to thank my wife Nobuko and our children Kiyomitsu, Tabitha, and Leah for all their love and humour during this most dramatic journey.  We remember experiencing the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 during our year in Hirosaki. To friends and relatives working toward recovery in Tohoku I dedicate this dissertation.  viii  Introduction  Overview  This dissertation seeks to shed light on the following historical questions about community, the individual, and modernity: How did commoners in early modern Japan conceive of the community they inhabited in the context of their local domain, as well as the larger state? How did individuals identify themselves with these local or “national” communities? In what ways did individuals experience the transition and transformation of their surroundings from an early modern community to a modern nation? Addressing the above questions, this dissertation examines the transition of one local community from early modern domain into a prefecture in the modern nation state of Meiji Japan, from the perspective of social and intellectual history. This study looks at a group of intellectuals who lived in Hirosaki domain, otherwise known as Tsugaru, on the northern fringe of Honshū, the main island of Japan.1 This interesting group of some twenty intellectuals came from various class backgrounds—merchants, Shinto priests, and samurai, and the group also  1  This political-geographical region situated in northwestern Mutsu province, is generally referred to in early modern documents, including Hirosaki domain’s official journal, as “Tsugaru no kuni” or “Tsugaru domain,” while the same territory is likewise referred to as “Tsugaru ryō” or “Tsugaru territory.” The Hirata disciples most commonly referred to this area as “Tsugaru domain” or “Tsugaru territory.” In 1870, the Meiji government officially recognized this region as “Hirosaki domain,” and publicized its name along with those of over 270 domains in its official document, Hansei ichiran (Ōtsuka Takematsu, ed. Nihon shiseki kyōkai sōsho, Hansei ichiran. Nihon shiseki kyōkai, 1928-1929.). Based on this official designation, I use throughout this dissertation the name Hirosaki or Hirosaki domain to refer to the political-geographical unit of the domain located in the political state of Tokugawa Japan. However, when referring to the same area in more general cultural, social, and geographical terms, I use “Tsugaru,” the name of the region’s ruling family and, consequently, the name commonly used to refer to this territory and domain from early modern to contemporary times. When I juxtapose the local region of “Tsugaru” versus the “national” state of Japan, I use “Tsugaru” to point to the cultural, social, and geographical region imagined by the Hirata disciples and their contemporaries, over the political unit of Hirosaki domain. My reason for making this distinction is to keep consistent with the official naming of the domain, while making “Tsugaru”— conceived of and imagined by the Hirata disciples—consistent with their own writings. Therefore, I refer to the community of Hirata disciples in this region as the “Tsugaru discples” or the “Tsugaru group,” the latter, a label employed by Kojima Yasunori. (Kojima Yasunori. “Bakumatsuki Tsugaru no minzokugaku: Hirao Rosen—Hirata Atsutane to Yanagita Kunio no aida,” Shishi Hirosaki nenpō 10 (2001), p. 12) Note, I use “Hirosaki castle town” to refer to the urban centre and capital of Hirosaki domain.  1  included one woman. These individuals were posthumous disciples of Hirata Atsutane (17761843), who was primarily based in Edo, present-day Tokyo, and who engaged in kokugaku or nativism, the study of classical texts to glean an ancient Japanese Way. 2 Led by Tsuruya Ariyo (1808-1871) and Hirao Rosen (1808-1880), these intellectuals from the north juxtaposed two identities, one a local identity of their native Tsugaru, along with a newly emerging national identity of Imperial Japan. The conception and juxtaposition of these two “countries”—the local “country” of Tsugaru and the “country” of Imperial Japan—allow us to view how these individuals experienced the transition from an early modern Japan to a modern Japan. In this introduction, I broadly survey scholarship to date on statehood, nation, and modernity, first looking at broader discourse on developments in Europe and Asia, then turning my focus to Japan, particularly in its transition from early modern to modern society. Within this shift to the modern, I consider the debates on statehood, whether it lies with the Tokugawa bakufu or the over 270 domains, and how this balance of sovereignty transitions from the Tokugawa to Meiji periods. I draw attention to Hirosaki domain, or Tsugaru region—the geographical area under study—which constitutes a local component of the Tokugawa bakuhan system, which demonstrates the sovereignty of both itself as independent domain, and that of the larger bakufu state. I then proceed to review representative studies of recent years on Hirata Atsutane and his kokugaku thought and academy, highlighting the “Hirata boom” of this past decade in both Japanese and English-language research. With Atsutane’s descendants, the Hirata family, 2  Here I define kokugaku or nativism based on the precise definition provided by Peter Nosco. Nativism is the English translation for the Japanese word kokugaku (国学), which is also translated as National Learning. Broadly speaking, kokugaku refers to the study of Japan. Specifically, it refers to the study of classical texts to glean an ancient Japanese way. Kokugaku studies begin primarily as literary and philological studies in Japan in the 17th century, but became increasingly ideological in the late 18th and 19th centuries, as it became more involved in identity formation. Nosco, Peter. Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in Eighteenth-Century Japan. Cambridge,Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990. p. 9.  2  making available over ten thousand private documents to the public, a clearer picture has been revealed of the national network of Hirata kokugaku, including that of its difference and diversity at the local level. Nevertheless, the northern region has until now, garnered little attention, despite the fact that Atsutane was a native of Akita, in the northeastern region, and was exiled there late in life by the bakufu, and the fact that he paid considerable attention to the north in his works. So, it is at this point, that I highlight my reasons for focusing on the Hirata disciples of the Tsugaru region, whose case study offers valuable insights on the questions raised above. This chapter concludes with a basic overview of the seven chapters of the dissertation’s main body to follow.  On Statehood, Nation, and Modernity Among the foremost studies on statehood, nations, and nationalism is Nations and Nationalism (1983) by Ernest Gellner. Drawing upon Max Weber’s definitions of state,3 Gellner defines the “state” as “that institution or set of institutions specifically concerned with the enforcement of order.”4 Gellner repeatedly insists that “nations” are not “an inherent attribute of humanity,” even though that is how they may appear to us in modern times.5 Both nations and  3  Gellner sums up Max Weber’s definition of “states” as, “that agency within society which possesses the monopoly of legitimate violence. The idea behind this is simple and seductive: in well-ordered societies, such as most of us live in or aspire to live in, private or sectional violence is illegitimate…” Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1983. p. 3. 4 Specialized agencies enforce this order such as police forces and courts of law, and that these very institutions represent the state. Ibid., p. 4. 5 Though Gellner is less concise on his definition of nations, he nevertheless outlines cultural and voluntaristic natures of nations in two “temporary” definitions: “1 Two men are of the same nation if and only if they share the same culture, where culture in turn means a system of ideas and signs and associations and ways of behaving and communicating. 2 Two men are of the same nation if and only if they recognize each other as belonging to the same nation. In other words, nations maketh man; nations are the artefacts of men’s convictions and loyalties and solidarities.” Ibid., p. 6.  3  states are a contingency, and not a “universal necessity.” He notes nationalism6 maintains that “states” and “nations” were “destined for each other,” and that either the state or nation by itself without the other would be incomplete and would therefore constitute a tragedy.7 Gellner’s most valuable contribution to scholarly debate is his innovative interpretation on the dynamic between “nations” and “nationalism,” when he contends, “It is nationalism which engenders nations, and not the other way round.”8 Within his proposed paradigm, “nations,” contrary to conventional interpretation, can only be defined in the “age of nationalism” of modern times. Gellner identifies nationalism as a “distinctive species of patriotism” which becomes dominant under specific conditions of the modern world.9 According to Gellner, key characteristics of this nationalism, as distinguished from patriotism, are cultural homogeneity, high levels of literacy, and anonymity of the populace. Following the work of Gellner and others, Benedict Anderson joins the debate on nations and nationalism through his important work, Imagined Communities (1983). Anderson defines the nation as “an imagined political community—and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.”10 He reasons that nations are “imagined communities” because all nations, regardless of how small, would be comprised of members who would never meet nor even hear about all its  6  Gellner offers the following definition of nationalism at the opening of his discussion: “Nationalism is primarily a political principle, which holds that the political and the national unit should be congruent… In brief, nationalism is a theory of political legitimacy, which requires that ethnic boundaries should not cut across political ones, and, in particular, that ethnic boundaries within a given state—a contingency already formally excluded by the principle in its general formulation—should not separate the power-holders from the rest.” Ibid., p. 1. 7 Gellner explains the importance of nations in contemporary society and the role of states in perpetuating the nation: “The nation is now supremely important, thanks both to the erosion of sub-groupings and the vastly increased importance of a shared, literary-dependent culture. The state, inevitably, is charged with the maintenance and supervision of an enormous social infrastructure (the cost of which characteristically comes close to one half of the total income of the society).” Ibid., p. 63. 8 Ibid., p. 55. 9 Ibid., p. 137. 10 Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Revised Ed. New York: Verso. 2006. pp. 5-6.  4  other fellow-members, “yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.” Anderson is critical of what he perceives as Gellner’s ferocious interpretation, that “Nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist.”11 Anderson charges Gellner for overemphasizing the false pretenses under which nationalism operates, thus “assimilating” “invention” to “fabrication” and “falsity,” over “imagining” and “creation.” Anderson maintains that all communities larger than a village are imagined, and asserts, “Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/ genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined.”12 Challenging the theories of both Gellner and Anderson is Prasenjit Duara in his Rescuing History from the Nation (1995). Duara criticizes both Gellner and Anderson for over-privileging modern society as the necessary social form to generate political self-awareness, namely that, national identity is “a distinctly modern mode of consciousness.”13 He ultimately challenges evolutionary History (with a capital “H”) which he describes as linear and teleological, and abruptly disconnects premodern communities from modern “nations,” and opposes the view of “the nation as representing a radical discontinuity with the past.”14 Duara points to examples in Chinese and Indian premodern history that defy such conclusions, wherein people identified with multiple representations of communities, and contends that historical actors appropriate “dispersed meanings” as their own, in the process of mobilizing particular representations of nations or community. Duara coins the term “discent,” formed from “descent” and “dissent,” to 11  Gellner, Thought and Change. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. 1964. 169. Quoted in Anderson, p. 6. Anderson, p. 6. 13 Duara, Prasenjit. Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1995. pp. 52, 54. 14 Duara explains Hegel’s influence on such an evolutionary History: “Hegel’s Philosophy of History (1956) remains to our day the most important foundation for understanding linear, and necessarily teleological, progressive History. For Hegel, the telos of History—the structure governing its progress—is the unfolding self-awareness of Spirit which is Reason. There are two moments in this self-awareness: that of Spirit itself embodied objectively in the rationality of religion, laws, and the State and that of the individual subject. Ibid., p. 17. 12  5  describe how a group succeeds in imposing one historical narrative over other narratives which differentiates the self from an “Other.” He cites an example in Chinese history of the mythic Yellow Emperor being appropriated as a national symbol to dominate nationalist discourse in the early twentieth century, as “the originator of the race and founder of the nation” to 1941. In the case of Japan, the “nation,” particularly the emergence of the modern nation or nation-state, has been discussed in the historical context of the decline of the Tokugawa bakufu, and the rise of the new Meiji state. Mark Ravina, in his Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan (1999),15 sheds light on the political authorities of local and “national” states that make up Tokugawa Japan, and notes the complex dynamics between the two, as represented by the polysemy, or multiple meanings carried by the different terms involved—kuni (国) which denotes country or state, and can also refer to provinces and domains, and kokka (国家) which denotes political body or state. The situation in Tokugawa Japan of kuni (国) inside of kuni (国), or “states within states” is, as Ravina points out, a phenomenon seen also in nineteenth-century Germany, and shows degrees of political and cultural autonomy by these local states within larger national states. Ravina examines how demographic change and protoindustrial development influenced political change in the history of three domains: Yonezawa, Tokushima, and Hirosaki. The main focus of Ravina’s study is Hirosaki or Tsugaru domain, which he characterizes as having a proportionally large samurai to commoner population, and a relatively underdeveloped economy, which displayed minimal protoindustrial activity. The Tokugawa shogunate classified the Tsugaru clan ruling over Hirosaki domain as a tozama or “outside” domain, neither directly  15  Mark Ravina. Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.  6  related to the Tokugawa family, nor possessing the ability to have its vassals serve in high positions in the bakufu. While the Tsugaru did not have ancestry noble enough to qualify as one of eighteen “country holders” or kunimochi among domainal lords, however, through courting the favour of the shogun, they garnered comparable attributes of the prestigious “country holder” rank.16 Throughout this study, Ravina demonstrates that the “tension and balance between central and local authority was a defining quality of the early modern order in Japan,”17 while Hirosaki officials acted with a sense of autonomy in sociopolitical issues, as if they were a “country” domain. Samurai and commoners, including the posthumous Hirata disciples in this domain regularly referred to Hirosaki as their “country.”18 Like Duara, Ravina sheds light on the multiple political identities, in this case the domains that made up Tokugawa Japan, and challenges linear, teleological history which places the modern nation as its subject and effaces “subnational political identities” in order to emplot Japanese history in a dominant metanarrative. Ravina explains, “domainal ‘countries’ such as Hirosaki were destroyed internally by imperialism,” and concludes, “The nation dominated politics only after politics produced the nation.”19 This debate on political autonomy, statehood, and nation from early modern to modern Japan is furthered by the work of Ronald P. Toby, best known for his influential work, State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu (1991).20 16  For instance, in 1808, Hirosaki domain’s nominal investiture was increased to 100,000 koku, and the Tsugaru daimyo were seated in the prestigious ōhiroma room for shogunal audiences. Furthermore, in 1824, the 11th Tsugaru daimyo Tsugaru Nobuyuki was granted fourth court rank (shihin), another mark worthy of a “country holder.” In late-Tokugawa to early Meiji, Hirosaki domain did not play a leading role in the Meiji Restoration, and when the domain did join the imperial forces, it was after it became clear the shogunate would face defeat. While Hirosaki domain had joined the bakufu side early in the war and had been ambivalent in domainal policy, a letter received from the court noble Konoe family related to the Tsugaru by marriage, helped the domain to change policy and turn its support to the Imperial forces. Ravina, pp. 12, 200. 17 Ibid., p. 15. 18 Ibid., p. 118. 19 Ibid., pp. 209-210. 20 In State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu, Toby describes how, despite the Tokugawa bakufu’s foreign policy of relative seclusion often described as sakoku  7  In an article separate from this book, Toby presents a detailed study comparing political authority held at both the central and local governmental levels. Toby borrows from Duara’s work, offering an inverted version of the title, “Rescuing the Nation from History: The State of the State in Early Modern Japan” (2001). Toby’s article is a book review—though not in typical fashion—of two important works from the late 1990s: Ravina’s monograph examined above, and Mercantilism in a Japanese Domain: The Merchant Origins of Economic Nationalism in 18thCentury Tosa (1998) by Luke Roberts.21 Toby takes up these two major works which place priority on the domain’s position within the state, over the idea of a national state of “Japan” in early modern times, and makes his counterargument. Since the late-twentieth century, he explains, local groups in Japan made efforts to preserve local dialect and culture in an attempt to protect fragments of local identity from the “juggernaut of the modern state” that homogenizes regional differences, and thereby, in the words of Duara, attempted to “rescue [their own] history from the nation.”22 Toby characterizes how recent scholarship on early modern Japan give priority to domains as possessing true political authority within the Tokugawa bakuhan system, and that both Ravina and Roberts demonstrate with convincing “thick description” the political autonomy held by their two main domains of focus: Hirosaki and Tosa. For instance, Roberts depicts Tosa’s progressive merchant activities to the point of interpreting trade between Tosa and Japan’s industrial centre of Osaka, as a form of international trade.23  (“closed country”) completed in the 1630s, that the Japanese state was in fact very much involved in diplomatic affairs in East Asia. Toby has detailed how Japan only had relations with other countries that would accept, even if in appearance only, the rules for international relations determined by Japan, and a Japan-centered ka’i (華夷) world order. State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991. 21 Roberts, Luke. Mercantilism in a Japanese Domain: The Merchant Origins of Economic Nationalism in 18thCentury Tosa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 22 Toby, Ronald P. “Rescuing the Nation from History: The State of the State in Early Modern Japan” Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer 2001), p. 199. 23 Ibid., p. 203.  8  Ultimately, Toby’s interpretation of nation and statehood in the case of early modern Japan is as follows: Japan was “the Nation,” the Tokugawa bakufu represented “the State,” and the local domains were basically “local or regional units within the political and discursive bounds of “Japan.”24 To this end, Toby reinforces the notion of central bakufu authority over local domains including Hirosaki and Tosa, and insists on the national unity and centralization under the Tokugawa shogunate. Toby disagrees with Ravina’s claim that kunimochi or “country holder” daimyo were sovereign “domainal countries,” because of the intervention they faced from the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo. As examples of the bakufu exercising authority over the domains, Toby cites the hostage system of Alternate Attendance or sankin kōtai, orders for daimyo to produce maps of their territories and submit them to Edo, and the four-class social system, implemented throughout the Tokugawa state. In conclusion, Toby asserts that broad membership in the cultural and political space of “Japan” through participation in such “National networks of meaning,” from haikai to noh lessons to private academies, enabled the country to undergo a more natural transition from early modern to modern nation, than a “domain-centered” transition as proposed by Roberts and others.25 Therefore, despite regional diversity and competing loyalties within early modern Japan, national discourses made possible by the above networks made “Japan,” in the assessment of Toby, a “single protonation.” The above debate concerns itself with prioritizing one form of statehood or community over others. Ravina, Roberts, and Toby emphasize either the bakufu, domain, or “nation”— questioning which held greater political authority. I, on the other hand, argue that statehood and community as experienced by commoners does not have to be an either/or proposition. Rather, I  24 25  Ibid., 200. Ibid., p. 227.  9  demonstrate that states and communities in early modern Japan were multi-layered and were, accordingly, perceived and experienced as such. A major work which tackles questions on the relationship between local, national, and global history is Rōkaru hisutorii kara gurōbaru hisutorii e: Tabunka no rekishigaku to chiikishi (2005), or From Local History to Global History: Historical Study of Multiculturalism and Local History, edited by Kawanishi Hidemichi, Namikawa Kenji, and M. William Steele.26 Recognizing the growth in studies of local history of Japan as a criticism of the nation-state, along with the tendency of these local histories to display strong subjectivity, this collaborative work brings together an impressive line-up of both Japanese and Western scholars of Japan who contribute articles on nation, women, religion, rural areas, and commoners, which aim for local history which “relativizes” Japanese history in a broader context of global history. 27 This approach is based on the view of Japan, not as singular in culture or ethnicity, but as multicultural, within an increasingly globalized context for historical studies throughout the world. Such a perspective on Japanese and local history within Japan as diverse and displaying multiplicity necessitates scholarly examination from a more diverse stance, and this volume calls together scholars from Japan and the United States to “restructure” (saikōsei 再構成) the image of Japan, and even attempt to rewrite global history from the perspective of local history. As Namikawa explains, among the major objectives of studies of local history from a global perspective is a more meaningful examination of minority groups which, through the formation of the modern state, have been integrated into the nation-state. This new historical approach considers the subjectivity of minority groups, as well as the historical process of  26  Kawanishi Hidemichi, Namikawa Kenji, and M. William Steele, eds. Rōkaru hisutorii kara gurōbaru hisutorii e: Tabunka no rekishigaku to chiikishi. Iwata shoin, 2005. 27 Ibid., pp. 7-8.  10  relations between them and other parties, then elucidates these minority groups’ place within society. Namikawa clarifies that their efforts do not strive simply to understand multiculturalism alone, but rather to grasp the breadth of multiple societies and their historical reality, produced through contact between various cultures over time. Now that I have highlighted some representative arguments on statehood, nation, and nationalism in broad terms and in the case of Japan, I now briefly outline one work that examines how kokugaku scholars conceived of community from the Tokugawa period to early Meiji. Drawing on theories by Anderson, Duara, and Partha Chatterjee, Susan Burns in Before the Nation: Kokugaku and the Imagining of Community in Modern Japan (2003), explores kokugaku discourse from the late-eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries in an effort to reconsider its significance within Tokugawa society, removed from modern conceptions of national identity in Japan.28 Burns abandons the traditional genealogy of the “great men” (ushi) and the “canon” of standard texts as assembled by modern scholarship, and instead, examines the discourse surrounding the Divine Age (kamiyo) narrative of Japan’s oldest extant histories Kojiki (712) and Nihonshoki (720). Her choices of nativists for comparison are unconventional—the most notable and influential among them, Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), and his seminal commentary on the Kojiki, the Kojikiden, along with three scholars who criticized this work, Ueda Akinari (17341809), Fujitani Mitsue (1768-1823), and Tachibana Moribe (1781-1849), fresh players added to English-language discussions on kokugaku. Burns argues how these scholars altered language, textuality, and history in order to form “imagined communities” of Japan that transcended status and regional differences, and actual communities in domains, cities, and villages, and did not all  28  Burns, Susan L. Before the Nation: Kokugaku and the Imagining of Community in Modern Japan. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003. pp. 11-12.  11  uniformly lead to conclusions about Japanese superiority or an emperor-centered nation, which were largely products of the Meiji period (1868-1912). The theoretical nature of Burns’ argument stresses such points as “the nature of community,” as when she describes how the Naobi, Magatsubi, and Musubi deities, as treated by Norinaga, “come to be implicated in a complex meditation on the nature of community.”29 The juxtaposition of good and evil deities could mirror several possibilities, such as human nature and nature of society for instance, but “nature of community” could use further explanation and elaboration. Burns’ demarcation between communities before the Restoration and nations and nationalism after is abrupt, if not for its strong theoretical tone, then certainly for her eschewing of Atsutane and the Hirata school who made up a major stream of kokugaku during the period.30 While much is fresh and innovative about Burns’ approach, her study remains largely a national narrative on kokugaku, in discussions of “imagined communities” of Japan, albeit from early modern perspectives as opposed to modern-influenced views. Nevertheless, this work paves the way for new approaches toward kokugaku, in Japan’s transition from early modern to modern, which account for regional variation and the dynamics between local and national communities and identity.  Research on Hirata Kokugaku and the “Boom” of Recent Years Having surveyed research on issues of statehood, nation, and modernity, including one in relation to kokugaku, I now turn my attention to representative research on Hirata kokugaku, particularly in English, as well as the developments of recent years which constitute a “Hirata  29 30  Ibid., p. 90. Ibid., p. 189.  12  boom.” Drawing on theories of Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, W.G. Gallie, and Hayden White, Harry D. Harootunian in Things Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Ideology in Tokugawa Nativism, examines how nativist discourse functioned ideologically, by focusing, not on biographies of the nativists, but on the texts produced from the prevailing discourse.31 Harootunian argues how the creation of binaries, primarily between “visible things” and “invisible things,” and the subsequent (re-) connecting of them, consummated “part-whole relationships,” and enabled Atsutane to valorize the livelihood of his students. Within this frame of “the seen” and “unseen,” Harootunian analyzes the writings of Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801) and Atsutane, asserting that “Motoori deified humans,” while conversely, “Hirata humanized the gods.”32 Just as Norinaga is shown to have empowered daily life through poetics, Atsutane is also shown to give meaning to rural life and work through his discussion on the Way. Atsutane emphasizes the connection between “creation and folk, production and reproduction, and divine intention and human will,” and according to Harootunian, “The association between the creation and the people shaped Hirata’s political program.”33 In the early 1830s, nativism which had previously been an “urban phenomenon,” “left the cities for the countryside,” and it was through “routinizing the Ancient Way” that naturally connected the Way and “content of everyday life” of ordinary folk, that Hirata kokugaku became popularized.34 Ancestor veneration was emphasized as a vital link between the seen and unseen, as was the interaction between worship and labor.  31  Harootunian, Harry D. Things Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Ideology in Tokugawa Nativism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. 32 Ibid. p. 88. 33 Ibid. pp. 161, 163. 34 Ibid. p. 176.  13  Harootunian focuses his study of Hirata kokugaku on its valorizing effect on the large contingency of agriculturalists that made up his following of disciples. He points out that village leaders chose nativism because “it offered a systematic theory sanctioning their presumption of responsibility and local leadership.”35 He argues that nativism provided a way for Hirata students like village headman from Shimōsa, Miyahiro Sadao (1767-1837), Awaji scholar Suzuki Shigetane (1812-63), Shigetane’s disciple Katsura Takashige (1816-71), and Tsuwano scholar Ōkuni Takamasa (1792-1871) to “recover the village community as an autonomous and reconstituted whole”—which created a potential danger of secession from Tokugawa control.36 Hirata’s message as well as those of his students helped to give greater meaning and importance to mundane, everyday life and work in the village, the villagers’ labor, and leadership in the community, because all elements were made parts of an organic whole. The autonomous village was cast as a representation of the “unchanging habitus, or mimatsurigoto.”37 Harootunian describes how “nativists extended the syntagm of trust from the deities down through the emperor, shogun, daimyo, and village officials, and why, at each stage, they enjoined people to repay the blessings of the kami.” Harootunian offers the most comprehensive English-language study on the Hirata school from Atsutane to his disciples, and one of the most systematic analyses of the school on the strength of discourse theory. The dynamics of power, and the nativist strategies employed by Norinaga, Atsutane and Hirata students are described, and a convincing explanation is given for Hirata kokugaku’s popularity and spread into rural agrarian communities. From the outset, the author admits to ignoring biographies of the nativists, and questions individual agency and subjectivity, placing importance on the texts, as characteristic of discourse theory. To this end, 35  Ibid. pp. 231-232. Ibid. p. 232. 37 Ibid. p. 326. 36  14  detailed historical contexts of Edo and the rural communities where Hirata nativism spread are compromised in favour of a general sweep of their histories. Also, Harootunian concedes to ignoring past Japanese historiography on the subject altogether, because his approach is more reliant on Western theory than any preceding works in Japanese. Nevetheless, Harootunian’s bold and comprehensive claims provide a strong interpretation of Hirata kokugaku to be complemented or challenged for years to come, especially in light of the new texts and data on Hirata kokugaku made available in recent years. With a growing collection of works on Hirata nativism in agricultural communities, the field calls for more focus on alternative settings, such as local towns, as opposed to the standard rural villages that claimed much of the spotlight to date. After Harootunian’s broad-based and theoretical study on nativism, Anne Walthall offers in The Weak Body of a Useless Woman, a complementary work in her detailed biographical study of a remarkable female student of the Hirata school, Matsuo Taseko (1811-94) of the Ina Valley.38 Walthall clearly sets out her purpose in her introduction: “Harootunian accounts for the internal logic of nativism’s powerful ideological impact on elite commoners; my retelling of Taseko’s life shows how she and her friends put nativism into practice and made it into a social movement.”39 Furthermore, she revisits the Meiji Restoration from a new and fresh perspective based on a peasant woman’s experience in Shinano, which challenges the male and samuraicentered views predominant in past historiography. This work is important for multiple reasons. It provides perhaps the most detailed and insightful small-narrative look into Hirata Kokugaku, through a biographical study of one of only twenty-nine female Hirata students, fleshing out her life beyond that of a narrow-minded 38  Walthall, Anne. The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. 39 Ibid. p. 5.  15  nationalist she had been depicted as previously. Walthall reconstructs Taseko’s life in the village and travels to Edo in 1855 after Perry’s arrival and Japan’s opening, where she interacted with the daimyo of the Takasu domain, Matsudaira Yoshitatsu (1824-83), with whom she likely discussed both poetry and politics.40 Walthall provides ample historical, social, and economic context of Taseko’s environment, describing the high level of production, spread of cottage industries, capitalist endeavours of rural entrepreneurs, and urban merchants characterized by historians as “protoindustrialization.”41 Taseko’s poems lamenting the export of silk to foreign countries reflects nationalistic and xenophobic concerns of the Hirata school, and also demonstrates how their thought reacted to activity within the local economy, where the Matsuo family was engaged in farming and sericulture.42 Taseko’s individual biography, writings, and achievements are well contextualized within the Ina Valley group of Hirata students and their study circle led by Iwasaki Nagayo (1807-?) and Katagiri Harukazu (1818-66).43 While in Kyoto for six months from 1862 to 1863, Taseko interacts with prolific Tsuwano domain nativist Fukuba Bisei (1831-1907), Ibukinoya leader Kanetane, and even played a part in giving Koshiden (Lectures on Ancient History) to Lord Sanjō.44 She was even in the capital to share in the excitement caused by the beheading of the Ashikaga shoguns’ statues by Hirata students. In her second visit to Kyoto in 1868, Taseko used her connections and influence to help samurai establish credentials as imperial loyal subjects, and she eventually gained a position in the household of Lord Iwakura Tomomi (1825-83).  40  Ibid. pp. 77-78. Ibid. p. 84. 42 Ibid. pp. 97-98. 43 Ibid. pp. 105, 112. 44 Ibid. p. 169. 41  16  Indeed, “The Meiji Restoration enabled her to remake her identity several times over, from peasant wife, to poet, to woman of influence.”45 Walthall’s monograph is an innovative and fresh look at Hirata nativism and the lateTokugawa and Restoration years, both for its fascinating subject, Matsuo Taseko, as well as for its small-narrative, feminist, rural perspective. This work allows us to see the Meiji Restoration in a new light, and also offers new materials and perspectives to the discussion on Hirata nativism in the West and in Japan. This focused study of an individual female peasant disciple naturally raises questions about who the other twenty-eight women were who registered with the Ibukinoya (presumably under unique circumstances themselves), and invites interest toward the experiences of the Meiji Restoration and modernization in other regions of Japan. Employing Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of “fields of cultural production,” Mark McNally in Proving The Way: Conflict and Practice in the History of Japanese Nativism challenges the view held by modern scholars that nativism was an institutionally coherent scholarly movement, and shows that there was considerable conflict within its different schools.46 McNally stresses the “developmental process of a discourse” while criticizing Harootunian and Peter Nosco (Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in Eighteenth-Century Japan, 1990) for asserting that, “Kokugaku was a distinct intellectual tradition from the moment of its inception in the seventeenth century; they suppress the crucial intellectual differences among the kokugakusha in an attempt to preserve the coherence of the discourse.”47 McNally examines nativists’ actions and thought, namely those of Atsutane, by stressing “conflict” or differences over continuity. He points out, that as a resident of Edo, Atsutane made the conscious decision to  45  Ibid. p. 260. McNally, Mark. Proving The Way: Conflict and Practice in the History of Japanese Nativism. Harvard University Asia Center, 2005. 47 Ibid. pp. 7, 246. 46  17  become a member of the Norinaga School headed by Motoori Haruniwa in 1806, rather than join the literary-focused Edo-ha, which drew its lineage from Kamo no Mabuchi.48 After joining Haruniwa’s academy, Atsutane began research in classical literature, but gradually lost interest, especially in waka, leading him to criticize Edo-ha and members of the Norinaga school.49 McNally describes Atsutane’s nativist contribution to what had been a Confucian debate on Kishin (spirits) with his Kishinshinron (1820) or New Treatise on Spirits. McNally summarizes points of view of the various players of this debate—Yamazaki Ansai, Arai Hakuseki (1657-1725), Ogyu Sorai, Dazai Shundai, and Yamagata Banto (1748-1821)—pointing out conflict and difference in intellectual thought, albeit mostly among Confucians. A more substantial conflict is the Sandaikō (Treatise on the Three Universal Bodies) debate on mythology, astronomy, and eschatology with fellow Norinaga School member Hattori Nakatsune (1757-1824), which “drove a wedge” into the school, leading to antagonism which grew leading into the 1830s.50 McNally argues that Atsutane took advantage of this Sandaikō debate and Nakatsune’s scholarship itself, to assert his most important religious teachings on the nature of the soul, the afterlife, and religious faith. Moreover, McNally offers a detailed explanation of conflicting Santetsu and Shiushi nativist lineages, and introduces notable Hirata students, including factional fields within the school, through its rise through the Restoration and eventual decline in the Meiji years. McNally’s work is valuable for delineating the various trends, factions, and conflicts within the Kokugaku school in general terms from the mid-18th to late-19th centuries, and questioning our understanding of it, particularly in respect to Atsutane’s scholarship. The concept of “conflict” is presented effectively at times, though in simplistic terms at others, such 48  Ibid. p. 78. Ibid. p. 81. 50 Ibid. p. 97. 49  18  as in discussions of the kishin debate and of Hirata’s students, where the monograph basically introduces people and ideas dealt with in past research, with limited new data. Fourth among the major English-language monographs devoted to Hirata nativism, Wilburn Hansen’s When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane’s Ethnography of the Other World sets its focus on Senkyō ibun (Strange Tidings From the Realm of Immortals), a single text from among Atsutane’s many writings, and sheds light on the links between nativism and ethnography in his work that have received limited attention in Western scholarship.51 Hansen explains that scholars since the nineteenth century had overlooked these important scholarly links because of Senkyō ibun’s emphasis on the “superstitious” and “supernatural.”52 Lamenting that Atstutane’s historical importance has been largely defined by events well after his death, such as the Meiji Restoration and Pacific War, Hansen asserts clearly that Atsutane’s “largest contribution to religion in his day lay in his investigations of what we might today call folk religion/ superstition and the occult, not imperial restoration.”53 Hansen challenges Carmen Blacker’s interpretation of Torakichi as “an example of a folklore pattern of the supernatural abduction of children,” and argues that Atsutane abducted the young Torakichi and his supernatural stories to not only “confirm his theory of the pleasant afterworld, but, more importantly, to construct a supernatural identity for living Japanese people.”54 Employing James Clifford’s anthropological thesis, Hansen identifies Atsutane as finding an “other” within, for the purpose of deconstructing the Japanese “self,” and replace it with “an imaginative alter ego he had discovered/ constructed in the mountains,” in the sanjin.55 Hansen  51  Hansen, Wilburn. When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane’s Ethnography of the Other World. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008. 52 Ibid. p. 3. 53 Ibid. p. 4. 54 Ibid. p. 6. 55 Ibid. p. 19.  19  colourfully reconstructs the process of Atsutane taking the Tengu Boy Torakichi into his home to speak about his experiences in the other world in a salon setting before a large audience.56 Hansen dramatizes the story, casting Torakichi as “an attraction” and Atsutane as “promoter” of this “great spectacle.” Also provided are relatively clear explanations of the elusive players of this narrative, the tengu as “a bird or beast transformed over time” or “a human who had been transformed due to some evil influence,” and sanjin as “human beings that live in the mountains.”57 Peter Nosco is correct to point out incongruencies in Hansen’s assessment of Atsutane’s production of Senkyō ibun, whether he was truly “anthropologist” and Torakichi “informant” and the text “an ethnographer’s logbook,” or whether “even though Torakichi was doing most of the talking, Atsutane’s role was to let his audience know what Torakichi really meant to say.”58 Elsewhere too the reader may be left confused, when Hansen states, “The leading questions will demonstrate that although Torakichi was the medium, the message was coming from Atsutane.”59 As an alternative to apportioning clear-cut roles to the two, when it might well be impossible to do so, it could be explained that Atsutane’s strategy and method were, in fact, full of inconsistencies. Hansen’s study supports the view that Atsutane’s work was a “forerunner of minzokugaku, or Japanese folklore studies,” and provides us with some more convincing arguments to augment this view of mutual attempts in kokugaku and minzokugaku of “the recovery of an ideal rural Japanese culture.”60 However, more could be stated on this linkage, 56  Ibid. p. 60. Ibid. pp. 80-81. 58 Ibid. pp. 34, 207-208; Nosco, Peter. Review: When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane’s Ethnography of the Other World. By Wilburn Hansen. Unviersity of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, 2008. In Journal of Japanese Studies. 35.2 (2009), p. 365-68. 59 Hansen, p. 89. 60 Ibid. p. 199. 57  20  such as further elaboration of the “rural” element in Atsutane’s writings, and his network of students, outside of Senkyō ibun, Edo, or even the Other World, to which most of the discussion is limited. Also, Hansen’s claim that “the goal of Senkyō ibun was to establish a culture hero whose primary reason for existence was to render the Japanese comfort, assistance, and protection until they reached that Outer World”61 is a bold and fascinating assertion, but again without further contextualizing within Atsutane’s larger work, one is left wondering how substantial a point this is. Hansen’s work is to be commended for tackling the immensely important issue of Hirata kokugaku’s connection with minzokugaku, a topic that has only been glossed over in Western scholarship, and still needs further substantiation in Japan and the West. His interpretation of the cryptic text Senkyō ibun helps to further flesh out the connection between the two schools/ disciplines. However, Hansen’s analysis of this one text could benefit from further contextualization among his larger work. Furthermore, an examination of Atsutane and his ethnographic work, would be enhanced greatly by incorporating the new Hirata materials, especially to elaborate on the Hirata school’s recruitment practices into rural communities, and their correspondence with students in the countryside. Nevertheless, Hansen’s work lays a valuable foundation for future work on nativism and ethnography, Hirata nativism on a rural level, and further expounding of Atsutane’s complex other world view. The past decade represents a revival period for studies in Hirata kokugaku. Unlike the prewar exaltation of Atsutane as a champion of Japanese essentialism, or postwar studies that focused on his biography, place within kokugaku, or contribution to prewar nationalistic ideology, this new revival shows a greater concern for contextualizing Atsutane within late-Tokugawa society and its broad intellectual discourse. A major catalyst for this renewed scholarly activity 61  Ibid. pp. 200-201.  21  has been the effort of scholars working with the National Museum of Japanese History, the site of a Special Exhibit in 2004 entitled, “Meiji Ishin to Hirata Kokugaku,” or, “The Meiji Restoration and Hirata Nativism.” With the cooperation of the Hirata Shrine and Atsutane’s descendants, they have introduced to the public several thousand pieces of new historical materials surrounding Atsutane, his head school the Ibukinoya, and his national network of students. These new materials serve as tools for producing a more nuanced perspective on Hirata kokugaku, and both its diversity and dynamism at the local level. Miyachi Masato, former head of the National Museum, has led a team of scholars including Endo Jun, Yoshida Asako, Nakagawa Kazuaki, Kumazawa Eriko, and others, working to transcribe and make accessible several thousand pieces of new materials, including diaries, letters, memos, artistic images, and artifacts from the Hirata family. Items displayed at the 2004 exhibit are featured in photographs along with introductions in a catalogue produced by the museum on the occasion of this event.62 This same year also saw the publication of a Bessatsu Taiyō edition, entitled Chi no nettowaaku no senkakusha Hirata Atsutane, or “Hirata Atsutane: Forerunner of a Network of Knowledge,” a colourful pictorial with articles re-appraising Hirata kokugaku, edited by Maita Katsuyasu and Aramata Hiroshi.63 Such efforts to re-cast Hirata kokugaku in a new light are further advanced through the transcription of a series of diaries, letters, and memos by the museum in their Kokuritsu rekishi minzoku hakubutsukan kenkyū hōkoku or, Bulletin of the National Museum of Japanese History, in a series entitled, “Hirata  62  Kokuritsu rekishi minzoku hakubutsukan, ed. Meiji ishin to Hirata kokugaku. Tokyo inshokan, 2004. Maita Katsuyasu and Aramata Hiroshi, eds. Bessatsu Taiyō: Chi no nettowaaku no senkakusha Hirata Atsutane. Heibonsha, 2004. 63  22  kokugaku no saikentō,” or “Reexamination of Hirata Kokugaku.”64 This series, edited by Miyachi and the team of Hirata scholars, has continued from 2005 to 2010. Drawing upon these developments of the past decade, Endo Jun’s Hirata kokugaku to kinsei shakai, or Hirata Kokugaku and Early Modern Society, is the first book, and among the most fruitful results from research efforts with the new Hirata documents.65 This work sheds new light on the thought and practice of Hirata Atsutane and his students within nineteenth-century Japanese society. Endo’s objectives in this book are: (1) to understand the religious aspect of Atsutane’s thought internally; (2) to grasp the thought and practice of Atsutane and Ibukinoya within the context of society, as he states there was previously an overemphasis of Sonnō (revere the emperor) movement and the political side without capturing the entire picture of the Ibukinoya academy; and; (3) to tie together intellectual history and social history surrounding Hirata kokugaku. Focusing on the Tama no mihashira (『霊能真柱』) or August Pillar of the Soul, Endo discusses Atsutane’s development of his thesis on the yūmeikai realm, afterlife thought, and cosmology. Endo historicizes the matter of ancestor veneration in Japanese history and Hirata kokugaku. In connecting intellectual history to social history, Endo explores Atsutane and the Hirata school’s relationship to the Yoshida and Shirakawa Shinto houses, through Hirata disciple and Shinto priest Furukawa Mitsura, thereby adding to our understanding of Atsutane’s place within the late-Tokugawa Shinto community. Text reading practices and publishing are also examined through newly released letters exchanged with Atsutane.  64  Miyachi Masato. “Hirata kokugaku no saikentō, I-IV” (Reexamination of Hirata Kokugaku I-IV),Kokuritsu rekishi minzoku hakubutsukan kenkyū hōkoku (Bulletin of the National Museum of Japanese History). Vol. 122 (March 2005), 128 (March 2006), 146 (March 2009), 159 (March 2010). 65 Endō Jun, Hirata kokugaku to kinsei shakai. Perikansha, 2008.  23  Endo adds greatly to our understanding of Atsutane and the social and intellectual network of the Ibukinoya academy, through his reading of the new documents. As evidence of this ongoing “Hirata boom,” works continue to appear which shed new light on the intellectual, social, and religious aspects of the Hirata network, both in Edo and the local scene throughout the country.66  The Objectives of This Study and Chapter Overview I aim to make contributions to the above debates on statehood, nation, and modernity through my research on the Tsugaru group of posthumous Hirata disciples, particularly in terms of the dynamics between local and national identities. Moreover, I hope to build on kokugaku studies in the West and Japan, by bringing new players to discussions to date in Hirao Rosen (1808-1880), Tsuruya Ariyo (1808-1871), and the Tsugaru group, new materials in the form of their writings, paintings, and letters, and a new vantage point from the north in Tsugaru and Ezo. Focusing on the Tsugaru group will provide an opportunity to further examine the Meiji Restoration and experience of modernity in the context of northerneastern Japan. Five major points I hope to elucidate through my research are: (1) diversity found within “sōmō no kokugaku,” or “grassroots nativism,” as demonstrated through this community of intellectual townspeople from Hirosaki; (2) dynamics seen in the juxtaposition of two identities—a local “country” of Tsugaru and national “country” of Imperial Japan; (3) the links between kokugaku  66  Two important monographs on Hirata kokugaku were published in 2012. Although I do not review them in this introduction, I benefit greatly from their insights by citing them in the main body of this study. Nakagawa Kazuaki’s Hirata kokugaku no shiteki kenkyū (Meicho kankōkai) examines the history of the Hirata family, the academy, and disciple communities during Atsutane’s lifetime and beyond his death into the Meiji period, based on a meticulous analysis of primary materials—both texts and letters. Yoshida Asako’s Chi no kyōmei: Hirata Atsutane wo meguru shomotsu no shakaishi (Perikansha) sheds light on the spread of Hirata Atsutane’s thought among his followers throughout Japan by tracing the social history of books and publishing within the academy.  24  and ethnographic studies, which similarly deal with the local-national dynamic; (4) the adoption of spirituality and religiosity of Hirata kokugaku, and its expansion, expressed through worship, writings, and the work of the Shinto priesthood; and (5) the commoners’ experience of modernity and the transformation of local community from an early modern domain to modern prefecture in Meiji Japan. With the above as its main objectives, this dissertation in its main body is comprised of the following seven chapters. Opening the main body, chapter two sets the stage for my discussion on Hirata kokugaku in Tsugaru, by chronicling the life of Hirata Atsutane, and examining his thought, academy of Ibukinoya, its posthumous succession by Kanetane and Nobutane, and the national network of disciples. I highlight the common areas of concern between the Hirata academy and Tsugaru disciples. These include: a concern for the spiritual realm of kakuriyo, spirits, and the afterlife; ethnographic inquiries into the lives and worldview of commoners; a concern toward the north, in terms of both security through the northern island of Ezo, as well as a shared identification with the northern region, with Atsutane’s native domain and place of exile, Akita, neighbouring Tsugaru to the south; and, finally, a strong religiosity in both thought and daily worship, augmented through the Shinto priesthood. Through these commonalities, the Tsugaru disciples help draw attention to key characteristics of Hirata kokugaku, some of which have been hitherto overlooked. Chapter three begins with a history of Hirosaki domain in the late-Tokugawa period, and pays attention to changes in economy, military defense, society, education, and religious practice. I then introduce Tsuruya Ariyo, describing his role as leader and manager, and chronicle the formation of the Tsugaru group of posthumous Hirata disciples. Highlighted are this community’s devotion to poetry and study of Hirata kokugaku, their book purchases, and  25  interactions with academy heads Kanetane and Nobutane, as well as with other disciples. I compare this group’s activities and characteristics to those of Hirata communities in neighbouring Akita and Morioka domains. Based on such comparisons, I identify an autonomous nature among the community in Tsugaru, centred around its core members of townspeople, and note the religiosity expressed in thought and practice. The fourth chapter begins with a biographical study of the life of a core member of the Tsugaru group, Hirao Rosen. I examine his artwork and writings leading up to his visit to the northern island of Ezo in 1855, the year following the official opening of Hakodate port by the Japan-U.S. Amity Treaty. I describe Rosen’s development as painter and scholar in Hirosaki castle town and Tsugaru region, and detail how he depicted his local surroundings through ethnographic records of local life and culture in image and text, years prior to serious engagement with kokugaku studies. Rosen’s first ever journey away from Tsugaru, “overseas” to Ezo in 1885, and his exposure to Ezo locals and European, American, and Qing Chinese visitors allow him to see and experience the “world” and Japan’s threatened position within it. This experience also enables Rosen to situate Tsugaru, or Hirosaki domain, alongside Matsumae domain, within Imperial Japan. From around 1855, Rosen directs his writings increasingly toward ethnographical and nativist pursuits, which allow for an analysis on the interplay between regional and national identities in his discourse on Tsugaru and Imperial Japan. Chapter five proceeds to explore the dynamics between the ethnographic and nativist dimensions of Rosen’s scholarship in his three major works: Gappo kidan (Strange Tales of Gappo, 1855), Tani no hibiki (Echoes of the Valley, 1860), and Yūfu shinron (New Treatise of the Spiritual Realm, 1865)—completed over a ten-year period. By analyzing these three texts, I show how Rosen conceives of the strange, mysterious, and spiritual matters in the context of the  26  local Tsugaru environment and community, and how he locates Tsugaru into a larger spiritual landscape of Imperial Japan. The decade from 1855 onward is a period of pronounced interplay between Tsugaru and Imperial Japan within Rosen’s writing, and this culminates with his increased engagement with Hirata kokugaku, as represented through his enrolment as an official Hirata disciple in 1864, then his completion of his third major work, Yūfu shinron, in 1865. In chapter six, I further pursue the conception of the two “countries” of Tsugaru and Imperial Japan, this time through the writings of group leader Tsuruya Ariyo. Ariyo connected the two earthly realms of Tsugaru and Imperial Japan with the spiritual realm, through gods and spirits. Surveying past scholarship on the views of sacred mountains in Japan, I first show how Ariyo depicted Mount Iwaki as a spiritual symbol of Tsugaru throughout his waka poetry. Second, I take up his treatise, Iwaki san shinreiki (Mount Iwaki Divine Records), and demonstrate how Ariyo asserted the gods’ (kami) rule and control over the mountain. Third, I analyze his major work, Ken’yū rakuron (Treatise on Enjoyment in the Visible and Invisible Realms), wherein he links life in this world with the afterlife through enjoyment, which he emphasizes as the key element to living a full life. Finally, I draw upon examples of religious practice, namely spirit and ancestor veneration, as seen in Ariyo’s norito liturgies, which express his views of the visible world and spiritual realm, which demonstrate his adoption and expansion of the religiosity of Hirata kokugaku. Chapter seven is devoted to the history of the Restoration years in Hirosaki domain and northeastern Japan, particularly the Boshin War of 1868 to 1869, and the ensuing shōkonsai ritual to “call back” and venerate soldiers who died in battle for the imperial cause. I chronicle Hirosaki domain’s role in the Boshin War fought between the Imperial forces against the defenders of the Tokugawa bakufu, in which they switched allegiance from the latter to the  27  former. The Hirosaki army contributed to the imperial cause in the Battle of Noheji, in which Hirata disciple Yamada Yōnoshin fought and died, and in the sixth month of 1869, Shinto priests from the Tsugaru group, Osari Nakaakira and Ono Iwane, performed the shōkonsai ritual to honour the sixty-four fallen soldiers including Yōnoshin. A close look at the role of the Tsugaru disciples in this civil war shows how they participated in Tsugaru’s role within the newly emerging Imperial Japan of early Meiji. The eighth and final chapter of the main body illustrates how the Hirata disciples in Tsugaru observed and experienced modernization in the early Meiji period, particularly the transformation of their local “country” of Tsugaru within a rapidly changing modern Imperial Japan. I begin by chronicling developments in Hirosaki, in its transformation from domain to prefecture, highlighting the role of Tsugaru Tsuguakira, the final daimyo and first governor, and the rise of Western learning in the region, as represented through transformations to domainal school Keikokan, which transitioned into the modern academy Tōōgijuku. The astonishing growth of the Hirata academy in the first years of Meiji, and its sudden halt in expansion following 1871, represent a history of early attempts to make Shinto the central ideology of the Meiji state, countered by sudden and increased adoption of Western thought and institutions in the modernization process. The death of Tsugaru group leader Tsuruya Ariyo, also in 1871, signalled a decline in collective activity for the Hirata disciples in Hirosaki. I show how these drastic changes in society are experienced by Hirao Rosen, as well as the Shinto priests of the group, through their role in the religious reforms of the state. A historian and poet from the group, Shimozawa Yasumi made efforts to immortalize the history of the Tsugaru ruling family and Hirosaki domain, through histories and poetry anthologies commissioned by the final daimyo Tsuguakira.  28  Chapter 2 Hirata Kokugaku and Its National Network  Overview  This chapter examines the life of Hirata Atsutane, his kokugaku thought, the Ibukinoya academy including its posthumous succession by son Kanetane and grandson Nobutane, and the network of Hirata disciples throughout Japan, all in anticipation of my discussion of Hirata kokugaku and the disciples in Tsugaru. Several points of commonality or parallel can be identified between Atsutane and his academy and the Tsugaru disciples: some of these links may be considered fortuitous, while others can be attributed to the Tsugaru disciples’ concern with particular features of Hirata kokugaku. Therefore, in discussing Hirata kokugaku and the national network, I highlight these common points or characteristics, which include: a concern for the invisible kakuriyo spiritual realm, spirits, and the afterlife; ethnographic studies of the lives and worldview of commoners; a shared awareness of foreign threats from the north through the island of Ezo; the northern connection, with Atsutane’s native domain and place of exile, Akita, neighbouring Tsugaru to the north; and strong religiosity through daily practice and ties with the Shinto priesthood. These commonalities between Hirata kokugaku and the Tsugaru disciples accentuate some of the significant features of the two sides, while also suggesting some reasons for the reception of Atsutane’s thought among the Tsugaru community.  Hirata Atsutane: Early Years Atsutane may be the most celebrated native son of Akita city and prefecture. Ten monuments are erected throughout the city in his memory, marking places of his birth, residence, 29  death, and site of the local academy, Fūrai gijuku (風雷義塾), established by his posthumous disciples. Atsutane is enshrined along with disciple and kokugaku scholar Satō Nobuhiro (17691850) in Iyataka shrine,67 which is located in Chiaki Park, the former grounds of Akita domain’s Kubota Castle where the ruling Satake family resided, and the two are also featured in the school song for Akita High School.68 Atsutane is taken up in many local histories, and is often credited for influencing Akita domainal policy in supporting the Imperial forces in the Boshin War of 1868 to 1869, as well as for championing the Japanese spirit which propelled the country in its achievements at home and abroad in the modern period, however insular this view may be, with many such writings appearing in the prewar and war years leading up to 1945. Hirata Atsutane was born on the 24th day of the eighth month in 1776 (An’ei 5) in Machinaka-chō, Nakatani-chi, in the castle town of Kubota in Akita domain, Dewa Province (出 羽国久保田城下中谷地町中丁), located in present-day Tohoku region. A monument to mark Atsutane’s birthplace at the family home stands on the site of the Former Seventeenth Infantry Regiment at a children’s park just west of Akita Station. Atsutane was born the fourth of six sons to Akita domainal samurai Ōwada Seibei Sachitane (大和田清兵衛祚胤、大番組頭 with a stipend of 100 koku), who also had two daughters. Atsutane was named Masayoshi (正吉) at birth. The Ōwada family claimed descent from Prince Katsuhara (葛原親皇), son of Emperor Kammu (737-806), and Atsutane himself wrote that he was the “31st generation descendant” of 67  This shrine was first erected as Hirata Shrine in 1881 (Meiji 4) in Yatsuhashi of Akita by some Hirata disciples, led by Kotanibe Jinzaemon, in order to worship the spirit of their master. Later, in 1909 (Meiji 42), the Akita Prefecture Educational Board purchased and refurbished former prefectural shrine Hachiman shrine, and transferred Hirata Shrine there. At the same time, Satō Nobuhiro was jointly enshrined and the shrine was renamed Iyataka Shrine. In 1917, Iyataka Shrine was transferred to its current location in Chiaki Park. Shiozawa Kiyoshi. Iyataka jinja shi. Akita: Iyataka jinja, 2009. p. 7. 68 Verse two of the school song for Akita High School begins, “Fragrant is the soil of Akita, where two giant spirits Atsutane and Nobuhiro were born.” (「篤胤信淵ふたつの巨霊 生まれし秋田の 土こそ薫れ」)  30  Kanda myōjin (神田明神), the spirit of the Heian military general Taira no Masakado (?~940) and, therefore, he often signed his name Taira Atsutane in his writings. Atsutane had an exceptionally unhappy childhood, according to a letter Atsutane wrote in his later years addressed to his adopted son Kanetane.69 He was “farmed out and fostered” by a poor, low-ranking samurai family, with whom he “endured a lot” until he was six. He was given over for adoption, but his adoptive father died, after which he was sent home again, only to be abused by his parents and brothers and endure “abnormal” pain. Later he was adopted yet again, this time by a wealthy acupuncturist, but once this couple bore their own child, the young boy was returned home. Atsutane explains that at home he worked hard but was still abused by his brothers, and was self-taught and learned nothing from his parents. The young boy also suffered from a birth mark on his face, which, he explains, his parents interpreted as an omen that he would kill his brothers to steal their inheritance. This birth mark appears to have been a source of considerable despair for Atsutane throughout his life.70 The young Atsutane began Chinese studies (漢学) in 1783 (Tenmei 3) at age eight, under the tutelage of domainal Confucian scholar Nakayama Seiga, according to Daigaku kun goichidai ryakki (『大壑君御一代略記』) or A Sketch of the Life of Daigaku, a timeline of Atsutane’s life created by Kanetane.71 This likely means Atsutane had learned basic Japanese reading and writing by eight, and started Chinese characters after that. After imparting Chinese studies (漢学) education to Atsutane, Nakayama Seiga most likely taught the young boy the  69  Kamata Tōji, “The Disfiguring of Nativism: Hirata Atsutane and Orikuchi Shinobu.” Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami. Eds. John Breen and Mark Teeuwen. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i, 2000. pp. 295-96. Atsutane wrote this letter from his place of exile Akita in 1842, but never sent it out. This was a year after he was exiled to his hometown. 70 See Kamata for a discussion on how Atsutane’s facial disfigurement led to his fascination with the other realm, and added to his conviction of the gods. 71 Hirata Kanetane. Daigaku kun goichidai ryakki. SHAZ. Vol. 6, p. 591.  31  classics (経書). As a disciple of Yamazaki Ansai’s academy, Seiga then probably instructed his pupil in Yamazaki-style Neo-Confucianism. When Atsutane was eleven, he was sent to live with his uncle Yanagimoto to study medicine and become a physician. There he was given the name Gentaku (玄琢). Young Atsutane came of age with his genpuku ceremony at age fifteen, and received the name Taneyuki (胤行). Thus, Atsutane’s early education included basic Japanese studies, Chinese studies including Confucianism, medicine, and presumably, martial arts. Atsutane left Akita domain for Edo on the eighth day of the first month in 1795 (Kansei 7) at age twenty, to pursue further studies, where he remained until age 66. While in Edo, Atsutane is said to have taken on several menial jobs, including those of cart puller, firefighter, home tutor, and kitchen assistant. After completing his duties in the kitchen, Atsutane enjoyed his free time studying. Around this time, he was discovered by Itakura Lord of Suo from Matsuyama domain, Bitchū province, who had been on duty as an inspector (metsuke) at Tokiwa bridge (常磐橋) over Nihonbashi river. Itakura introduced Atsutane to his vassal, Hirata Tōbei Atsuyasu (平田藤兵衛篤穏) and was eventually adopted into the Hirata household.72 The following year in 1801 (Kyōwa 1), Atsutane at age twenty-six married Ishibashi Orise, age twenty. In the ensuing year, the couple had a son, Jōtarō (常太郎), but he died after one month. Spring of 1801 was also when Atsutane first read Motoori Norinaga’s writings, and took up a desire to study “Ancient Learning” (古学 Inishie manabi), which referred to kokugaku. In 1805 (Bunka 2), Orise gave birth to their daughter, Chie, who later took on the name Ochō (おてう), and eventually the name Orise after her mother. The couple had their second son in 1808 (Bunka  72  Watanabe Kinzō. Hirata Atsutane kenkyū. Hōshuppan, 1978, p. 19.  32  5), whom they named Hanbei (半兵衛), and later renamed Matagorō, but he too died early in 1818 (Bunsei 1) at age eleven. As seen thus far, Atsutane’s family life was full of hardship, beginning with his childhood which was reportedly marred by sorrowful events, into adult life which included the tragic death of his first wife and two sons. Atsutane’s first wife Orise is known to have supported her husband, not only upholding household matters, but also taking on clerical matters and negotiations for publishing, earning the designation of “good wife, wise mother” (ryōsai kenbo) from biographer Watanabe Kinzō.73 In his major work on human souls and the afterlife, Tama no mihashira (『霊能真柱』) or August Pillar of the Soul, completed in 1812 (Bunka 9), Atsutane expresses his desire, after death, to invite his wife Orise and fly together as spirits before his Master Norinaga’s spirit and to serve him. Atsutane admits his first wife died that year due to illness caused by overwork to support his “studies on the Way.”74 Atsutane married a second wife, who left after a mere two months, perhaps unable to endure the financial harships of the Hirata home. Later, Atsutane married for a third time, and one can see his appreciation toward his first wife expressed through his gesture of re-naming his third wife and daughter Ochō, Orise. Atsutane’s third wife was the daughter of a tofu shop owner in Koshigaya in Musashi province. She was adopted into the household of a wealthy local oil merchant, Yamazaki Chōuemon (山崎長右衛門) in order to marry Atsutane.75 A fervent Shinto believer, Chōuemon became a disciple of Atsutane in 1816 (Bunka 13), and in the following year he loaned Atsutane the capital to publish Tama no mihashira (August Pillar of the Spirit), and Koshiseibun (Ancient History Reconstituted) and Koshi chō (Meaning of Ancient History) one year later in 1818. In the 73  Watanabe, p. 21. Hirata Atsutane, Tama no mihashira. SHAZ, Vol. 7., pp. 180-181. Atsutane makes this same admission in a letter written in his later years to adopted son Kanetane, that Orise’s death was probably brought on, in part, from overwork in assisting him in his scholarship. Watanabe, p. 21. 75 Ibid. pp. 25-26. 74  33  winter of 1818 (Bunsei 1), Chōuemon arranged his adopted daughter to marry Atsutane. Although not highly educated, this third wife renamed Orise raised Atsutane’s daughter and supported her husband’s scholarship through writing, composition, and accounting (算盤). With help from her affluent household, she supported Atsutane’s dire finances. She helped to gather capital, assisted with selling print blocks (板木), and negotiated with book sellers (書肆), woodblock cutters (板木屋), paper dealers, and book binders.76 This third wife Orise accompanied Atsutane to exile in Akita, supported him, and took care of matters after his death. It is during their marriage that Atsutane adopted a son, Kanetane (銕胤), who came from Niiya domain in Iyo province, and was the eldest son of vassal Midorikawa (碧川). On the 23rd of the fifth month in 1822 (Bunsei 5), Kanetane officially registered as Atsutane’s disciple.  Beginnings of Hirata Kokugaku Atsutane authored his first treatise Kamōsho (『呵妄書』) in 1803 (Kyōwa 3) at age twenty-eight, refuting claims by Confucian Dazai Shundai (1680-1747) in his Bendōsho (On Distinguishing the Way) on the Way and Japan, which asserted that the Way did not exist in Japan before the arrival of Buddhism during the reign of Emperor Kinmei (509-571) in the sixth century. In Kamōsho, Atsutane asserts the existence of the divine and ancient Way of Japan, addressing the broad-ranging discourse on Shinto or “Divine Way” (神道) from perspectives of Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, Buddhism, divination, and kokugaku in Norinaga’s and Mabuchi’s writings. Atsutane cites Shundai’s criticism that, “people today believe Shinto is the 76  Watanabe, p. 26.  34  way of our country, and compare it to the Confucian and Buddhist ways and consider it a way. This is a terrible mistake.”77 Atsutane then responds: Shinto is the great way of our country, and because it is the way [by which] the emperor governs the realm, it is beyond comparing with Confucian and Buddhist ways. Though it is too awesome to utter in words, from the exalted emperor to the commoners below, to discard Confucianism and Buddhism and to solely believe in and revere Shinto is furthermore not a mistake.78  This early text shows Atsutane challenging Shundai’s criticism of Japanese claims to having a way that precedes and surpasses Confucian and Buddhist ways imported from China and India.79 Atsutane demonstrates he is aware of the competing intellectual discourses and well read on a wide variety of texts, including Norinaga’s Kojikiden, which he cites for its definition of kami (deities). In response to Shundai’s interpretation of contemporary worship in Shinto as derived from Buddhist influence, Atsutane offers a rebuttle which culminates with his urging the people of Japan to discard the contrived “filthy teachings of foreign countries.” He then declares, “to first learn the antiquity of the Imperial country, know the precious ways of the Imperial country’s gods, and with the pure ‘true heart’ (magokoro) to revere, approach, and worship the gods  77  Hirata Atsutane, Kamōsho. SHAZ, Vol. 10. p. 144. Ibid. 79 Atsutane’s refutation of Shundai’s assertions on the Way is a part of a larger debate on the Way between Confucian and kokugaku scholars, which featured Ogyū Sorai, Kamo no Mabuchi, Motoori Norinaga and other scholars from the two traditions. Maruyama Masao offers an insightful reading into the debate on the Way, describing how Sorai identified the Way as a creation of the ancient sages, how Mabuchi viewed the way in nature as the “Way of Nature in Heaven and Earth,” and how Norinaga viewed the way as a creation by the gods. See Maruyama Masao. Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan. Trans. Mikiso Hane. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1974. Also, for a study which argues, similar to Shundai, that early appearances of the term “Shinto” (「神道」) in classical Japanese texts actually do not refer to the modern day religious tradition of Shinto, which was a much later creation in part in response to Buddhism and Confucianism, see Kuroda Toshio, “Shinto in the History of Japanese Religion.” Trans. James C. Dobbins and Suzanne Gay. Journal of Japanese Studies 7, 1 (1981), pp. 1-21. 78  35  wholeheartedly is the way of the Imperial country.”80 These are some early expressions of Atsutane’s kokugaku thought. Atsutane concludes Kamōsho with an inscription “Lord of Masugenoya” (「眞菅舘のあ ろじ」), referring to his place of residence, and signs his name Taira Atsutane. The following year in 1804 (Bunka 1), Atsutane began his medical practice and commenced lectures at this residence, the Masugenoya (眞菅乃屋).81 Then the following year on the fifth day of the third month in 1805, Atsutane sent Motoori Haruniwa a letter requesting formal enrolment into the Motoori academy, the Suzunoya, or “House of Bells” in Matsusaka. In this letter, Atsutane explains his devotion to learn the Way, and how, after discarding Chinese writings, he studied Norinaga’s teachings with faith and dedication. He then declares, “Last spring, incredibly, I saw the old man [Norinaga] in a dream. We established a master-disciple relationship. I wanted to understand [the meaning of] this further, and realized somehow that he had passed away. It was his spirit that had seen into the depths of my heart.”82 Haruniwa replied that he was impressed with Atsutane’s devotion, and granted approval for this disciple’s enrolment into the academy. Atsutane commissioned “Image of Encounter in Dream” (Muchū taimen zu 「夢中対面図」) to capture this dream, and Haruniwa wrote on it a message of praise and description of the encounter in response to Atsutane’s request.83 Atsutane took a hands-on approach in interpreting history and mythology. Norinaga considered the Kojiki (『古事記』) or Records of Ancient Matters to be the authoritative text for studying ancient history and the Divine Way, esteeming it superior to Nihon shoki (『日本書  80  Ibid. p. 155. In 1807 (Bunka 4) at age 32, Atsutane opened his medical practice, changing his name to Gensui (元瑞). 82 McNally pp. 165-66. 83 Maita Katsuyasu, Aramata Hiroshi. Eds. Bessatsu Taiyō: Chi no nettowaaku no senkakusha, pp. 22-23. 81  36  紀』) or Chronicles of Japan, for its unity of “matter and word and heart.” Atsutane, on the other hand, drew upon a wide variety of texts to uncover the Way. One core example of this is his Koshiseibun (『古史成文』) or Ancient History Reconstituted, a fifteen-volume ancient history from the Divine Age to Empress Suiko (reign 593-628 CE), “rewritten” or rearranged by Atsutane, which draws from various texts such as the Kojiki, Nihon shoki, Kogo shūi (『古語拾 遺』) or Gleanings of Ancient Tales, Fudoki (『風土記』) gazetteers, and norito (『祝詞』) liturgies. Only the first three volumes, those devoted to the Divine Age have been published, that in the year 1818 (Bunsei 1). This work is written in the style of the Kojiki, using Chinese characters in a combination of Japanese Man’yō gana readings, as well as classical Chinese (kanbun). Atsutane perceived a large disparity in accounts of ancient history between the various texts mentioned above, as well as Norinaga’s Kojikiden and other writings, and he therefore resolved to combine facts from the various sources and to produce one uniform and authoritative source. This work demonstrates Atsutane’s sheer conviction in his own reconstitution of history, especially when considering that he wrote large commentaries Koshiden (Lectures on Ancient History) and Koshichō (The Meaning of Ancient History) on his work the Koshiseibun. Upon completing Koshiseibun, Atsutane declared this was his most representative work, stating, “Ah, what people would know Atsutane by, that may just be this Seibun.”84  Spirits, the Kakuriyo Realm, and Ethnographic Studies Arguably Atsutane’s biggest contribution to kokugaku discourse is his comprehensive articulation of the visible and invisible realms, human spirituality, and spirits, building on  84  Tanaka Yoshitō, “Kaidai: Koshi seibun,” SHAZ, Vol. 1. p. 2.  37  previous conceptions of cosmology. Atsutane drew upon theories of both his teacher Norinaga, as well as Norinaga’s disciple, Hattori Nakatsune (1756-1824) who was also a native of Matsusaka. Nakatsune authored Sandaikō (『三大考』) or Treatise on the Three Universal Bodies, a treatise on the creation chapters of the Kojiki that asserted the sun was heaven, the earth this world, and the moon the Yomi world. Sandaikō features ten diagrams depicting the creation of heaven and earth, along with various divinities. Norinaga esteemed his disciple’s treatise highly, editing it in part before its completion in 1791 (Kansei 3), then published it as part of his Kojiki den at the end of volume seventeen. Motoori Ōhira criticized Nakatsune’s treatise, but Atsutane supported much of it, incorporating its ten cosmological diagrams in altered form, and asserting his own stance in Tama no mihashira. Atsutane completed Tama no mihashira, one of his major treatises, early in his scholarly career in 1812 (Bunka 9), then published it one year later. Norinaga had concluded that, “everyone in the world, whether noble or base, good or bad, must one and all go to the land of Yomi when they die,”85 and did not further pursue the question of eschatology nor inquire into the afterlife, as had been the case with Shinto theologians.86 To Norinaga, the destiny of all people to the “exceedingly filthy and bad land” of Yomi which lies beneath the earth, is a terribly sad fate that cannot be avoided, and Nakatsune also adopts this view of Yomi that this is where souls are destined to go after leaving their corpse in this world, except that he equates Yomi with the moon, as the dark land of night wherein no light shines.87 However, Atsutane, in the opening of Tama no mihashira, clearly asserts that “scholars engaging in ancient studies (古学 inishie manabi) must first chiefly solidify their Yamato heart,” and that “in desiring to solidify broad 85  Motoori Norinaga, Tamakushige in Nosco, Peter. Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in EighteenthCentury Japan. Cambridge,Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990. p. 215. 86 See Nosco, Remembering Paradise, Ibid. 87 Hattori Nakatsune. Sandaikō. In MNZ, Vol. 10, p. 311.  38  and lofty that Yamato heart, knowing where one’s soul will settle is foremost.”88 Atsutane made the soul’s destination after death a central question of his scholarship and, consequently, made discussions of eschatology central to kokugaku. Atsutane refutes Norinaga’s claim that all souls of the dead go to the Yomi underworld after death, stating that his teacher was mistaken, “owing mainly to his insufficient examination of the evidence.”89 Atsutane maintains that all souls after death go neither to Yomi nor to heaven; rather, it is clear the souls of the Japanese, “from the purport of ancient legends and from modern examples that they remain eternally in Japan and serve in the realm of the dead governed by Ōkuninushi-no-kami.”90 Atsutane cast Ōkuninushi-no-kami—traditionally viewed as an “earthly god” (kunitsu kami) who ruled over the Central Land of Reed Plains (Ashihara no nakatsu kuni)—as lord of the kakuriyo realm whom souls of the dead were to serve. He continues on to describe this spiritual realm of yūmeikai or kakuriyo (幽冥界) as dark and, therefore, invisible from the visible world, though inhabitants of the spiritual realm can see the visible world full of light. This invisible kakuriyo occupied the same space as the visible arahaniyo inhabited by the living, and souls of the deceased dwelt near gravesites and shrines from where they could watch over and protect their descendants they left behind. Perhaps reflective of Atsutane’s concern for “practicality” (jissensei) and daily life, he notes that in the invisible realm “the way of clothing, food, and housing are also provided,” just as in “life” in the visible world.91 As Mark McNally observes, while “direct contact” between the visible  88  Hirata Atsutane. Tama no mihashira. SHAZ, Vol. 7, p. 5. Tama no mihashira in Tsunoda Ryusaku, Wm. Theodore de Bary, Donald Keene, eds. Sources of Japanese Tradition, Vol. 2. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963. p. 44. 90 Ibid. p. 45. 91 Hirata Atsutane, Tama no mihashira, p. 170. 89  39  arahaniyo realm and invisible kakuriyo realm is difficult and rare, religious acts in this world, such as ancestor worship, made it possible to affect one realm from the other.92 After establishing his ideas on spirits, spirituality, and the spiritual realm with his Shin kishinron (『新鬼神論』), Kishin shinron (『鬼神新論』), or New Treatise on Spirits, Tama no mihashira, and Tama dasuki (『玉襷』), or Precious Sleeve Cord, between 1805 and 1820, Atsutane followed up these foundational works with his ethnographic accounts of the spiritual realm, through collecting the oral accounts of commoners, beginning with Senkyō ibun (『仙境 異聞』) or Strange Tidings from the World of Immortals in 1821. Through Senkyō ibun, Atsutane made further inquiry into the spiritual realm through the testimonies of a Tengu boy named Torakichi. Tengu are said to live in high mountains, travel to and from the kakuriyo realm, possess extraordinary spiritual power, and conduct superhuman feats.93 As described by Wilburn Hansen, Atsutane records in his Senkyō ibun results from his interviews of Torakichi about his experiences of travelling to and observing the kakuriyo spiritual realm.94 1822 was another fruitful year in Atsutane’s ethnographic studies, as he completed Katsugorō saiseiki or A Recorded Account of Katsugorō’s Rebirth, a documentation of young peasant boy Katsugorō’s alleged rebirth from his previous life, also as a peasant boy Fujikura, who had died of smallpox at age six to a different peasant family in the same Tama county of Musashino province in 1810 (Bunka 7). Katsugorō testifies to his encounter with the Ubusuna kami Kumano avatar (産土神熊野権現) in the yūmeikai spiritual realm, before his rebirth into his new life in this world. Atsutane’s fruitful ethnographic inquiry through testimony from the child informant Torakichi, encouraged him to next interview this Katsugorō regarding his  92  McNally, p. 122. Watanabe, p. 171. 94 Hansen, p. 200. 93  40  experiences of the afterlife and invisible realm, which buttressed his theories asserted in his earlier foundational texts. Then in that same year of 1822, Atsutane completed Kokon yōmikō (『古今妖魅考』) or Thoughts on Supernatural Beings Past and Present which responds to Hayashi Razan’s Jinja kō (『神社考』) or Treatise on Shrines, and urges the people of Japan to worship the kami and revere the kakuriyo spiritual realm, and to reject Buddhist notions of paradise. Among the most characteristic features of Hirata kokugaku, are his religious faith and the spiritual dimensions he accentuated in kokugaku thought. Atsutane is responsible for the “positivization” (sekkyokuka) and “religionization” (shūkyōka) of Shinto, for taking the emphasis away from “passivity” (judōtai) seen in the literary studies of the Motoori school, and emphasizing actual “practice” (jissensei) in faith and daily life, according to Matsumoto Sannosuke.95 Tahara Tsuguo also contrasted the “scholarly, static characteristic” (gakumonteki, seiteki) of Norinaga’s kokugaku to Hirata kokugaku’s “religious tendency” (shūkyōteki keikō) and Atsutane’s “evangelistic character” (dendōshateki).96 Tahara observed that Atsutane saw his contemporary age as one of decline for Buddhism and revival for Shinto. Whereas Norinaga conducted his scholarship in the rural castle town of Matsuzaka in Ise province, and remained for the most part in his hometown to which scholars from across Japan came to enrol in his academy as his disciples, Atsutane, based in the shogun’s capital and urban centre of Edo, travelled through eastern Japan, in part to actively recruit disciples of a broad social spectrum from throughout the country. The growth of Atsutane’s academy during and beyond his lifetime to well over four thousand registrants into the early Meiji years is a result of the “evangelistic”  95 96  Matsumoto Sannosuke. Kokugaku seiji shisō no kenkyū. Miraisha, 1972. pp. 93-107. Tahara Tsuguo. Hirata Atsutane. Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 1963. p. 141.  41  practice of Atsutane, Kanetane, and Nobutane traveling the countryside and actively recruiting disciples. Large-scale publication and dissemination of Atsutane’s writings served as a major vehicle for expanding the Hirata academy, and perhaps the best example of this is his Maiasa shinhaishiki (『毎朝神拝詞記』) or Morning Order for Worship, a norito liturgy for worshipping twenty-five series of deities and shrines. Atsutane opens Maiasa shinhaishiki with the following instructions: “Awake early in the morning, wash your face and hands, rinse your mouth, purify your body, first face toward the land of Yamato, and clap your hands twice.”97 Atsutane then instructs one to reverently worship from afar the Heavenly Pillar and Earthly Pillar deities, also known as the wind gods Shinatsuhiko Shinatsuhime no kami, and additionally referred to as Tatsuta no kaze no kami, which rule over the wind and weather. Secondly, Atsutane instructs one to “Next face the heavenly sun, clap both hands, bow in reverence,” and to reverently worship from afar the solar deity Amaterasu, the Imperial Musubi gods, and all the eight million gods, beginning with the Great god Izanagi.98 Atsutane’s concern for deity and ancestral worship at the local level is seen in articles twelve through fourteen, wherein he gives instruction to reverently worship ones local shrine, the tutelary god of that place, and the altar to the gods in ones home.99 I will elaborate more on this in chapter six, in my discussion of Tsuruya Ariyo’s norito and religious practice within the Tsugaru group. Atsutane is known to have purified himself each morning and worshipped the heavenly and earthly deities and ancestors, reciting this liturgy.100 He wrote Tama dasuki (Precious Sleeve Cord), a ten-volume commentary on the Maiasa shinhaishiki, to expound the  97  Hirata Atsutane, Maiasa shinhaishiki. SHAZ, Vol. 6, p. 4. Ibid. p. 5. 99 Ibid. pp. 10-11. 100 Watanabe, p. 209. 98  42  divine way for his disciples. Maiasa shinhaishiki was the most-highly published and widely disseminated of Astutane’s writings, with an estimated 13,976 copies published by 1875 (Meiji 8), followed by Ōharae no kotoba seikun (『大祓詞正訓』) at 11,191, and Tama no mihashira at fifth, with around 10,050 copies.101  Looking Northward Atsutane’s concern for the invisible realm of spirits did not take his attention away from current events of Japan and the world, nor from matters of national security. Atsutane was aware of the foreign threat from the north, particularly toward the northern island of Ezo, around the turn of the nineteenth century, as accentuated in recent research by scholars working with the new Hirata materials.102 In 1792, a Russian expedition led by Lieutenant Adam Laxman arrived in Nemuro, seeking commercial trade with Japan. English warships were also entering Japan’s coastal waters, and in 1796 and 1797 William Broughton surveyed the waters around Ezo and the Kuriles. Such activities heightened the Tokugawa shogunate’s sense of crisis toward these areas and led to increased military defence, including the transfer in 1802 of all of Eastern Ezo from the jurisdiction of Matsumae domain to the bakufu.103 Several intellectuals called attention to the issue of Japanese security, but the Bakufu discouraged such public discussion. Kaikoku heidan (『海国兵談』) or The Military Defense of a Maritime Country by Hayashi Shihei (1738-93), called for Japan’s military armament to defend against Russia’s southward advancement. This work was printed in 1791 (Kansei 3), but the bakufu prohibited it that same 101  “Hirata juku kankōbutsu jōi nijūsshu ichiran hyō,” Meiji ishin to Hirata kokugaku. p. 39. Miyachi Masato. “Ibukinoya to yonsennin no montei tachi.” Bessatsu Taiyō: Chi no nettowaaku no senkakusha Hirata Atsutane. Eds. Maita Katsuyasu and Aramata Hiroshi. Heibonsha, 2004. 103 Miyachi, “Ibukinoya to yonsennin no montei tachi.” pp. 102-103, Totman, Conrad. Early Modern Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. pp. 493-94. 102  43  year, burning his book and printing blocks, and punished Shihei with house arrest in Sendai, where he died the following year.104 As Miyachi highlights, Hirata Tōbei, who adopted Atsutane in 1800, was a Yamaga-style military strategist, and undoubtedly exposed Atsutane to discussions of foreign crisis and Japan’s military preparedness from early on in his days studying in Edo.105 Evidence of Atsutane’s awareness of the foreign threat and Japan’s military preparedness is seen in his Chishima no shiranami (『千島の白波』), or White Waves of the Kuriles, begun in 1808 and completed in 1813. Atsutane states in the very opening, “This book resulted from the commotion caused last year in the year of hinoe tora, when the Russians unexpectedly arrived in Ezo,”106 pointing to the 1806 and 1807 Russian incursion of the northern island and the panic it caused as the first motivations to compile this work. Chishima no shiranami is a 10-volume compilation of official documents related to foreign vessels visiting the country’s coasts since the mid-eighteenth century, including the Russian incursion mentioned above, and the incident surrounding the English vessel Phaeton forcibly entering Nagasaki harbour in 1808 (Bunka 5). Atsutane, who demonstrated an awareness and concern for the northern threat through Ezo, also undertook Russian language studies around this period, as evidenced by documents made public recently. Roshiya go, or Russian language, is a two-volume booklet containing roughly 1,800 Russian words rendered in both Russian and the Japanese katakana syllabary, which Atsutane compiled for personal study.107 He also possessed Oroshiya moji or Russian  104  Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000. p. 263. 105 Miyachi, “Ibukinoya to yonsennin no montei tachi.” p. 104. 106 Chishima no shiranami, SHAZ, Supp. 5, p. 1. 107 For a description and study of Atsutane’s Roshiya go and other Russian language study materials, see Iwai Noriyuki. “Bakumatsu Roshia go kenkyū no shinshutsu shiryō ni tsuite: Kokugakusha Hirata Atsutane no Roshia go shiryo” (An Inquiry into New Materials for Early Russian Studies in Japan). Meiji daigaku jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo kiyō. Vol. 65 (March 31, 2009), pp. 39-59.  44  letters, transmitted by former castaway to Russia, Daikokuya Kōdayū (1751-1828),108 and handcopied by Atsutane in 1808. Roshia moji renshū chō, or Manual for practicing Russian letters which contains a pronunciation guide for Russian letters is another text for Russian language studies from Atsutane’s collection.109 As Iwai Noriyuki observes, although Atsutane did not achieve mastery of the language to the point of translating diplomatic notes by Russian naval officer Nikolai Khvostov which he appears to have made early attempts at, he nevertheless demonstrates acquisition of the Russian alphabet and some words. In his day, Atsutane also acquired an impressive collection of available materials on the Russian language, geography, history, and society.110 Atsutane’s memories of the north—of his native domain of Akita in Dewa province, along with neighbouring Mutsu province from his formative years to age twenty—evidently remained with him, and even informed his scholarship, as seen in some of his major works. Atsutane offers commentary in Tama no mihashira on the Divine Age passage of Ninigi no mikoto, grandson of the solar deity Amaterasu, and his famous descent from the High Plain of Heaven (Takamagahara) down to the Central Land of Reed Plains (Ashihara no nakatsukuni) on  108  Daikokuya Kōdayū, originally from Ise, was a sailor who was shipping rice to Edo in 1783 (Tenmei 2), when he was shipwrecked and washed ashore on Kamchatka in the Aleutian islands, and spent close to a decade in Russia. In 1792, he accompanied Lt. Adam Laxman and was returned to Japan. He wrote of his experiences overseas in Hokusa bunryaku (『北槎聞略』) of 1794 (Kansei 6), edited by Katsuragawa Hoshū. 109 Meiji ishin to Hirata kokugaku, p. 17. Both Roshia go and Orosha moji are archived along with other documents in the Hirata Atsutane collection at the National Museum of Japanese History in Sakura, Chiba, Japan. For other articles regarding these texts and Atsutane’s study of the Russian language, see Hoshiyama Kyoko, “Hirata Atsutane no shiso keisei to Roshia kiki,” Jinbun ronshū, Vol. 41 (2, March 31, 2006), pp. 117-140. 110 Iwai. “Bakumatsu Roshia go kenkyū no shinshutsu shiryō ni tsuite: Kokugakusha Hirata Atsutane no Roshia go shiryo.” Iwai lists seventeen documents originally in Atsutane’s possession, which demonstrate his interest in and concern for Russia. They are: Chishima no shiranami, Roshiya kotei keizu (Genealogy of the Russian Emperor), Sekii den ryaku (Abridged Biography of the Red Barbarians), Sekijin mondō (Questions and Answers on the Red People), Roshiya shūsetsu (Collected Writings on Russia), Roshiyago, Oroshiya moji, Roshiya moji renshūchō, Yezo shotō ichiran ryakuzu (Ezo Islands Map Catalogue), Etorofu zu (Iturup Map), Nagasaki zu (Nagasaki Map), Chishima no shiranami fuzu (White Waves of the Kuriles: Maps Appended), Yezo chizu (Ezo Map), Roshiya moji A, Roshiya moji B, Okuyaku setsui (Kanbun Translation of Russian literature), Roshiya moji C.  45  earth, which he reconstructed in Koshiseibun.111 Atsutane argues that an oft-debated term “ukijimari” refers not to a “floating island” which Ninigi no mikoto crossed on his descent to earth, but serves simply as a pillow word to decorate the more substantial word of “sori” in “soritatashi,” which, he interprets as “the force of descending, from heaven to this land, through forcefully parting the way, parting the way…” (「天よりこの国に。稜威の道別き道別給ひ て。降坐す御稜威の。」). Atsutane then offers a correlating allegory from his native Akita in explaining the action of Ninigi no mikoto parting the thick clouds to make his way in his descent from heaven: There is something called a sled (sori 橇), one rides in countries with heavy snowfall. Just as I rode and observed while I lived in Akita of Dewa, riding this object and [observing] the act of parting the way, parting the snow and pushing through, [I saw] how well it corresponded with the expression, “forcefully parting a way through,” referring to something that advances with force. Therefore, that term “sori” (曾理) is a term applied from the intensity of the momentum of parting one’s way through a snowy path.112 In this way, Atsutane makes reference to images of a sled (sori, 橇) back in Akita domain in the winter time, forcefully sledding along, pushing the deep snow to the side, as it clears for itself a path , “parting the way, parting the snow and pushing through” with force. He associates the “sori” of the sled in northern Akita with the “sori” (曾理) of “soritatashi” (曾理發), to interpret this term, again as “the force of descending, from heaven to this land, through forcefully parting the way, parting the way,” in understanding Ninigi no mikoto’s descent to earth, an event in the  111  Atsutane comments on Ninigi no mikoto’s descent aboard a “floating bridge of heaven” (ameno ukihashi), arguing this was more a “floating” boat, than a fixed bridge between heaven and earth as asserted by Hattori Nakatsune in his Sandaikō. Hirata Atsutane, Tama no mihashira, SHAZ, Vol. 7, p. 150. Though Atsutane is commenting on his own “reconstituted” version of this scene from ancient history in Koshi seibun, Donald L. Philippi translates the corresponding passage from the Kojiki in the following way: “Then AMATU-PIKO-PO-NO-NINIGI-NO-MIKOTO was commanded to leave the Heavenly Rock-Seat. Pushing through the myriad layers of the heavens’ trailing clouds, pushing his way with an awesome pushing, he stood on a flat floating island by the Heavenly Floating Bridge, and descended from the heavens to the peak KUZI-PURU-TAKE of Mount TAKA-TI-PO of PIMUKA in TUKUSI. Philippi, Donald. L. Trans. and notes. Kojiki. University of Tokyo Press, 1968. p. 141. 112 Hirata Atsutane, Tama no mihashira, SHAZ, Vol. 7, p. 151.  46  Divine Age history which leads eventually to his descendant emperors’ rule over the Central Land of Reed Plains. Earlier, in the same Tama no mihashira, Atsutane makes another reference to northern Japan as a part of his commentary on an early passage of Koshiseibun. The Divine Age scene begins with a single object suspended in space and floating.113 From within that object, sprouts up something like reed-shoots. From these, deities came into existence for the first time. Their names were Umashi ashikabi hikochino kami. Next was Ameno sokotachi no kami. These two pillars of deities are again single deities, and they hid themselves.114 Based on the fact that these deities (kami) sprouted (moe) from the floating object, Atsutane speculates: What I wonder according to this is whether “kami” (カミ) is derived from the word “kabimoe” (reeds sprouting カビモエ). That is, because this deity is the first deity to be formed, I believe that “kami” refers to not only these deities, but to other deities broadly. It is said that on the far reaches of Mutsu province, even now kami (gods) are referred to as ‘kamui’ or ‘kamoe.’ This is a case of ancient language being preserved there by chance.”115 Based on this divine age passage wherein two deities Umashi ashikabi hikochino kami and Ameno sokotachi no kami are formed from the floating reed-shoot like objects, Atsutane conjectures that the term “kami” meaning deity or god comes from “kabimoe” which means “reeds sprouting,” and he makes reference to the “far reaches of Mutsu province,” where “kami” are called “kamui” or “kamoe” even in contemporary times, suggesting that this language had survived from ancient times, possibly derived from the original “kabimoe.”116 A reference to language in the north is seen also in Koshiden, in which Atsutane provides commentary on his Koshiseibun. In the very first of 165 articles in the Koshiseibun, Atsutane 113  The corresponding passage from the Kojiki is as follows: “Next, when the land was young, resembling floating oil and drift-like a jellyfish, there sprouted forth something like reed-shoots. From these came into existence the deity UMASI-ASI-KABI-PIKO-DI-NO-KAMI; next, AME-NO-TOKO-TATI-NO-KAMI. These two deities also came into existence as single deities, and their forms were not visible.” Philippi, p. 47. 114 Tama no mihashira, SHAZ, Vol. 7, p. 99. 115 Ibid. p. 100. 116 It should be noted that “kamui” is also the Ainu word for deity.  47  comments on the etymology of “musu” from the deity name of Takamimusubi no kami, the second of the three creator deities that existed even before the creation of heaven and earth, the first deity being Amenominaka nushi no kami and the third Kamumimusubi no kami.117 “Musu” rendered with the Chinese character 産 (umu, san), refers to birth, giving birth, or fertility, and Atsutane makes the point that this word has been abbreviated from its previous, fuller reading of “Umusu,” a reading which he says existed in his day in certain provinces. He continues with another reference to his native Akita with the following footnote: “In Akita of Dewa, 蒸 [“musu” or “fukasu” which means “to steam”] is read “umusu”. Around the summer time, when it is terribly hot, they say, “today it is terribly “umushite” (“steaming”) and such.”118 Here we see another example of Atsutane drawing upon memory of his native Akita and the language there preserved from ancient times to help him make sense of ancient history and language of the divine age. While there is no denying Atsutane paid attention to locales in the Kanto region, including shrines in Kashima, Katori, and Ikisu, here I have drawn attention to Atstuane’s view also of the north, which has hitherto been overlooked in English-language scholarship.  Atsutane’s Later Years In 1823 (Bunsei 6) at age 48, Atsutane, now established as a well-published scholar, made his lone visit to Kyoto, where he offered his writings to the imperial court. Leaving Edo on the 22nd day of the seventh month, Atsutane travelled the Tōkaidō highway, accompanied by recently enrolled disciple Ōta Toyotarō Tomoyasu (太田豊太郎朝恭) and servant Matahira (又 117 118  Also rendered as Kamimusubi no kami. Hirata Atsutane, Koshiden, vol. 1, SHAZ, Vol. 1. p. 101.  48  平), a company of three.119 On the third day of the eighth month, they paid respects at Atsuta shrine, then entered the capital three days later on the sixth.120 In Kyoto, Atsutane entrusted his books to Yoshida school Shinto priests, Mutobe Tokika and his son Yoshika (1806-65), who delivered them to Emperor Ninkō (1800-46, reign: 1817-46). Atsutane offered selected copies of some of his major works which included Koshiseibun (『古史成文』Ancient History Reconstituted), Koshi chō (『古史徴』Meaning of Ancient History) and its opening volume of Koshi chō kaidaiki (『古史徴開題記』Meaning of Ancient History Commentaries), Jindai gokeizu (『神代御系図』Divine Age Genealogy), Tama no mihashira (『霊能真柱』August Pillar of the Spirit), and Koshiden (『古史伝』Lectures on Ancient History).121 Mutobe Yoshika, who later became a Hirata disciple, reported to Atsutane that the emperor was indeed impressed and had stated, “His exceptional efforts and [scholarly] interests are fine.”122 Atsutane was overjoyed to know that his main objective for visiting Kyoto had born fruitful results. For his first and only time, Atsutane visited Nudenoya, an academy in Kyoto started by Norinaga disciple Kido Chidate (城戸千楯) who taught on Norinaga’s teachings, focusing primarily on poetry and prose.123 At Nudenoya, Atsutane met Hattori Nakatsune who was residing in Kyoto at the time.124 Nakatsune’s Sandaikō of 1791 had been an influential treatise for Atsutane’s theories on the spiritual realm articulated in Tama no mihashira of 1812, and the two spoke in length, especially about their resolve to pursue studies on the Ancient Way as opposed to that of poetry and prose, in line with the desires of their Master Norinaga.125 Atsutane  119  Hirata Kanetane, Daigaku kun, p. 608. Daigaku kun, p. 608. 121 Hirata Kanetane, Daigaku kun, p. 608. 122 McNally, p. 167, Watanabe, p. 79. 123 Watanabe, p. 69. McNally, pp. 56-57. 124 Watanabe, p. 290. 125 See McNally, pp. 168-170. 120  49  left Wakayama on the 25th day of the tenth month, visited Yamato, where an ancient capital had been located, and “paid respects to the old and precious shrines.”126 On the first of the eleventh month, he worshipped at the inner and outer shrines of Ise shrine. Then on the fourth of the eleventh month, Atsutane paid respects at the grave of Motoori Norinaga on Mount Yamamuro on the outskirts of Matsusaka, about eleven years after he completed his seminal work Tama no mihashira, in which he had expressed a desire in the next life to pay respects with his wife before Norinaga’s spirit and to serve him.127 From there, he visited the Suzunoya academy and met Norinaga’s sons and scholarly successors, Motoori Haruniwa and Ōhira in Matsusaka.128 Atsutane received from Haruniwa a brush which had been used personally by Norinaga, and Atsutane later used it to write a portion of a polished draft (清 書) of his Koshiden.129 Ōhira introduced Atsutane to Norinaga’s posthumous disciple, Ban Nobutomo (1773-1846). The two developed a friendship which later soured, through a series of events which included each accusing the other of plagiarism and dishonest scholarship.130 From Matsuzaka, Atsutane and his company returned to the Tōkaidō highway, and on the twelfth day, he stopped by Sunpu, before heading home to Edo. On the 19th day of the 11th month, Atsutane finally returned home after an eventful journey which lasted close to four months. A month after returning from his travels which featured a visit to the imperial court in Kyoto, in the twelfth month of 1823, was appointed instructor to the Yoshida lineage of Shinto priests. Atsutane and his academy developed strong ties with the major schools of Shinto priests:  126  Hirata Kanetane, Daigaku kun, p. 611. A memorial was erected next to Norinaga’s grave on Mount Yamamuro, with the inscription of Atsutane’s waka poem, appearing in his Tama no mihashira of 1812: “No matter where my corpse may turn into soil, my soul is 127  bound for the resting place of the Old Man”「なきがらは なむ」Tama no mihashira, p. 180. 128 Watanabe, p. 65. 129 Hirata Kanetane, Daigaku kun, p. 611. 130 Watanabe, p. 109.  何処の土に  なりぬとも  魂は翁の  ゆか  もとに往か  50  the court noble (公家) Yoshida house; and the Shirakawa house, descendants of the Jingikan (Office of Divine Affairs) leader Jingihaku. In 1665, the Tokugawa bakufu granted position and authority to the Yoshida family to control shrines and the priesthood, making it the leading Shinto family for a period, until the eighteenth century when its role and authority which had been high in the Daijōsai or Rite of Great Tasting, following the Rite of Imperial Accession, declined.131 The Yoshidas were court nobles (公家), and conferred deified names and licenses of priesthood (神職の裁許状) mainly to small and mid-sized shrines.132 In 1791 (Kansei 3), they established an office in Edo in an attempt to extend their influence into Eastern Japan, and accordingly, regarded Atsutane in Edo as a key figure for this expansion. From the latter half of the eighteenth century, the established Yoshida and emerging Shirakawa houses competed for control over shrines and Shinto priests in the Kantō region and Edo, and their rivalry is reflected also in their solicitation of ties with Atsutane and the Hirata academy which expanded increasingly from late-Tokugawa into early-Meiji. Atsutane was appointed instructor for the Yoshida school in the twelfth month of 1823 (Bunsei 6). Kanetane records that Atsutane was appointed by Lord Yoshida of Third Rank 吉田三位殿 to “thoroughly teach the core of Ancient Way studies” to priests of the Yoshida school.133 However, after 1829 (Bunsei 12), Atsutane became distanced from the Yoshida house and moved steadily closer to the Shirakawas, who in 1840 (Tenpō 11), appointed him an instructor for their house.134 Two years after Atsutane’s death in 1845 (Kōka 2), the Shirakawa family conferred upon him the deified name “Kami and Great Man of the August Pillar of the Soul” (神霊真柱大人). Then in 1853 (Kaei 6), the Shirakawas conferred upon the entire Hirata family the deified name “Kami of 131  Endō, Hirata kokugaku to kinsei shakai, pp. 166-167. Meiji ishin to Hirata kokugaku, p. 29. 133 Hirata Kanetane, Daigaku kun, p. 612. 134 Endō, p. 209, Meiji ishin, p. 30. 132  51  generations of the Hirata family” (平田家代々霊神). This official deification of Atsutane, and to a lesser extent the Hirata family, by the Shirakawa house had a major impact on the Ibukinoya’s expansion and religious following by disciples in local communities, as seen in such local communities as the Ina Valley, Akita, and Tsugaru. In 1840 (Tenpō 11), a bakufu official questioned Atsutane concerning his writings beginning with Tenchō mukyū reki (『天朝無窮暦』), or Eternal Calendar of the Heavenly Court, as well as his social standing. Then, on New Years day in 1841 (Tenpō 12), Atsutane at age 66 was suddenly summoned by a domainal official to the Akita lord’s residence in Edo. He was ordered to cease both his writing activities and publishing, and was expelled from Edo to his native domain of Akita.135 Though Atsutane was startled by these sudden orders, he hurriedly gathered his belongings and left Edo with wife Orise and servant Ichitarō (市太郎), without raising objection.136 Once arriving in Akita, he and Orise lived for a while in the Ōwada family residence in a small room of eight-straw mats. They endured a considerably more meagre lifestyle with strained finances due to a suspension in income from publishing, even compared to their time in Edo when they were never particularly affluent. Then in the fourth month of the following year, Akita domain granted Atsutane a residence in Nakakame (中亀). He died here on the eleventh of the ninth month in 1843 (Tenpō 14). His farewell waka poem (辞世の句) reads: Omou koto no Hitotsu mo kami ni Tsutome oezu Kyō makaru kana Atara kono yo wo  Not even one of the things I wished to complete before the Gods, was I able. I may die today and alas, part from this world.  135  As Watanabe states, the real reasons for and process that led to Atsutane’s expulsion to his native Akita domain are unclear. Watanabe, p. 349. 136 Ibid.  52  Despite all his achievements in scholarship, and his expounding on the gods and Ancient Way, Atsutane in his last days of illness, expressed personal dissatisfaction and his desire to have accomplished more for the gods. Undoubtedly, he was wishing to return to Edo to resume his writing and publishing.  Hirata Kokugaku Network: Ibukinoya, Kanetane, Nobutane, and the Disciples Even during Atstutane’s lifetime, his adopted son, Hirata Kanetane (銕胤), assisted his father in managing the Hirata academy, publishing, and dealing with the growing discipleship. Kanetane enjoyed scholarship from an early age, and was drawn to Atsutane’s work and took it up. He met Atsutane on the 16th day of the fifth month in 1822 (Bunsei 5), then became his disciple seven days later on the 23rd. Less than two years later, on the seventh day of the fourth month in 1824 (Bunsei 8), Kanetane married Atsutane’s eldest daughter Ochō (おてう). Kanetane became adopted son and successor to Atsutane, who had lost his two natural sons to early deaths. After Atsutane agreed to adopt Kanetane, family headship of his home went to Kanetane’s younger brother. Kanetane authored Norito seikun (『祝詞正訓』), or the Correct Readings for Norito. He was ordered to serve in the Kyoto liaison office of Akita domain from the eleventh month of 1862. There, his son Nobtunae met prominent court noble Iwakura Tomomi (1825-1883), then later Kanetane also met Iwakura and gained his favour, with whom he developed strong ties which continued into the Meiji period. Kanetane’s wife Ochō would go on to bear seven children. The support and assistance from the two women, mother Orise and daughter Ochō, were instrumental to their respective husbands Atsutane and Kanetane in their scholarship and management of the Ibukinoya. Ochō was very intelligent, and is known to have 53  memorized passages from Atsutane’s writings. In her last years, she took on the name of her mother, and became another Orise. Kanetane’s eldest son was born on the 13th day of the ninth month in 1828 (Bunsei 11), and was named Nobutarō (延太郎), and later renamed Nobutane (延胤). Nobutane carried on the scholarship of his grandfather and father, and during the Meiji Restoration participated in national affairs. Nobutane also played a significant role in Akita domain, which defied the pressure from other Tohoku domains to turn its loyalty toward the Imperial court. He eventually served the Imperial court, and from 1868 (Meiji 1) served as Office of Divine Affairs Jingi officer ( 神祇権判事), then from the following year as Jingi officer assistant, proselytizer, and reader to the emperor (神祇権大祐兼宣教権判官兼侍読).137 Nobutane died early, before his father, on the 24th of the first month in 1872 (Meiji 5), at age 45, and his death which occurred at a time of sharp decline in disciple enrolment proved to be a blow to the academy by its losing a chief administrator. Thanks to Kanetane’s and Nobutane’s devotion to their work primarily as administrators for the Ibukinoya, Atsutane, posthumously deified as “Kami and Great Man of the August Pillar of the Soul” (神霊真柱大人), remained recognized as the original teacher and Great Man (大人 ushi) of the Ibukinoya even after his death. As his adopted son and successor to the academy, Kanetane acted not as another scholar in his own right, but served primarily to solidify and expand the Ibukinoya academy and its network nationwide. He assisted Atsutane as his secretary, in preparing and editing manuscripts for publication.138 Kanetane also gathered funds needed to  137 138  Watanabe, p. 32. McNally, p. 211, Itō Tasaburō. Kokugakusha no michi, Shintaiyōsha, 1944. p. 98.  54  publish many of Atsutane’s works.139 Atsutane, Kanetane, and Nobutane traveled from their base in Edo to rural communities to deliver lectures, then recruit disciples from among the audience. The location of the Hirata academy changed periodically along with the family’s residence. In the spring of 1804 (Bunka 1), Atsutane at age 29 named his house Masugenoya (眞 菅乃屋), where he began his medical practice and started lecturing to his students at his residence.140 From this time he began to attract disciples. In 1807 (Bunka 4), Kanetane records in his timeline that, “for the sake of scholarly work (学業), he took his daughter Chieko and moved residence to a place called Moriyama chō,” located in Kyōbashi (京橋守山町).141 For the next few years the Hirata family moved multiple times within Kyōbashi. In 1813 (Bunka 10) they changed residence to Kitahachichō hori kajimachi (北八丁堀鍛冶町), and three years later in the spring of 1816 (Bunka 13) the family returned to Kyōbashi in Sanjū ma hori 三十間堀. In the fourth month of 1816 (Bunka 13), Atsutane worshipped at three shrines in Kashima, Katori, and Ikisu (鹿嶋・香取・息栖), and while visiting the Hachiman shrine in Obama village, he discovered the “Stone flute of heaven” (天之石笛).142 He was moved by this discovery, and his disciples later compiled Amano iwa fue ki (『天之石笛記』) or Records of the Stone Flute of Heaven, and Atsutane was compelled to change the name of his home and academy from Masugenoya to “Ibukinoya” or “House of Divine Breath.” He also took on for himself the name “Daigaku” (rendered as 大角, and later also as 大壑) or Large Horn. In 1820 (Bunsei 3), the Hirata family next moved to Yushima Tenjin Otoko zaka shita (湯島天神男坂下), where they would remain for 15 years as the Ibukinoya continued to expand. 139  McNally, p. 211. Watanabe, “Hirata Atsutane ryaku nenpu.” p. 520. 141 Hirata Kanetane, Daigaku kun, p. 602. 142 Maita, “Network,” p. 44. 140  55  Here they were located in the vicinity of the Neo-Confucian Shōheikō Academy administered by the Hayashi family, descended from Hayashi Razan (1583-1657), and supported by the Bakufu. In the 12th month of 1835 (Tenpō 6), the Hirata family moved their residence from Yushima Tenjin to Negishi Shinden (根岸新田), where Atsutane lived for six years before his expulsion from Edo to Akita.143 Then in the third month of 1868 (Meiji 1), Kanetane and his wife Orise (Ochō) and their family moved from Edo to Kyoto. The following year in 1869 (Meiji 2), Kanetane returned to Edo, but once again relocated to Kyoto in the 11th month of that year. In the tenth month of 1871 (Meiji 4), Kanetane and his wife received a letter from their daughter-in-law which reported that Nobutane was near death. Concerned for their son, Kanetane and Orise returned to Tokyo, and this following the “Offense against National Affairs Incident,” which proved a major crisis for the academy and heralded its decline that year.144 I will now examine some representative local communities of Hirata disciples. By the time of Atsutane’s death in 1843, the Ibukinoya academy had grown throughout Japan with 550 disciples, and the academy expanded in the late-Tokugawa, peaking at 4,283 disciples by the early years of Meiji.145 A center of Hirata students, Shimōsa province of present-day northern Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures had over 200 enrolled students around the time of the Restoration, and was described by Itō Tasaburō as Atsutane’s most trusted group of disciples. Miyahiro Sadao (1797-1858), who was once disowned by his father for excessive drinking and corruption, later turned himself around into an industrious village headman (nanushi) of Matsuzawa village in Katori district.146 The self-proclaimed “Potato-digging headman” (芋堀名主) is known for developing new fields, repairing roads, and growing medicinal herbs. Atsutane visited and 143  Watanabe, p. 259, p. 439. Meiji ishin, nenpu, p.72. I discuss the “Offense against National Affairs Incident” in greater detail in chapter eight. 145 Itō Tasaburō. Sōmō no kokugaku. Meicho shuppan, 1982. pp. 4-5. 146 Itō, p. 12. 144  56  lectured in this region in 1816 (Bunka 13), immediately recruiting 44 disciples. Atsutane later sent Kanetane here several times to collect funds for publishing. Prominent figures such as Suzuki Masayuki (鈴木雅之) and Inō Hidenori (伊能頴則) also emerged from this group. Miyahiro Sadao enrolled in the Hirata academy in 1826 (Bunsei 9) at age 30. During Atsutane’s lifetime, 110 disciples joined from the Shimōsa region, making up roughly one fifth of the total discipleship before the master’s death. The Ibukinoya diary records that Sadao frequently visited the Hirata academy after his enrolment. From that year, the Hirata family came to publish Sadao’s Nōgyō yōshū (『農業要集』), or Essentials on Agriculture, which teaches agriculturalists about the practice and profitability of planting. This was the first of multiple agricultural manuals the Hirata family published, an enterprise for which Kanetane visited Matsuzawa, and Sadao visited the Ibukinoya. 185 copies of this text were sent to Matsuzawa, and later 337 more by hikyaku carrier. Orders for such agricultural manuals reached as many as several hundred, from among the agricultural communities of Hirata disciples, as was the case with Sōmoku tane erami (sic.『草木撰種録』), or Records of Plant Seed Selection, which explains plant gender and argues for a large harvest from planting female seeds. As the Hirata family developed its publishing practices, Sadao provided the capital, and also served as facilitator from 1833 for publishing orders which Atsutane accepted. Sadao’s Kokueki honron (『国益本論』), or Thesis on National Profit of 1832, argues for the increase of national profit, the necessity for peasant education in this process, and the importance of revering and worshipping kishin (鬼神) spirits who bring about prosperity, but whose wrath would be incurred when angered, resulting in misfortune.147 Harootunian  147  Miyahiro Sadao. “Kokueki honron,” NST, Vol. 51, Kokugaku undō no shisō. Eds. Haga Noboru and Matsumoto Sannosuke. Iwanami shoten, 1971. p. 292. This treatise begins with the opening lines, “The foundation for national profit is the way of education. If the people of the realm establish the Way, the spirits sense this and bestow fortune  57  contends that Atsutane popularized kokugaku among agriculturalists across rural Japan through “routinizing the Ancient Way,” by connecting the Way and the everyday life of commoners.148 As a result, in his writings and leadership as village head of Matsuzawa, “Miyahiro’s central concern was to find ways to cement the relationship between [divine] service and work.”149 The hotbed of Hirata disciples was Shinano province or present-day Nagano, which had over 630 students. The Ina Valley was an especially good example of kokugaku’s penetration into an agricultural village, which was the single largest Hirata disciple community with 386 members.150 After Commodore Perry’s arrival to Uraga Bay in 1853, Katagiri Harukazu (1818-?), a peasant from Yamabuki domain collected temple bells in hopes of melting them into cannons, and organized and drilled a unit of soldiers of local samurai and peasants. These training sessions would be held monthly into the 1860s. In 1857 (Ansei 4) Harukazu went to Edo to study martial arts, where he met Kanetane and became a Hirata disciple. From 1862, Harukazu began sponsoring locals as new disciples of the academy, eventually leading to the enrolment of 54 total disciples from Yamabuki domain. Harukazu’s study group founded in 1865, the Mameo no tsudoi, or “Circle of Sincere Men,” was also instrumental in expanding this disciple community. This study group gathered once a month on the 11th—the day of Atsutane’s passing—to worship his portrait, hold a festival, recite prayers, then discuss and debate on the ancient Way and read the Master’s works.151 Anne Walthall demonstrates how Hirata kokugaku was closely linked with military preparedness in late-Tokugawa Yamabuki domain. The Ina Valley disciples are on the people. If the people turn their backs to the Way, the spirits will be angry at this and bestow misfortune on もと  た  み  きしん  さいわい  いやしくも  people.” 「国益の本は教道にあり。天下の人民道立てば、鬼神之に感じて、民に 福 を下す。 苟 人民 そむ  わざわい  道に乖けば、鬼神之に怒て、民に 禍 を下す。」 148 Harootunian, p. 176. 149 Ibid. p. 297. 150 Walthall, Anne. “Nativism as a Social Movement: Katagiri Harukazu and the Hongaku reisha,” Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami. Eds. John Breen and Mark Teeuwen. Surrey, Great Britain: Curzon Press, 2000. pp. 209211. 151 Itō 1982, p. 219.  58  also responsible for launching the publication of Koshiden, or Lectures on Ancient history, Atsutane’s magnum opus. Furthermore, Harukazu led the erecting of the Hongaku reisha shrine in 1867 which worshipped the four “great men” of kokugaku, Kada no Azumamaro, Kamo no Mabuchi, Norinaga, and Atsutane. Walthall narrates the fascinating story of how Matsuo Taseko (1811-1894), a highlyeducated peasant woman from the Ina Valley, participated in the politics of sonnō jōi (revere the emperor and expel the barbarians). Taseko was one of only twenty-nine female disciples in the Hirata academy, and the combination of her high-level education and notable socio-historical circumstances make her life and thought invaluable for its insights offered on the Meiji Restoration. As Walthall puts succinctly, “Poetry had given her a voice, national affairs gave her a subject, and the Hirata school gave her an institutional framework within which to be heard.”152 Akita domain—Atsutane’s hometown and place of exile late in life—also became the site of a major Hirata disciple community, known to have provided considerable financial support to the main school, especially for publishing, through book purchases and donations.153 Roughly 330 disciples from Akita had enrolled in the academy by 1872 (Meiji 5), with over 60 of them enrolling before Atsutane’s death in 1843 (Tenpō 14), and another 265 following his death.154 Ōtomo Naoe (大友直枝/吉言) became the first person from Akita to enrol as a disciple in Edo in 1812 (Bunka 9) and became the 39th disciple overall to register with the academy.155 Naoe was a Shinto priest of multiple shrines156 in Kimura, Hachizawa, Hiraka County (平鹿郡八沢木村) in Akita domain. Naoe studied in the Motoori school and with Imperialist scholar Gamō Kunpei  152  Walthall, Anne. The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. p. 109. 153 Yoshida Asako. Chi no kyōmei: Hirata wo meguru shomotsu no shakaishi. Perikansha, 2012. pp. 278-309. 154 Kirihara Yoshio. Hirata Atsutane to Akita no monjin. Bungeisha, 2001. p. 39. 155 Kirihara, p. 40. Seishi chō, SHAZ, Vol. Bekkan, p. 17. 156 These shrines were: 元式内社, 波宇志別神社, 塩湯彦神社  59  (蒲生君平 1768-1813),157 with his tuition subsidized by the Akita domainal lord Satake Yoshimasa (佐竹義和 1775-1815). Trained in kokugaku, Naoe was an instructor of Japanese studies (和学) at the Satake domainal school Meitokukan (明徳館), training students in that institution as well as other Shinto priests. Kirihara Yoshio describes Naoe’s relationship with Atsutane as one of peers, more than master-disciple, based on their correspondence.158 Both Atsutane and Naoe were disciples of Norinaga as well as physicians, Naoe being an optometrist. A head of shrine households (社家大頭) in Akita, Naoe carried out administrative responsibilities within the local priesthood, and wielded considerable influence in the local Shinto community. The second person from Akita to become Atsutane’s disciple was one of the most prominent individuals among the Hirata disciples—Satō Nobuhiro (佐藤信淵 1769-1850). Nobuhiro was born in Nishimonai, Ogachi county in Dewa province, and was active as an economic strategist (経世家) through the first half of the 19th century.159 When he was young he traveled the northern provinces of Mutsu and Dewa, and Kantō region with his father. Following his father’s death, in 1784 (Tenmei 4) Nobuhiro went to Edo where he studied Dutch Learning, astronomy, geography, calendar making, mathematics, and Confucianism, and afterwards pursued further travels and study, becoming active, especially in writing on military strategy and national defence. Becoming Atsutane’s disciple in 1829 (Bunka 12) was a decisive step in Nobuhiro’s scholarly career, as he would be influenced by the kokugaku thought of his teacher.160 That same year, he sought further instruction in Shinto by becoming a disciple of  157  Gamō Kunpei was an imperialist scholar, born in Utsunomiya, who surveyed imperial tombs and based on this compiled Sanryō shi (『山陵史』 History of Imperial Tombs) 158 Kirihara, p. 40. 159 Shimazaki Takao. Nihon shisō taikei. Vol. 45. Andō Shōeki, Satō Nobuhiro. Iwanami shoten, 1977. p. 604. 160 Ibid. p. 602.  60  Yoshikawa Genjūrō (吉川源十郎). During the Bunsei era (1818-30), Nobuhiro wrote most of his major works, Keizai yōroku (『経済要録』The Essence of Economics), Kondō hisaku (『混 同秘策』Confidential Plan of World Unification), Tenchūki (『天柱記』Record of the Heavenly Pillar), Yōzō kaikuron (『鎔造化育論』Essays on Creation and Cultivation), and Nōsei honron (『農政本論』The Essentials of Agricultural Politics). Nobuhiro addressed major problems of his day, related to agriculture, economy, politics, and security through his writing. Influenced by Atsutane’s Tama no mihashira, Motoori Norinaga’s Kojikiden, and Hattori Nakatsune’s Sandaikō, Nobuhiro’s kokugaku writings such as Tenchūki assert his ideas on cosmology and on the divine will of Musubi gods shaping the study of agro-politics.  Conclusion In this chapter, I offered a biographical sketch on Hirata Atsutane’s life, while outlining his thought and major works. In preparation for my discussion on Hirata kokugaku’s reception in Hirosaki by the Tsugaru group of disciples, and their activities and intellectual engagement, I highlighted in Atsutane’s life and thought, some important features that find parallel in the case of the disciples in Tsugaru. In the early years of his scholarship from 1805 through to 1820, Atsutane formulated his views on spirits, spirituality, and the invisible spiritual realm of kakuriyo, through such works as Shin kishinron and Kishin shinron and Tama no mihashira, drawing on ideas of Norinaga and Hattori Nakatsune. Shortly thereafter, Atsutane followed this up with ethnographic works based on commoners’ accounts of the spirit world, in Senkyō ibun in 1821 and Katsugorō saiseiki in 1822, as if to confirm his theories on eschatology and cosmology with the cases of real life informants. 61  Atsutane who was a native of Akita domain, Dewa province in northeastern Honshū, was conscious of the north in his scholarship. This is evident in his awareness of the threat from Russia on national security through the island of Ezo, as demonstrated through his Chishima no shiranami, as well as his Russian language study materials. One can also see that Atsutane’s memories of local culture and language in Akita and the north assist him in understanding ancient history and the divine age as examined in some of his seminal texts. Furthermore, Atsutane’s religious tendency added strong elements of religious thought and practice to kokugaku scholarship. A good example of this is his norito liturgy, the Maiasa shinhaishiki, his most published and widely disseminated document, which served as a medium for transmitting the religiosity of Hirata kokugaku to disciple communities throughout the country. I offered a general overview of the administration of the Ibukinoya academy by Atsutane and his son Kanetane, and grandson Nobutane, as well as an introduction to representative disciple communities in Shimōsa, Shinano, and Akita. I will now proceed to my discussion of Hirata kokugaku and the Tsugaru disciples, and demonstrate their parallels with Atsutane, as outlined above, and will characterize and orient the Tsugaru group within the larger Hirata discipleship.  62  Chapter 3 Hirata Kokugaku in Hirosaki Domain  Overview The previous chapter examined the life and thought of Hirata Atsutane, his academy, the Ibukinoya, its posthumous succession by Kanetane and Nobutane, and some representative communities of Hirata disciples throughout Japan. In order to provide socio-historical context for my discussion of Hirata kokugaku in Hirosaki domain, the present chapter begins with an outline of the history of this domain in late-Tokugawa times, examining developments and changes in economy, military defence, society, education, and religion. I introduce Tsuruya Ariyo and detail his role as leader and manager of the Tsugaru group which forms around him from 1857. I document the group’s pursuit of poetry and Hirata kokugaku, book purchases, and interactions with Kanetane and Nobutane in the Ibukinoya and other Hirata disciples. This group is also compared to Hirata disciple communities in neighbouring Akita and Morioka domains. Furthermore, I identify an autonomous nature among this group, centered around Ariyo and other townspeople pursuing poetry, as well as religious practice as a strong element of their activities.  History of Late-Tokugawa Hirosaki Domain Hirosaki domain made up the northwestern part of Mutsu province in premodern times, and occupies the western region of current-day Aomori prefecture, positioned at the northernmost tip of Honshū, the main island of Japan. From the Tokugawa period (1600-1867)  63  until the present day, agriculture has been at the centre of the Hirosaki economy.161 There were four major ports in Hirosaki: Tosa, Fukaura, Ajigasawara, and Aomori, and with the exception of Aomori, all of them face the Sea of Japan. Accordingly, the domain traded primarily along the western route, “nishimawari,” leading to Osaka and Kyoto, as opposed to the eastern route, “higashimawari,” leading to Edo.162 The major waterway separating Hirosaki from the northern island of Ezo, present-day Hokkaido, is the Tsugaru Strait, referred to from ancient times as the “path of the sea” (umi no michi).163 The Ushū highway (羽州街道), the major highway of the Mutsu Dewa provinces of the northeastern region in premodern times, also ran through Hirosaki. 164 Typically, this region including Tsugaru plain, an area surrounding Mount Iwaki (1,625 metres), experiences short summers and long cold winters, and because of its position situated on the Japan Sea coast, receives large amounts of rain and snowfall.165 Hirosaki domain (弘前藩) is commonly referred to as Tsugaru domain (津軽藩) or Tsugaru territory (津軽領), after the family that established control over the region in the late sixteenth century and successively ruled the domain throughout the Tokugawa period. According to Tsugaru records, Tsugaru Tamenobu (1550-1607), a descendant of the Fujiwara family, claimed authority over the Tsugaru plain, waging a battle to wrest control from the rival daimyo house, the Nanbu family.166 From 1571 to 1585, Tamenobu managed to drive the Nanbu from 161  While I focus my discussions in this paper on agriculture to the latter half of the Tokugawa period, it should be noted the Hirosaki region has a rich history of rice cultivation. The 1981 excavations of the Tareyanagi remains uncovered irrigated rice paddies from the Yayoi period (fourth century BCE to third century CE), two millennia ago, believed to be have been the northernmost rice fields from that era. The discovery of rice and farming tools from the ninth to tenth centuries, suggests rice cultivation was also practiced during the Heian period (794-1185). Hasegawa Seiichi. Tsugaru Matsumae to umi no michi. Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2001. pp. 54-56,60. 162 Ravina, Mark. Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan. pp. 115. 163 Hasegawa, Tsugaru Matsumae to umi no michi. 2001. p. 2. 164 Ravina, 1999. p. 115. 165 Ibid. 166 Ibid. 116. The records of the Nambu house tell a different story: Tsugaru Tamenobu had belonged to the Nanbu line, and left his family because of conflicts with his older brother. Tamenobu is depicted as a defector and his actions are not lauded. Ibid. p. 117.  64  major castles in the region, and by 1585, many vassals from Nanbu defected to the Tsugaru house. In 1589, Tamenobu aligned himself with the powerful warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598), and a year later was awarded the family name Tsugaru, and given control of three districts of Tsugaru plain. Tamenobu’s association with Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu (15421616), first shogun of the Tokugawa regime, helped to advance his position and landholdings. At the Battle of Sekigahara of 1600, the Tsugaru house, originally a vassal of Hideyoshi, supported Ieyasu and fought alongside Ieyasu’s Eastern Army, contributing to its victory. Thereafter, Ieyasu awarded Tamenobu, a formal investiture (omotedaka) of 47,000 koku of land, and the Tsugaru daimyo were classified as tozama “outside” lords, because they were not originally vassals of the Tokugawa, but fought for Ieyasu at Sekigahara.167 The Tsugaru clan’s support for Ieyasu and the Eastern Army can be confirmed through Sekigahara kassen byōbu, the magnificent eight-fold screens of the battle, given in 1610 by Ieyasu to his adopted daughter, as part of her dowry before giving her away in marriage to Tsugaru Nobuhira. 168 In 1805, the Tokugawa shogunate increased the Tsugaru clan’s land holding to 70,000 koku, and to 100,000 koku in 1808, although the domain’s actual holdings in 1700 reached almost 300,000 koku.169 The increases in 1805 and 1808 were the shogunate’s rewards to Hirosaki domain for its military service in defending Ezo against the Russians. The arrival in 1792 of a Russian envoy led by Lieutenant Adam Laxman (1766-1806) to Nemuro in Ezo (current-day Hokkaido) marks an important step in the modernization process for northern Japan and Hirosaki domain. Lieutenant Laxman came to Nemuro seeking trade relations with Japan, and in the fifth month of the following year, the Tokugawa shogunate sent  167  Ibid. A koku is a unit used for measuring rice grains, amounting to roughly 180 litres. Land during premodern times was measured, not in area, but by its agricultural yield. 168 Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan, p. 1, Hasegawa, Hirosaki han, p. 28. 169 Ravina, p. 117.  65  inspectors (metsuke), Ishikawa Tadafusa and Murakami Yoshiaya to meet with the Russian envoy. 170 The daimyo of Matsumae domain in Ezo, representing the shogunate, rejected Laxman’s request, stating that trade was only conducted through Nagasaki and issued a permit for a Russian vessel to enter Nagasaki port.171 The shogunate ordered Morioka (also known as Nanbu) and Hirosaki domains to dispatch troops and provide security for this meeting between the Matsumae daimyo and Edo inspectors and Russian envoy, and so Morioka sent 379 men, while Hirosaki sent 281.172 Then expanding the role of the two domains further, the shogunate in the eleventh month of 1799, ordered Morioka and Hirosaki to provide security for East Ezo, through stationing troops in Hakodate, which would include two or three administrators and 500 foot soldiers (ashigaru).173 Furthermore, it is from 1804 that the shogunate ordered Morioka and Hirosaki domains to carry out the long-term security of East Ezo. In the following year, the Tokugawa shogunate and northern domains faced their first test on the northern island and were given a scare that alarmed local residents of the threats from the north. In 1805, Nikolai Rezanov (1764-1807), director of the new Russo-American company, arrived in Nagasaki with the permit issued by the shogunate to Laxman, and demanded to the shogunate the opening up of commercial relations. 174 These demands were flatly rejected. Angered by the Tokugawa regime’s hard policy, Russian officers in subsequent years led retaliatory raids on Japanese posts in Etorofu and Ezo, which were met with fire from Japanese cannons along the Hirosaki coast toward the oncoming Russians.175 The Russians then countered  170  Hasegawa. Hirosaki han. p. 152. The Russian envoy also came to return two Japanese castaways including Daikokuya Kōdayū, who proved to be important bargaining chips in the envoy’s negotiations with the Tokugawa regime. 171 Hall, John Whitney. Japan: From Prehistory to Modern Times. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2002. p. 248. 172 Hasegawa, Hirosaki han. p.153. 173 As Hasegawa notes, this was not only a security measure, but also an infrastructural one, as part of the work in Ezo involved building and repairing roads and guard houses. Ibid. p. 154. 174 Ibid., p. 155. 175 Ibid., pp. 155-56  66  with the most technologically advanced firearms, causing the capsizing of Japanese ships. 700 died on the Japanese side. These events starting from Rezanov’s arrival in Nagasaki to the conflicts in Ezo and Hirosaki have been called the “Black ship incident of the north,” by Hasegawa Seiichi, who compares them to the arrival of U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry to Uraga Bay in Edo in 1853, which pressured the Tokugawa shogunate to abandon their sakoku (isolationist) policy, and eventually open up the country to commercial and diplomatic relations with the West.176 Despite Hirosaki’s relative distance from Edo, its inhabitants from early on in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were exposed to warnings of impending invasion from Europeans and Americans. The dangers posed by security tasks were not limited to military conflict alone. The harsh winter conditions of the region and poor food supply leading to malnutrition were in many cases just as fatal factors as the battles, if not more. Many casualties resulted from working in Ezo security, bringing hardship to those assigned soldiers.177 In return for their services of security in Ezo, the Tsugaru daimyo received two-month reductions in the sankin kōtai, alternate attendance travels to Edo. 178 In 1822, the shogunate transferred defense of Ezo from Hirosaki to Matsumae domain in Ezo, but still required Hirosaki to maintain a hundred soldiers for dispatch in situations of emergency.179 Thereafter, in order to defend its own coastline, Hirosaki domain prepared naval fortifications, purchasing hundreds of guns and cannons, and even attempted small-scale manufacturing of arms. The financial burden of military modernization grew heavy, and the government eventually passed the burden onto its retainers: in 1864, the domain issued an order to retainers receiving stipends over 100 koku to provide a gun for every 100 koku of income. In this way, Japan’s encounters with the Russians in  176  Hasegawa, Hirosaki han. p. 155. Ibid. pp. 159-60. 178 Ravina. p. 152. 179 Ibid. 177  67  1792 and 1805, and subsequent military confrontations forced the bakufu as well as local domains assigned to the security mission to become aware and vigilant of imposing threats. Maruyama Masao has argued, “This movement for coastal defense or kaibōron was simply the first step in the emergence of a premodern nationalism.”180 I shall next discuss the changing demographics of Hirosaki domain and the challenges the local leaders faced in balancing domainal finances. Throughout the Tokugawa period, the Tsugaru family maintained a band of vassals on a proportionately small peasant population.181 Mark Ravina, who has compared the demographics and political leadership in Yonezawa, Hirosaki, and Tokushima domains, cites data from the early Meiji period that indicates in Hirosaki 4,338 retainers were supported by a commoner population of 229,006, equal to 1.89 retainer stipends supported by every 100 commoners.182 This ratio was lower than in Yonezawa (6.77), but higher than in Tokushima (1.06). While these figures represent the demographics of a relatively stable period after 1868, there were times of instability during the Tokugawa years when this demographic balance was strained. In the second half of the Tokugawa period, Japan suffered two major famines caused by natural disaster: the Tenmei famine of the 1780s and the Tenpō famine of the 1830s. The Tenpō famine resulted from unusually cold weather and strong rains that destroyed crops throughout the countryside.183 Hirosaki was especially hard-hit by the Tenpō famine, as peasant starvation and flight caused major depopulation. According to reports of the famine, in 1831, the year preceding the start of the Tenpō famine, tax revenue collected by the domain amounted to 156,500 koku,  180  Maruyama Masao. Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan. Tr. Mikiso Hane. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1974. p. 343. 181 Ravina, 1999. p. 118. 182 Ibid. 183 Ibid. p. 147.  68  but two years later plummeted to 22,323 koku, one-seventh the original figure.184 Over a sevenyear period from 1832 to 1838, 35,616 people died in Hirosaki and another 47,043 left the domain and fled to other places.185 Such a sharp demographic plunge, a decline in population of over 80,000 people, posed great challenges for the Tsugaru regime. The Tsugaru regime was well aware that fluctuations in commoner population affected the domain’s finances, and so throughout the Tokugawa period, it made efforts to increase the agriculturalist population, including resettling samurai as farm workers and inviting immigrants from other regions. 186 Maintaining a large agricultural population was a priority in Hirosaki politics. Rice grain production remained the largest source of revenue, both consumed locally and exported, while grains and lumber were also major exports.187 From early to late 19th century, the government in Hirosaki continued to encourage high grain production, because it could not rely on commercial taxes due to underdeveloped commodity products. In 1815, taxes exacted on crafts and industries other than sake totalled less than one percent of the domain’s income, and despite government promotion, Tsugaru nuri, a famous local lacquerware, collected limited revenue. As Ravina has described, Hirosaki domain’s efforts at stabilizing its finances were based primarily on increasing population and food grain production, namely through large-scale shinden kaihatsu or the development of new agricultural fields, on a level unprecedented in Japan under Tokugawa rule. 188 Over the duration of the Tokugawa period, Hirosaki domain  184  The following year in 1834, revenue stabilized again at 158,256 koku, but in 1836 and 1838, figures peaked in the 40,000 koku range, about one-third, and never reached 100,000 in the other years. Hasegawa, Hirosaki han. p. 209. 185 Fleeing the domain was merely one expression of commoner dissatisfaction with the conditions in Hirosaki. Protest through breaking and damaging of property (uchikowashi) occurred in Aomori town, against wealthy farmers, merchants, and town officials who hoarded grain and were considered the root of the fiscal problems. There was also distrust toward the lavish personal spending by the daimyo. Ibid. pp. 209, 211-12. 186 Ravina, 1999. p. 118. 187 Ibid. p. 119. 188 Ibid. p. 120.  69  increased its number of villages as well as percentage of arable land many times over. While in 1600, there were 133 villages in the domain producing 47,000 koku, a cadastral survey in 1872 reveals these numbers multiplied to 836 villages yielding 340,000 koku: the domain’s arable land rose 623%, while the number of villages increased by 528%.189 Many of these land reclamation projects were responding also to the aforementioned crop failures and famines, namely of the 1780s and 1830s. As Hashimoto Hitoshi describes, while many domains during the Kansei Reforms (1787 to 1793) mobilized samurai to work the land, Hirosaki was the only one to fully implement this policy of employing samurai labour in land development and reclamation.190 This was a defining characteristic of Hirosaki’s rigorous efforts to increase agricultural production and stabilize samurai’s finances.191 While Hirosaki inhabitants had experienced the “Black ship incident of the north” in the early 19th century, news of the arrival of U.S. “black ships” into Uraga Bay in 1853, led by Commodore Matthew Perry, nonetheless created a stir among the Hirosaki populace. Even in the late-Tokugawa period, information traveled quickly, as Kanagiya Matasaburō (金木屋又三郎), a successful merchant living in the suburbs of the castle town, wrote of this event in his journal days after it happened.192 After the shogunate signed peace treaties with the U.S. and England, in the twelfth month of 1853, it also signed a treaty with Russia, officially opening relations with  189  Ibid. Hashimoto Hitoshi. “Kansei kaikaku to hanshi dochaku seisaku” Tsugaru han no kisoteki kenkyū. Ed. Hasegawa Seiichi. Kokusho kankōkai, 1984. pp. 331-94. 191 Ravina also gives a detailed account of the reform measures taken to control the excessive personal expenses of the daimyo. The domain’s debt rose considerably, with the daimyo’s expenditures comprising a third of the domain’s budget by 1815, during the reigns of the ninth and tenth daimyo, Tsugaru Yasuchika (r. 1791-1825), for his efforts at promotion to court chamberlain (jijū) aided by his retainer Kasahara Hachirōbei, and his son Tsugaru Nobuyuki (r. 1825-1839), who spent recklessly on entertainment: women, food, and clothing, particularly on his sankin kōtai excursions to Edo. Efforts at reform were put down, until the reign of the eleventh daimyo, Tsugaru Yukitsugu (r. 1839-1859), who carried out an extensive reform program and exercised frugality on both a personal and public level. Ibid. Ravina, pp. 147-50. 192 Hasegawa, Hirosaki han, p. 215. 190  70  that country. 193 Shortly afterwards, the shogunate placed all of Ezo under its jurisdiction, establishing the Hakodate magistrate in 1854, and in the following year, assigned the task of Ezo security to the domains of Sendai, Morioka, Akita, Hirosaki, Aizu, and Tsuruoka.194 In this way, Commodore Perry’s arrival, representing a watershed moment in the historiography on Japan’s modernization, proved to be an event of national and regional significance, as Hirosaki domain’s responsibility increased in issues of national security. As with much of the country, the opening of nearby ports contributed to commercial development in Hirosaki domain. In the third month of 1854, the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Kanagawa was signed, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate.195 Four years later in 1858, the signing of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Amity and Commerce ultimately opened ports in Hakodate, Kanagawa, Nagasaki, Niigata, and Hyōgo, along with the cities of Edo and Osaka to foreign trade. Not only were Hirosaki and Morioka fulfilling the security mission in Ezo, they were also placed in charge of providing provisions and material supplies to Hakodate and Ezo, while merchants from Aomori, Hirosaki, and Noheji were assigned to work for the Hakodate magistrate. In 1856, the shogunate had assigned successful merchants of Aomori town as purveyors to promote future travel and trade between Hakodate and Aomori. During this time, kelp (kombu), cooked sardines, dried abalone, and dried cuttlefish constituted the main exports traded out of Hakodate.196 The Hakodate magistrate sought, above all else, rice in large quantities from Aomori. Merchant Kanagiya Matasaburō recorded the arrival of American ships into the Hakodate port, and owned maps of the port town that included  193  Ibid. Ibid. In order to fund this very costly security mission, the shogunate assigned each of the domains to a section of land in Ezo, and profits from the land served as revenue. 195 Ibid. p. 217. 196 Ibid. p. 218. 194  71  images of foreign ships as well as English writing.197 Hasegawa observes that Kanagiya showed great interest towards foreign countries, and further notes that as Kanagiya and other merchants began to see Americans and Europeans as trade partners and not mere enemies, their prejudices toward them also declined gradually. 198 It was these capitalist merchants who were most receptive to open trade and interaction with foreigners, more than the farmers who were bound to the land, or the samurai to the Tokugawa authority. While the treaties with Western countries and official opening of ports contributed to the rise of commercial activity, this point should not be oversimplified. Commerce and trade around the Tsugaru Straits were conducted with China, as well as domestically within Japan since ancient times, and was already well-developed in the early half of the Tokugawa period. Herring fishing in Ezo and Hirosaki had grown into a large industry.199 Since the Genroku period (16881704) when the shogunate promoted increased consumer production, dried fish became a popular commodity.200 Herring came to be used widely as fertilizer for agriculture, with rising levels of both demand and supply, and the Esashi region of Ezo entered its most prosperous period of production, attracting labourers in herring fishing from Hirosaki, Morioka, and Akita, who came known to be “Yan-shū (ヤン衆).” 201 It is estimated that in 1849, about 1,400 residents of Hirosaki domain traveled to the herring-rich area of Matsumae, and after the opening of Hakodate port in 1854, many women also crossed the Tsugaru Strait to work in Hakodate and Esashi in food preparation, dining services, and prostitution. Nevertheless, such records suggest  197  Ibid. pp. 219-20. Ibid. p. 220. 199 For a comprehensive study on herring fisheries and fisheries in Ezochi, see Howell, David L. Capitalism From Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. 200 Hasegawa, Hirosaki han. p. 191. 201 Ibid. 198  72  that while there was an active fishing industry and business before the opening of the ports, the process was sped up considerably in 1854. Characteristic of politics and commercial activity in the Tokugawa period, efforts were made to control migrant labourers in the 1860s. While large volumes of herring were fished in both Ezo and Hirosaki, the fact that a large percentage of Hirosaki inhabitants were crossing over to Ezo for commercial activity caused concern for domainal officials. During the eighth month of 1864, it is reported that 644 men and 492 women (a total of 1136) from the towns of Hirosaki were working as migrant laborers in Ezo, comprising 7.3% of the population of the domain.202 The domainial leaders attempted to limit the number of residents traveling to Ezo as migrant workers for three main reasons: (1) the domain needed to secure enough residents to deploy for naval defense; (2) they feared that many migrant workers adopted bad habits of pleasure-seeking while outside their domain, which they would carry back home and influence hard-working peasants; and (3) they were also concerned that those going to Matsumae would carry their own rice which would become commodities for smuggling, causing an increase in local rice prices.203 In this way, we see that commercial development in Hirosaki owed to stimulation and activity both domestically and from abroad, through the abandonment of the sakoku isolationist policy and opening of Japan’s ports to the West. Education and scholarship in the Hirosaki domain, were supported generously by the fourth daimyo, Tsugaru Nobumasa (津軽信政 1646-1710), who ruled from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth centuries. Nobumasa was a daimyo known for his enthusiasm for learning, and expended considerable energy and resources on studies of Confucianism and military science (heigaku), believing a ruler should be educated and disciplined in order to fulfill his 202 203  Ibid. p. 195. Ibid. pp. 196-97.  73  duties.204 Nobumasa invited Confucian scholar and military strategist, Yamaga Sokō (山鹿素行 1622-85), and other prominent scholars to lecture in his domain, and supported the education of samurai in both literary and military ways (bunbu ryōdō), and from his reign, lectures inside the castle (jōchū kōshaku) became a tradition in the domain, albeit irregularly.205 In the tenth month of 1794, Hirosaki domain issued an official notice concerning the establishment of a new school, as preparation and construction had already begun on a 26,400-square-metre lot just outside the gates of Hirosaki castle. During the rule of ninth daimyo Tsugaru Yasuchika (津軽寧親 17651833), on the ninth day of the seventh month of 1796, an opening ceremony marked the inauguration of the new school, Keikokan (稽古館).206 The new school stimulated education among the daimyo’s vassals, as well as among commoners.207 Subjects taught here ranged from Confucianism (Four Books and Five Classics), military science, history, law, astronomy, writing, and general martial arts.208 The school began with 300 students, grouped by age: over age 20, over 15, and over eight.209 In 1799, due to the domain’s security duties in Ezo security and the resulting strain on domainal finances, funding for this school fell drastically, and in 1808 the Keikokan was once closed, and was replaced with a school set up within the castle. Subjects became limited to Confucianism, mathematics, and writing, and there was a drastic decline in lectures and lecturers. In 1858, a medical school was reopened, and in 1862 a vaccination hall was set up. In 1859, a  204  Nobumasa enrolled as a disciple in Confucianist Yamaga Sokō’s (1622-1685) school and took up studies in Ancient Learning (kogaku), inviting Sokō to give lectures in Hirosaki. In 1670, Nobumasa also enrolled as a student of Yoshikawa Koretaru (1616-1694) a Shintō scholar and founder of Yoshikawa Shintō. Ibid. p. 80. 205 Ibid. p. 173. 206 The following year in 1797, another school, Kōdōkan, was established in Hirosaki domain’s quarters in Edo for the domain’s samurai and their children residing there. Ibid. 207 Ibid. p. 174. 208 Murakami Nao, ed. “Hirosaki han” Han shi dai jiten. Vol. 1 Hokkaido Tohoku hen. Yūzankaku shuppan. 1988. p. 47. 209 Hasegawa, Hirosaki han, p. 174.  74  lecture hall for Dutch Learning (Rangaku) was established, and from as early as 1866, studies of the English language were also incorporated into the education. While the main objective of the Keikokan was the education of retainers’ children, the school also produced its own “Keikokan calendar” and published many books.210 Hirosaki was a place of diverse religious belief and practice, and much of this centered on Mount Iwaki—an object of worship and sacred site for pilgrimage. Visible from anywhere in the Tsugaru region, Mount Iwaki from ancient times has been reverently and affectionately called “O Iwaki sama” (お岩木様) or “O yama” (お山).211 Mount Iwaki Shrine (岩木山神社 Iwaki san jinja) has been a prominent shrine where the holy mountain was worshipped. Shugendō ascetic training has been practiced in connection with Mount Iwaki. 212 From premodern times, agriculturalists determined when to begin planting crops, based on the amount of snow on Mount Iwaki’s summit, while fishermen looked to the mountain to orient themselves on the coastal waters and carried on board an ofuda ( お 札 ) or talisman from Mount Iwaki Shrine for protection.213 Buddhism was widespread in the region, and bodhisattva statues of Kannon (Avalokitesvara) and Jizō (Ksitigarbha) were worshipped by individuals regardless of their faith.214 In the Tsugaru region, commoners took part in pilgrimages to visit 33 holy sites (reijō) set up in various places, and the main focus of worship was the Kannon. Pilgrimages were conducted outside the domain as well. The Ise pilgrimage was popular throughout Japan,  210  Ibid. pp. 174-75. Ibid., p. 184. 212 Ellen Schattschneider has produced a very insightful ethnographical study on mountain asceticism and Akakura Mountain Shrine on the lower slope of Akakura Mountain—the north-east face of Mount Iwaki—based on her anthropological fieldwork in Aomori. Ellen Schattschneider. Immortal Wishes: Labor and Transcendance on a Japanese Sacred Mountain. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003. 213 Moriyama Taitarō. Nihon no minzoku, Aomori. Daiichi hōki shuppan, 1972. p. 167. 214 Hasegawa, Hirosaki han, p. 182. 211  75  attracting participants from even the Tohoku region and there even existed a Shikoku circuit of 88 holy sites based on Shingon Buddhist tradition. Furthermore, Hirosaki residents crossed over into Morioka domain to partake in Shugendō mountain climbing, and many ventured out of the domain to visit various temples and shrines. A myriad of deities, including those from Buddhist and Shintō traditions were widely worshipped, making for a diverse cosmology of various divinities in the region. In the late years of Tokugawa rule, arose a sense of fear and distrust toward the current government, and commoners called for change through Yonaoshi movements to “change the world.” After the Hakodate port was opened in 1854, many locals feared foreign invasion and unstable market prices for rice.215 Increasingly, rice was imported into the domain at low prices, while contrastingly, locally-produced rice rose to five times its usual price. Other disturbing incidents included a large-scale destructive fire in Ohama, a monk’s arrest for allegedly poisoning water in a communal well, peasants expressing displeasure at the samurai of the domain, and many murders.216 On the 15th of the seventh month in 1867, many dancers barged into a merchant’s shop and caused riots, one of many attacks on merchants’ businesses, presumably linked to “eejanaika” commoners’ uprisings in 1867.217 As Hasegawa observes, the act of a mass of people dancing and attacking wealthy merchants, resembles the Yonaoshi movements nationwide, save for the plaques that were seen in other parts of Japan but absent in Hirosaki during this time.  215  Ibid. p. 221. Ibid. pp. 221-22. 217 Ibid. p. 223. 216  76  Tsuruya Ariyo and the Tsugaru Disciples Having outlined major changes and developments in Hirosaki domain toward the end of the Tokugawa period, I now examine the beginnings of Hirata kokugaku in Hirosaki domain.218 In 1820 (Bunsei 3), the ninth daimyo Tsugaru Yasuchika (津軽寧親), made a formal request to Atsutane to give lectures in Edo. Atsutane expressed great joy at this gesture in a letter to his disciple and father-in-law, Yamazaki Atsutoshi (山崎篤利 1766-1838), a wealthy merchant from Koshigaya in Musashino province: As I have made you listen all too much to hardships, I will also let you hear of pleasant matters. There was a request from Lord Tsugaru (津軽様) in Edo (本所) to give a lecture. This is an extremely joyous thing.219  Atsutane in this letter to trusted disciple Atsutoshi expresses his joy in receiving this request from the Tsugaru daimyo. Atsutane continues on in the letter to express his pride and joy that Lord Naitō, Lord of Suo (Suo no kami) urged him to write on the “meaning of Ancient Learning” (古学の趣意), and that the Lord of Mito, Lord of Etchū, Hanawa (塙), Shōheikō Academy head Hayashi Daigaku no kami and others elsewhere highly esteemed his Koshi chō kaidaiki (『古史 徴開題記』), or Meaning of Ancient History Commentary, stating that these praises are “truly good evaluations from the realm.”220 Watanabe notes Atsutane’s pleased reaction to the  218  While I focus here on the beginnings of Hirata kokugaku in Hirosaki domain, there are other examples of individuals from the domain studying kokugaku. Mayama Sukemasa (間山祐真 1763-1825) was a domainal samurai sent on domainal order to Kyoto to study kokugaku under Hino Sukeki. Sukemasa returned to the domain and served as assistant head (添学頭) of the Keikokan domainal academy. He authored Tsugaru gun chūko hi zu kō (『津軽郡中古碑図考』). Kariya Ekisai (狩谷棭斎 1775-1835) was a notable kokugaku and textual scholar (考証 学) with roots in Hirosaki domain, though active primarily in Edo. Ekisai studied under Motoori Norinaga in Matsuzaka, and is known for his investigations and commentaries on classical texts. He authored such works as Senchū Wamyō ruishū shō (『箋注倭名類聚鈔』) and Nihon ryōiki kōshō (『日本霊異記攷証』). 219 Hirata Atsutane. “Letter to Yamazaki Atsutoshi.” Quoted in Watanabe Kinzō. Hirata Atsutane kenkyū. p. 46. 220 Ibid.  77  favourable evaluations of his works, many of which were published in 1820, the year he wrote this letter. The Ibukinoya journal (Ibukinoya nikki) records continued activity between Atsutane and the Hirosaki authorities. The entry for the 23rd day of the fifth month records, “For the first time, visited Lord Tsugaru of Hirosaki, Minister of the Western Capital Offices, Yasuchika (Hirosaki kō Tsugaru ukyō no daifu Yasuchika), of Honjo (本所) in Edo accompanied by Ishihara Kisaemon (Head of Hanawa Hokiichi’s academy, Ishihara Masaaki).” The journal records two days later on the 25th: “Offered two packages of Seibun and Chō to Lord Tsugaru.”221 As Nakagawa Kazuaki points out, the same journal records that letters and payment for these books were received from Lord Tsugaru’s officials in the following month.222 So we see that from 1820, Atsutane had dealings with Tsugaru Yasuchika who, in 1796, had opened the domainal school Keikokan and strongly supported domainal education. This was the first of a number of significant instances where Hirosaki domainal authorities demonstrated interest in Hirata kokugaku, and later examples will be discussed in the following chapters. I now proceed to trace the early formation of the Hirata disciple community in Hirosaki domain. Townsperson, poet, and scholar Tsuruya Ariyo (鶴舎有節 1808-71), whose original name was Takeda Itsuyoshi (武田乙吉), was the first from Hirosaki domain to register as a Hirata disciple in 1857 (Ansei 4). From a young age, Ariyo served the house of the wealthy merchant of Hirosaki castle town, Ikō Hachitarō (伊香八太郎). Ariyo studied haikai poetry, writing, and Chinese writings every night from the prominent local haikai poet Utsumi Sōha (内 海草坂 1761-1837). It was under Sōha’s tutelage, that Ariyo met his lifelong friend and  221 222  Seibun and Chō refer to Koshi seibun and Koshi chō, respectively. Nakagawa Kazuaki. Hirata Kokugaku no shigakuteki kenkyū. pp. 350-351.  78  scholarly peer Hirao Rosen. After Sōha died, Ariyo learned from Mitsuya Kubutsu (三谷句仏). Ariyo became a prominent poet of three-verse, 17-syllable haikai and five-verse, 31-syllable waka poetry. He produced numerous haikai and waka collections, including such printed haikai collections as Kamikaze chō (『かみかせ帖』 Book of Divine Wind), Haikai shūyōshū shohen (『俳諧拾葉集初編』 Haikai Collection First Volume), Renku tsuke ai haikai shūyōshū (『連 句付合俳諧拾葉集』 Linked Verse and Haikai Collection), Hana senfu (『花せんふ』 Flower Collection), Hana no i shū (『華廼井集』 Flower Well Collection), and Hō shinshū (『芳新集』 New Collection of Fragrances). His Iwaki san sanbyaku shu (『岩木山三百首』 Three Hundred Poems of Mount Iwaki) gathers three hundred waka poems on Mount Iwaki, which I discuss in greater detail in chapter six. According to a timeline of the life of Shimozawa Yasumi (下澤保躬), who later also became a Hirata disciple, Yasumi, along with Inomata Shigenaga (猪股繁永), Ariyo, Saitō Norifumi (斎藤規文), and others took up “Imperial studies” (皇学) and the “Way of poetry” (歌 道), and entered the tutelage of Shintō priest of Kumano Okuteru Shrine, Osari Nakaakira (長利 仲聴) in 1855.223 This indicates that these individuals engaged in “Imperial studies” as a group even before the Tsugaru disciples’ registration with the Hirata academy, and official formation of their group. The Hirata family’s Kingin nyūgaku chō (『金銀入覚帳』), or Gold and Silver Inlay Memo Book, records Ariyo’s deposits of three ryō on the seventeenth of the eighth month in 1856 (Ansei 3), and five ryō on the fifth day of the first month in 1857 (Ansei 4), which show that Ariyo had been purchasing books from the academy, before he officially enrolled as a  223  “Shimozawa Yasumi nenpyō,” Michinoku sōsho daigoshū Tsugaru han kyūki denrui. Ed. Aomori ken bunkazai hogo kyōkai, Kokusho kankōkai, 1982.  79  disciple.224 I will now trace the process by which Ariyo came to enroll in the Hirata academy as the first disciple from Hirosaki. The first letter written by Ibukinoya head Hirata Kanetane (1799-1880) to Ariyo is dated the twelfth day of the ninth month in 1856 (Ansei 3).225 Kanetane opens the letter by asking for verification on whether Tsuruya was his family name or given name. Here I cite select passages from this letter: On the 18th of last month, a man named Tatsuyama Matsuzō delivered to me your letters dated the 28th of the sixth month and 19th of the seventh month, which I have read… Now, last year I received your letters for the first time, and I see your sympathy for us ever growing, especially at this time, giving us a gift of a box of white dried abalone produced in your domain. Your considerable gifts always are rooted in deep generosity. I express my deep thanks. I immediately offered some before the spirit of our ancestor (先人). We are grateful for your ceaseless concern from afar… Although you are aware of Ogasawara Kenryū of Akita domain, sending me letters directly is actually most convenient. For me personally, it is not in the least bit inconvenient, so please do not refrain. While I am especially busy with correspondence (文通) with the provinces, due to the fact that our scholarship (学業) is steadily spreading, I do not spare myself the labour one bit. In this long and detailed letter, Kanetane thanks Ariyo for a gift of dried abalone he had sent, stating that he offered some before the spirit of the late ancestor Atsutane. This is the first of various local products the Tsugaru group sent to the head school. There is also mention of a disciple from Akita, Ogasawara Kenryū, who appears to have served as a mediary of one form or another for delivering Ariyo’s letters to Kanetane, but Kanetane insists his letters be sent directly to him. The Ibukinoya head declares that despite his busy correspondence with students in the provinces, the spread of their scholarship provides him enough satisfaction and motivation to 224  Nakagawa, p. 82. Miyachi Masato, ed. Kingin nyūgaku chō. Kokuritsu rekishi minzoku hakubutsukan kenkyū hōkoku. Hirata kokugaku no sai kentō 3. Vol. 146 (March 2009). pp. 93, 96. Nakagawa has also compiled a detailed chart, “Kingin nyūgaku chō no Hirosaki kokugaku kankei no jikō,” of 63 transactions concerning the Tsugaru disciples from the seventeenth day of the eighth month in 1856 (Ansei 3) to the eighth day of the tenth month in 1873 (Meiji 6) in the Kingin nyūgaku chō. Nakagawa, Hirata Kokugaku no shigakuteki kenkyū. pp. 360-365. 225 Hirata Kanetane. Letter to Ariyo, 12th day, ninth month, 1856 (Ansei 2), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei. p. 602.  80  carry out letter-writing. Kanetane continues to provide details about Atsutane, in response to inquiries about the academy founder and head: I have received your questions based on your interest in our Ancestor. As you know, his posthumous title is Kamu Tama no mihashira no ushi (神霊能真柱の大人 Deity and Master August Pillar of the Spirit). He died on the eleventh day of the ninth month in Tenpō 14 (1843). He was 68 years old at death. He was born in An’ei 5 (1776). It is most proper that you also conduct worships (霊祭) of his deceased spirit, using a portrait. However, the abovementioned portrait is one drawn by someone from Akita, and although people say it closely bears his resemblance, it does not measure up to the heart of our ancestor, and for this reason, I personally do not use a portrait. The posthumous title was received from a head family of priestly affairs who also gave the inscription, and this is used in the aforementioned spirit worship. Besides this, there is food that he favoured, and we also use such objects. Now, again you ask about the timeline, but these books have not yet been formally transcribed. Although preparations are being made, beginning with Koshiden, the final transcriptions of several manuscripts are still incomplete. The timeline is delayed.  Kanetane’s biographical sketch of Atsutane in response to Ariyo’s questions, reminds us that Ariyo, based in Hirosaki, and seeking to join the Hirata academy, actually had only limited and fragmented knowledge of the academy’s founder. Kanetane explains that Atsutane’s portrait was painted in Akita, the place of his exile in his last years, and is used in the spirit worship of the Master within the Hirata school, although not by adopted son Kanetane himself because he does not consider the image to portray Atsutane’s true likeness. If we look at Ariyo’s collection of essays entitled, Tsuruya bunshū (『鶴舎文集』), or Collection of Tsuruya’s Writings, we see a description of how Ariyo worshipped the Atsutane portrait sent with this letter. The letter also makes mention of offerings of the Master’s favourite foods. Additionally seen are the beginnings of the Tsugaru group’s many book purchases, though the list of publications is incomplete. Kanetane lists the works which include hand-copied  81  manuscripts and woodblock printed books he sent to Ariyo.226 The manuscripts were five books of Koshiden (『古史伝』 Lectures on Ancient History), volumes 16 through 20, one book of Kiyo sōhansho (『毀誉相半書』), and two books of San’eki yuraiki (『三易由来記』). The following printed books are also listed here: Volume eight of Tamadasuki (『玉襷』 Precious Sleeve Cord), because Ariyo already possesses volumes one through seven, one small foldable book of Kamiyo keizu (『神代系図』 Divine Age Lineage), an expanded volume of Ōharai kotoba seikun (『大払詞正訓』 Correct Reading of Liturgy for Great Purification), one book of Amatsu norito kō (『天津祝詞考』 On the Divine Norito Liturgy), one sheet of Hachikaron (『八家論』), and one book of Kōso kyūsho kō (『皇祖宮所考』 On the Palace of Imperial Ancestors), by Morioka disciple Kikuchi Masahiko whom I discuss later in this chapter. Finally, toward the close of this letter, Kanetane reiterates his pleasure over Ariyo’s letter and his expressed interest in the academy from Hirosaki, stating, that he read his letter three times. Kanetane continues, “In your region, I had not even one acquaintance, and even though I have contacts in Nanbu, there was no one in your area with whom I kept correspondence.”227 While Kanetane acknowledges a gradual depletion of the inventory of original writings (親筆之 物) by master Atsutane, offered only to disciples, he also obliges Ariyo’s request, agreeing to send such items.228 Kanetane goes on to express his wish and expectation that Atsutane’s teachings would spread in Hirosaki, as he states, “In any event, just as you think, I desire more than anything else, the increasing appearance of persons of the same aspirations (同志) even in your precious land (貴地).” 226  At the time of Atsutane’s death in 1843, less than half of his works were published. Yoshida Asako emphasizes the importance of data on publishing and texts, in discussing the dissemination of Hirata nativist thought at the local level. Yoshida Asako. Chi no kyōmei: Hirata wo meguru shomotsu no shakaishi. 227 Ibid. p. 603. 228 Nakagawa, p. 79.  82  Kanetane’s second letter to Ariyo, dated three months later on the sixth of the first month in 1857 (Ansei 4), explains the procedure for enrolling in the Ibukinoya, accompanied by a pledge form to be filled out.229 Regarding your insistence (御執心) on enrolling directly as my student, I received details of your intentions in your letter. However, I am essentially inexpert, and as I do not have the aptitude to teach beyond our ancestor’s writings, I refuse anyone that requests to enrol as my disciple. So for those who offer enrolment gifts (束脩), I show them before the ancestor’s spirit. And, therefore, we will refer (相称) to you as the ancestor’s posthumous disciple (先人没後門人), and make arrangements to record your name in the disciple registry. If this is acceptable, please let us know without hesitation… [Accompanying Pledge Form (誓詞案)] Words of the Pledge I seriously desire to receive the guidance of the Master on the Way of the Divine Age of the Divine August Country, and according to this guidance, I shall be enlisted on the registry and make haste toward the Way and humbly receive the teachings. Henceforth, as I receive the teachings, I will learn intently, and learn from the divine Way (神乃御道), and will not oppose the law of the lord (公乃御掟), and furthermore will not harbour offensive or suspicious thoughts toward the Master. If I should defy this pledge, may the awesome Heavenly Kami and Earthly Kami know and see this and give punishment. With deep reverence. Country (Mutsu Province, Tsugaru Domain, Hirosaki castletown) Age (50) Common Name (Tsuruya Ariyo) Year/ Month/ Day (1857/ 2/ 25) Formal Name Itsuyoshi  Personal Stamp  In this second letter, reference is made to Ariyo’s request to formally enrol as Kanetane’s disciple, but the academy head declines, insisting he devotes himself solely to spreading Atsutane’s teachings. Gifts from enrolling disciples are offered before the Master’s spirit, and Ariyo, like the other students who entered Ibukinoya after Atsutane’s death, is admitted strictly 229  Hirata Kanetane. Letter to Tsuruya Ariyo, sixth day, first month, 1857 (Ansei 4), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 603.  83  as the ancestor’s posthumous disciple (先人没後門人). The Pledge form is distributed eliciting a pledge of devotion to receive Master Atsutane’s guidance on the “Way of the Divine Age of the Divine August Country,” and to learn from the “Way of the Gods” (神乃御道). Observance of the “law of the lord” (公の御掟) and reverence to Atsutane are also pledged. The Monjin seimei roku, or Disciple Registry, records that shortly after on the 25th of the second month in 1857 (Ansei 4), Ariyo enrolled as the first disciple from Hirosaki and 819th overall to register in the Hirata school.230 It took, therefore, roughly fifty days between Kanetane writing his second letter early in the new year of 1857, accompanied by the pledge form, until Ariyo’s reply and completed form reached the Ibukinoya, and his enrolment became official late in the second month. Ariyo was age fifty at the time, and was the eldest of all members to join the group. After Ariyo’s entry into the Hirata academy, five others also enlisted that year.231 Enrolling in the fifth month of 1857 were Iwama Ichitarō (岩間市太郎/滴 Shitatari 1811-84) age 47, Mitani Chihei (三谷治平/大足 Ōtari), and Masuda Kōtarō (増田幸太郎/源並樹 Minamoto Namiki) age 27, while Ueda Hirayoshi (植田平吉/正健 Masatake), age 25, joined on the 25th day of the fifth month, and Imamura Yōtarō (今村要太郎/真種 Mitane 1824-84), age 37, entered on the eleventh day of the sixth month. Registering in 1862 (Bunkyū 2) was townsman Takeda Seijirō (竹田清次郎/千尋/広道 Chihiro/ Hiromichi) age 34. Thus, six of the first seven disciples from Tsugaru were townsmen (chōnin) who pursued poetry, while Imamura Yōtarō, better known as Mitane, was a domainal samurai from a family of merchant backgrounds, who also pursued poetry. These first seven members formed a core group, predominantly of townsmen that would set the tone of this community.  230 231  “Monjin seimei roku,” SHAZ, Vol. Bekkan. p. 295. Please see Table 1. “List of Hirata Disciples in Tsugaru” for details of their registration in the Ibukinoya academy.  84  Imamura Mitane, the sixth to enrol with the Hirata academy, was a major financial supporter of the group. The Imamura family were a wealthy merchant family that operated an enterprise, which even printed paper currency for use in the domain (藩札).232 Mitane’s artistic name was Momo no ya (桃の舎), or “House of Peaches.” Mitane purchased several tens of Atsutane’s books, and presumably read and distributed them among the Tsugaru group for other members to see and copy. Mitane’s collection of Atsutane’s books is housed at the Aomori Prefectural Library, many of the books containing his stamp of “Momo no ya.” Then in 1864 (Genji 1) Hachiman shrine priests Ono Wakasa (小野若狭/磐根/藤原正房 Iwane/ Fujiwara Masafusa 1833-89) age 32, and Sasaki Awaji (笹木淡路/藤原祐雄 Fujiwara Yoshio) age 51, followed by his son Sasaki Kensaku (笹木健作/藤原祐行) age 23 enrolled in the Hirata academy. A central member of this Tsugaru group, painter Hirao Rosen, finally joined this same year in 1864 at age 57, some seven years after his close friend Ariyo. Kanehira Kiryō (兼平亀綾 1815-78) created quite a stir before and after she joined the Hirata academy in 1866 at age 52 as a rare female disciple. There were a mere 29 women among the over 4,200 disciples of Atsutane, with the most renowned today being Matsuo Taseko of the Ina Valley, whom Anne Walthall made famous through her biographical study of the female peasant scholar who participated in events surrounding the Meiji Restoration.233 Before and after Kiryō’s official enrolment in the Hirata academy in the sixth month of 1866 (Keiō 2), Kanetane inquires to Rosen, Ariyo, and the others about the identity of this woman whose name appears in a haiku collection, Gappo sharimo seki (『合浦舎利母石』 1865), edited by Osari Nakaakira  232  Moriyama Taitarō. “Hirao Rosen” In Kyōdo no senjin wo kataru (7) Kanematsu Sekkyo, Hirao Rosen, Akita Ujaku, Ed. Hirosaki shiritsu toshokan. Hirosaki shiritsu toshokan, 1971. pp. 74-75. 233 Walthall, Anne. The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.  85  and sent to the Ibukinoya, and who eventually requests to formally be registered as a disciple.234 Kiryō was a painter who specialized in painting turtles. From Hirosaki, she moved to Sendai, then to Edo, and in Fukagawa she met and married a merchant.235 Her husband died, and Kiryō later met a Neriya Tōbei (Kudō Hakuan) also from Hirosaki, and the two returned to Hirosaki together. After Tōbei died, Kiryō went on to marry a town doctor in Hirosaki, Kanehira Kiyoshi. In 1872 (Meiji) at age 60, Kiryō again caused a stir when she climbed Mount Iwaki which had been restricted for women. Some turtle paintings and haiku poems by Kiryō have survived, and some of these, are parts of larger compilations with fellow Hirata disciples and other local painters and poets, as seen in the above-mentioned haiku collection.236 Nakamura Yorozuya (中村万弥/行彦 Yukihiko) also joined the group that same year, and the following year in 1867, two domainal samurai Yamada Yōnoshin (山田要之進/源楯雄 Minamoto Tateo 1843-68) age 25 and Shimozawa Hachisaburō (下沢八三郎 Yasumi 1838-96) age 27 became disciples. It is known that Yōnoshin registered with the Ibukinoya and studied kokugaku on domainal order.237 In early Meiji, the final three from Hirosaki, all Shintō priests, became disciples: Inomata Hisayoshi (猪股久吉/藤原繁永 Fujiwara Shigenaga) in 1869 at age 57, Koyama Naishi (小山内梓/藤原建丸 Fujiwara Tatemaru) in 1870 at age 41, and Gotō Takayoshi (後藤孝吉/藤原奇酉 Fujiwara Kiyū) the last from the group in 1871 at age 24. Ariyo served as the official recommender (紹介者) for most members of this group, and it was a  234  Hirata Kanetane. Letter to Hirao Rosen and others, 20th day, 12th month, in 1865 (Keiō 1), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 613. Hirata Kanetane. Letter to Tsuruya Ariyo and others, 20th day, eighth month, 1866 (Keiō 2), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 614. 235 Nakahata Chōshirō. Tsugaru no bijutsushi. Hirosaki: Hoppo shinsha, 1991, pp. 100-101. “Kanehira Kiryō,” Aomori ken jinmei daijiten. 236 Paintings of Kanehira Kiryō are housed at the Hirosaki City Museum, and compilations which include her haiku poems and paintings are archived in the Hirosaki City Library. 237 Please see chapter seven where I discuss in greater detail Yamada Yōnoshin and his involvement in the Hirata academy and role in the Boshin war and ensuing Shōkonsai ritual.  86  group led primarily by townspeople, as well as by Shintō priests. Kumano Okuteru shrine priest Osari Nakaakira, who was the official recommender for Gotō Takayoshi to join the Hirata academy, does not appear in the Ibukinoya Disciple Registry as an official disciple, but his relationship with the Hirata family and Tsugaru group, make him a prominent player in this community and an unofficial “nineteenth member.”238  Pursuit of Poetry and the Ancient Way Research to date has identified several major streams within the kokugaku school, which are: (1) the study of the ancient Way (古道), including the study of myth, history, and divinity in the Japanese tradition; (2) the study of the Way of poetry (歌道), namely studies and composition of waka; (3) the study of literary prose; and (4) the study of ancient language or philology. The overlap between these different streams notwithstanding, such categorizations have served useful in comparing, contrasting, and characterizing scholars and groups engaged with kokugaku. The Tsugaru group of Hirata disciples, by and large, engaged in the studies of the ancient Way and the Way of poetry, and so I will now examine such activities of their community in Hirosaki.239 “Iwama Shitatari shichijū gachō jo” (「岩間滴七十賀帳序」), a commemorative essay written in 1880 to honour the seventieth birthday of Iwama Shitatari, the second disciple to enrol  238  Please see my detailed discussion of Osari Nakaakira in his role as head of Shōkonsai ritual in 1869 in chapter seven and leading role in the Shinto reforms in early Meiji in chapter eight. 239 Here I have gained many insights from the work of Nakagawa Kazuaki for his detailed analysis of letters exchanged between the Hirata academy and the Tsugaru disciples to reconstruct the group’s activities. Nakagawa, “Bakumatsu Hirata juku to chihō kokugaku no tenkai: Hirosaki kokugaku wo rei ni,” Nakagawa, Hirata Kokugaku no shiteki kenkyū, pp. 346-379.  87  from Hirosaki, sheds light on the Tsugaru group and some of its activities, even if the piece was written retrospectively of their most active period. Concerning Shitatari, it states: However, from around the age of forty he enjoyed Studies of the Ancient Way (古道学), and along with his friends Tsuruya Ariyo, Hirao Rosen, Imamura Mitane, Mitani Ōtari, he became a disciple of the late Great Man Hirata and Hirata Kanetane. And they purchased books of the [Hirata] house and works authored by the Great Man of Suzunoya Motoori Norinaga, reading them himself, showing others, and greatly spreading the Way of the Gods (神の道)… Therefore, people in society called this “Tsuruya’s faction” (鶴 舎党)…240  This piece describes Shitatari as having “enjoyed Studies of the Ancient Way” or kokugaku from around age forty, several years before he formally became a Hirata disciple in 1857 at age 47. Core members of the group, namely townspeople, are described here to have become disciples of “Great Man” Hirata Atsutane and Kanetane, purchased books by Atsutane and Norinaga, read and circulated the books among them, and “spread the Way of the Gods.” This passage also indicates that the Tsugaru group of Hirata disciples were referred to in society as “Tsuruya’s faction,” and that Ariyo was recognized as the leader representing them. The piece continues to state that studying kokugaku changed Shitatari’s poetic practices: “Thus, since engaging in Ancient Studies (古学), he could no longer compose kata uta (片歌) poems,241 and came to wholly favour ancient chōka (長歌) long poems and tanka (短歌) short poems242 of high melody  240  “Iwama Shitatari Shichijū gachō jo,” Kan’un Shimozawa Yasumi sensei wo aogu: Goikō to kankei shokan shū. Ed. Tazawa Tadashi. Kan’un Shimozawa Yasumi sensei no ikō wo yomu kai. 1991. p. 88. 241 Kata uta (片歌) poems are considered a form of ō uta (大歌), or large poem of the court, sung to music and taught and learned in the gagaku ryō (雅楽寮) or bureau of court music. One kata uta poem is formed by three verses of five-seven-seven or five-seven-five syllable lines. Takebe Ayatari (建部綾足 1719-74), a kokugaku scholar, painter, and haikai poet from Hirosaki, endeavored to revive kata uta as a form of haiku. Ayatari studied under Kamo no Mabuchi, and his haiku poetry was of Ise style (伊勢風), while his kata uta poetry was of Man’yō style (万葉片歌). 242 In contrast to kata uta, chōka (長歌) long poems and tanka (短歌) short poems are considered waka, or “Japanese poetry.” Chōka repeat five-seven syllable verses, often end in seven-seven, and are commonly accompanied by a hanka (反歌), or responding poem. Tanka generally consist of 31 syllables, made up of five verses of five-seven-five, seven-seven syllables. Chōka are seen in the Man’yō shū, Japan’s oldest extant poetry anthology from eighth century, but decline after the Heian period (794-1185), whereas the tanka, which came to be  88  (高き調), and played with these freely, and playfully composed poems of such nature himself.”243 Here we see an indication that for poet and Hirata disciple Shitatari, studies of the Ancient Way (古道論 kodōron) influenced his views and practice of the Way of Poetry (歌道論 kadōron). It is evident the Tsugaru group regularly conducted sessions for poetry composition. Ariyo’s letter to his fellow Hirata disciples, dated the fifteenth day of the twelfth month, late in 1862 (Bunkyū 2), outlines designated subjects for poems for the following year month-bymonth.244 Ariyo writes, “I state the assortment of subjects (御題組合せ) for the coming year of the boar, and so please look through them accordingly. Please write them out for each individual and distribute.”245 Ariyo is presumably asking Yasumi to copy the notice for all the other group members. The first month lists as poetic subjects, or kigo (季語) or seasonal phrases: “early spring (初春), remaining snow (残雪), plum wind (梅風), love encounter (逢恋), celebration of spring (春祝)”.246 The subjects for the sixth month in summer are: “outer mountain, summer moon (外山夏月), field path, summer grass (野径夏草), rain shower quickly passing (夕立早 過), felt but unspoken love (思不言恋), farm house, hearing rain (田家聞雨)”. Ariyo’s notice for the poetry compositions of the upcoming year was addressed to eight “Great Men”: Shimozawa Yasumi, Masuda Namiki, Iwama Shitatari, Mitari Ōtari, Ueda Masatake, Takeda Chihiro, Hisasuke (久輔), and Shigeki. Ariyo, along with five of the eight on this list were townsmen poets, as well as registered Hirata disciples by 1862. We see that Yasumi, though not officially synonymous with waka, also appear in the Man’yō shū and maintained their prominence through the premodern period and into modern and contemporary times. 243 Ibid. 244 Tsuruya Ariyo. Letter to Shimozawa Yasumi and others, 15th day, 12th month, 1862 (Bunkyū 2), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei. pp. 610-11. 245 Ibid. p. 610. 246 Ibid. p. 611.  89  enrolled in the Ibukinoya until 1867, was already involved with the group’s poetic activities by this time. Thus, poetry composition by townspeople comprised a large portion of this group’s activities, particularly in the early years. There is evidence of “meetings” (御より合) in Ariyo’s letters addressed to a handful of disciples from the list above, plus Imamura Mitane, who was the sixth member to join the academy.247 Ariyo requests to hold meetings in the near future, and as Nakagawa Kazuaki points out, one can imagine there were study sessions held regularly as well.248 It is also clear from such letters that Ariyo’s residence was the location for the group’s meetings. Records regarding the Tsugaru group’s gatherings, led by Ariyo, suggest their strong religious nature. One can consider this point through looking at the significance of Kanetane’s gifts accompanying his letters to Ariyo, of the Atsutane portrait along with poem on tanzaku paper and sheet of old calendar, both of which were hand-written by Atsutane himself. In Ariyo’s Tsuruya bunshū (『鶴舎文集』) or Collection of Tsuruya’s Writings, he writes about these items in the following way: On the single kumogami tanzaku sheet which my Master of Ibukinoya made and wrote personally, it states, “written at the beginning of Tamadasuki (Precious Sleeve Cord)” and the poem goes, Tamadasuki kakete wasurana yoyo no oya yoyo no Mi Oya no Kami no Chiwai wo Atsutane  The Precious Sleeve Cord wear it and do not forget the blessings of Ancestors of the ages, Deities of the ages. Atsutane  Also, my lord Master Kanetane included with his letter a single sheet of two months out of the ancient solar calendar (“Koreki hibushiki”) and sent it from his residence in 247  Tsuruya Ariyo. Letter to Shimozawa Yasumi and others, sixth day, fourth month, year unknown, Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 622. 248 Nakagawa, Hirata Kokugaku no shiteki kenkyū, p. 352.  90  Mototorigoe in Edo. While that letter is dated the sixth day of the first month in Ansei 4 (1857), it arrived on the first of the second month that same year, and I am safely storing it as a part of the master’s spirit (onreimi), and the ancient calendar I hang in my study, worshipping it morning and evening… Concerning these spiritual treasures (mitama mono), I pray and worship them like they were his spirit, saying, “Bless the Way of the Ancient Studies (古学 inishie manabi) to which I have devoted myself for years!” Now and repeatedly I enact the Right Way (masamichi) thanks to the grace of this Master.249  The above passage shows how kokugaku studies for Ariyo revolved around ancestor worship, with his daily worship of the hand-written poem and calendar of Master Atsutane, as representative of his spirit. His prayer, “Bless the Way of the Ancient Studies to which I have devoted myself for years!” is reflective of the growing excitement and expectation that kokugaku scholars of the day had placed on their studies as they moved toward a “new dawn” in the Restoration and Meiji periods. It can be imagined that these objects of worship, along with the aforementioned portrait were reverently worshipped at the group’s study sessions, much like a portrait was by the “Mameo no tsudoi” or “Circle of Righteous Men” in the Ina Valley, where text reading and debates were merely one part of a day full of worship and festival.250 The great value of these “spiritual treasures” can be well imagined when considering that they were rare physical and visual connections to Master Atsutane, whom none of these posthumous students had met in person. Another document that reveals the manner and attitudes of Ariyo and the Hirosaki group toward their nativist studies is Ariyo’s “Gakusoku” (「学則」) or “Study Rules,” found in the second volume of Tsuruya’s Writings. The list contains 43 rules or guidelines for everyday worship, attitude towards daily life and studies, views of the world around them, proper handling 249  Tsuruya Ariyo. Tsuruya bunshū, Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 532. Please see Itō Tasaburō, Sōmō no kokugaku. pp. 210-32. Walthall, Anne. The Weak Body of a Useless Woman, p. 112. Walthall, Anne. “Nativism as a Social Movement: Katagiri Harukazu and the Hongaku reisha,” Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami. Eds. John Breen and Mark Teeuwen. Surrey, Great Britain: Curzon Press, 2000. pp. 21011. 250  91  of books, and proper daily conduct. Unfortunately, its date of composition is unknown. However, the comprehensive nature of the rules and guidelines suggests that Ariyo, as the eldest and first registered disciple from the group, directed this list not only at himself but at the group and junior members. The wording and general spirit of the “Study Rules” resemble the Hirata school’s “Juku soku” (「塾則」) or “Academy rules”, which the head school issued to students studying in the Ibukinoya academy, and the former was presumably modeled after the head school’s example. And yet, Ariyo’s version is distinctive enough to reflect his and the group’s character and originality. Ariyo opens his “Study Rules” with the following two lines urging daily prayer:  [1.] Do not neglect to pay respects to and worship the heavenly and earthly deities every morning.251 [2.] Pay respects to the divine spirits of your ancestors and parents, and worship them after worshipping the deities.  That deity and ancestor worship heads this list, again, reflects the priority placed on religious worship within this study group. The list continues, “Those engaging in Ancient Studies (kokugaku), must be mindful to embrace a “kokorozashi” (“desire” or “wish”) to serve the country and make achievements.” Such political awareness and the mindset of “embracing” such a “desire” were deemed important and were in line with the Hirata academy’s efforts nationwide. Also, imperial thought is reflected in rules eight and nine which state, “The Imperial country is the main realm of divine truth: know that the head of this land is the lord and instructor of all countries,” and, “Discern the great foundation of the only Imperial way.”  251  Tsuruya Ariyo, “Gakusoku,” Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei. p. 535  92  Of the 43 guidelines, number ten best articulates Ariyo’s central ideas, stating, “The unopposing nature (muteki) of the visible and invisible is the root of my way.”252 While Atsutane asserted that the visible realm arahaniyo of the living and invisible realm kakuriyo of deities, spirits, and souls of the dead overlapped and occupied the same space, Ariyo takes Atsutane’s thesis further with his original thesis emphasizing continuity between life and death. He ends his “Study Rules” with rules to encourage maintaining good relations with family in this life:  [39.] Your family of birth is your origin in our world, and so do not neglect to send letters and gifts. [40.] Do not forget family over distance, nor take them for granted over proximity. Interact with them and observe holidays with them.  Here, the message is consistent with those of Norinaga and Atsutane to live life fully in this world, but with Ariyo, perhaps even more so than with Atsutane, consideration is given to continuing good relations from this realm in life to the next one in death. After his 43 points, Ariyo closes out his “Study Rules” by stating, “The articles above are old traditions and customs of the Divine Country, and the essence of the classics. I have performed these until now. Why would my students not follow them?”253 This statement along with the ensuing five “cautions” when reading texts, show that indeed Ariyo’s “Study Rules” were not only a personal expression of daily thought and practice, but also a set of guidelines for his own students, fellow disciples of Atsutane in the Hirosaki group.  252 253  Ibid. Ibid. p. 536.  93  Informational Network Correspondence between the Ibukinoya academy and disciples in local communities served, as Miyachi Masato has demonstrated, as a means of exchanging vital information between Edo and locales nationwide on socio-political developments in Edo and the periphery.254 The following letter written by Kanetane to Ariyo and fellow Tsugaru student Imamura Yōtarō conveys the situation in Edo in the fall of 1858:  The aforementioned foreign barbarians (外夷) from America, Russia, England, began arriving one after another and unboarded their ships. At this time, France arrived by ship. However, their wishes were met in detail, and although it is not known where they are going, it is fortunate that at least there was no incident. However, from this event last month a terrible epidemic has spread, and society is in a state of distress and confusion. You are likely to eventually hear in definite terms. I think the cause is completely the Yōmi (妖魅) spirit that accompanied the foreign barbarians.  Firstly, concerning the death of the Shogun Iesada (大樹公), although we cannot say whether that was the cause, because of the changes in his illness, rumours of a poisoning are also heard. From the end of last month to this month, this disease has spread widely, and thousands are dying daily. About this illness, first there are chest pains or stomach pains, then sudden diarrhea, sudden fatigue, and generally within half a day, one’s life expires. Also, during this process there are cases of possession by a fox spirit. There are people who claim to have seen such a sight. If those with courage dare to inquire further, they say that a thousand foxes accompanied the Americans who sailed over. There are others who join in this falsehood and say the Nichiren followers brought the foxes, and that there was a possessed Buddhist priest (妖僧). And so, great confusion abounds… 255  254  For example, concerning the exchange of political information between the Hiratas in Edo and disciples in peripheral areas, namely disciples in Akita domain, see Miyachi Masato. “Bakumatsu Hirata kokugaku to seiji jōhō,” Bakumatsu ishinki no shakaiteki seijishi kenkyū. Ed. Miyachi Masato. Iwanami shoten, 1999, pp. 203-40. 255 Hirata Kanetane. Letter to Tsuruya Ariyo and others, 19th day, eighth month, 1858 (Ansei 5), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei. p. 607.  94  Kanetane describes an outbreak of cholera in the summer of 1858, and in xenophobic reaction, attributes it to the Yōmi spirit accompanying the “foreign barbarians” from abroad.256 1858 is the year when commercial treaties are signed with five countries: the U.S., England, France, Holland, and Russia. Kanetane describes the distress and confusion of local Edo society. Kanetane mentions the death of the thirteenth shogun Tokugawa Iesada (1824-58). Iesada died on the sixth day of the seventh month in 1858, just over a month before this letter was written. He is known to have been of weak constitution from birth, and although there were rumours of poisoning, he is said to have died of cholera. Kanetane states that victims of the cholera epidemic numbered in the thousands daily, and he describes the symptoms leading to death. He also cites various rumours of possession by fox spirit, which are attributed to the Americans, Nichirenists, and Buddhist priests. Such “rumours” reflect discourse of society at large, as well as that of the kokugaku community. In this way, Kanetane transmits the latest news on social and political developments from Edo to the disciples in Tsugaru. There is also valuable information related to the Hirata academy that is disseminated through letters from Edo. It is evident Kanetane received an inquiry from Hirosaki about the tengu boy Torakichi who was interviewed by Atsutane after he allegedly died and visited the Senkyō other world. The Tsugaru disciples must have read Atsutane’s Senkyō ibun. Kanetane responds in his letter, “You inquired about what has happened to Torakichi at this time, he has permanently taken up medical divination (医卜), and although he is living a secular life, he enjoys liquor with temperance, and he has not lost his love for people, though he cares not for  256  For a discussion on the discourse of the 1858 cholera epidemic, see Gramlich-Oka, Bettina. “The Body Economic: the Cholera Epidemic of 1858 in Popular Discourse,” East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine. No. 30 (April 2010).  95  simpletons (凡人).”257 Now, some thirty-six years since first meeting Atsutane in 1820, and Senkyō ibun’s completion in 1822, Torakichi, at age 50, is said to have permanently taken up “medical divination… living a secular life,” enjoying alcohol, and maintaining his love for people. This letter provides a rare update on Torakichi’s life, long after the attention he had garnered for his appearance in Edo salons and “informing” Atsutane about spiritual matters and the other world. The Tsugaru disciples also inquired about Katsugorō, the informant interviewed by Atsutane on his visit to the underworld before his rebirth, the subject of Katsugorō saiseiki (『勝五郎再生記』) completed in 1832. However in this case, Kanetane admits, “Although I know that Katsugorō is also well, I have not received news of his activities in recent years. If a neighbour informs me, I will hear it and will be sure to tell you.”258  Relations with Morioka and Akita Disciples Examining the Tsugaru group’s ties with disciple communities in neighbouring domains, Morioka and Akita, sheds further light on the development of the group as well as its position within the national network. Morioka is an important comparison because the leader of that group, Kikuchi Masahiko, was a noted figure within the Hirata academy, whose Kōso kyūsho kō (『皇祖宮所考』), or On the Palace of Imperial Ancestors was read by Ariyo, who criticized it with his Kōso kyūsho kō ben (『皇祖宮所考弁』), Refutation to On the Palace of Imperial Ancestors. The rivalry between Hirosaki and Morioka domains, or Tsugaru and Nanbu clans, spans from the sixteenth century and intensifies during the Boshin war, and here, Ariyo confronts Masahiko in an intellectual conflict. On the other hand, comparisons with the Akita disciple 257  Hirata Kanetane. Letter to Tsuruya Ariyo and others, 21st day, tenth month, 1859 (Ansei 6), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 608. 258 Ibid.  96  community show contrast in size and social make-up of community, as well as parallels due to geographic proximity, and of course the shared fate of their domains fighting for the Imperial cause in the Boshin war of 1868 to 1869. Kikuchi Masahiko (菊池正古 1809-67), also known as Yoshimi (宜見) or Masayo (正 与) was born on the sixth day of the ninth month in 1809 (Bunka 6), in Jōnai koji (城内小路), Tsuchizawa chō, Waga county in Morioka domain, to physician, Kikuchi Rikkei (菊池立慶), also known as Masamaro (正麿).259 Masahiko read classical texts and learned Chinese studies, Japanese studies, and medicine from his father, who was learned in all these fields. Masahiko’s household practiced medicine, taught calligraphy, and carried out agriculture in order to earn a living and endure poverty. Masahiko, who had learned kokugaku from his father Masamaro, sought to pursue further study, and went to Edo in the fourth month of 1830 (Tenpō 1) in hopes of learning from Atsutane. After being granted a discount on his enrolment fee from the regular 200 gold soku (金二百足) down to 100 soku, due to his financial struggles, Masahiko registered as a disciple of Atsutane on the third day of the twelfth month in 1830, at age 22, as the academy’s 394th disciple.260 Atsutane was age 55 at the time, and Masahiko visited him on the 13th and 23rd of every month to study directly from him. On the fifth day of the third month in 1831 (Tenpō 2), Masahiko shaved his head and renamed himself Ryōsai (良齊), and on the 29th that same month, he became a disciple of physician Tachibana Naokata (橘尚賢) of Suruga chō, who was also learned in Dutch medicine. From there he attended Atsutane’s lectures on Koshiden, but around the seventh month,  259  I have based this short biography of Kikuchi Masahiko’s life on Obara Mugaku’s article. Obara Mugaku. “Kokugakusha Kikuchi Masahiko no Keireki,” Iwate shigaku kenkyū, Vol. 5 (May 1950). 260 Monjin seimei roku. SHAZ, Bekkan, p. 268.  97  Masahiko became ill, and left Tachibana to become a disciple of Miyazaki Kōan of Yushima Tenjin shita, to learn medicine from him. From the second month, Masahiko joined a traveling group, and left Edo, to pay respects at the Ise shrine. During the visit, he saw Kyoto, Mino, Shinano, Kōzuke, Shimotsuke, and finally on the first of the fifth month, he returned home after six years away from Tsuchizawa in Morioka domain. On the sixth day of the ninth month of that year, Masahiko married Fujimoto Tomi. From the spring of 1834 (Tenpō 5), he grew his hair out again, and in 1836 (Tenpō 7) at age 29, Masahiko wrote Rongo kō (『論語考』), or a commentary on the Analects. Two years later, both of Masahiko’s parents died, causing much grief. However, Masahiko and his wife persevered in his medical practice, the education of his disciples, and agriculture, as he continued his scholarly writing. In 1840 (Tenpō 11), Masahiko at age 40, wrote Kōso kyūsho kō (『皇祖宮所考』 On the Palace of Imperial Ancestors) and Yomi no kuni kō (『黄泉国考』 On the Land of Yomi). Even after Atsutane’s death in 1843, Masahiko carried on his direct contact with his master and the academy. In 1844 (Kōka 1), Masahiko visited Akita to pay respects before Atsutane’s grave. In 1855 (Ansei 2), he visited Edo and stayed at Kanetane’s house located at the time inside the Akita domain compound in Torigoe, Asakusa (浅草鳥越). There, he read Atsutane’s works, and copied the early volumes of his Koshi den. Masahiko consulted with the Hiratas over the publishing of Kōso kyūsho kō. Kimura Kahei of Koyanagi machi in Kanda engraved the wood blocks for the manuscript, Kanetane’s third son Shōkichirō (圧吉郎) printed it, and finally Izumiya Kinshichi of Shimoya chōja machi bound it into a book. Masahiko began distributing copies of Kōso kyūsho kō thereafter, and as seen in Kanetane’s first letter to Ariyo,  98  Ariyo purchased this work through the Ibukinoya in as early as the ninth month of 1856. In 1866 (Keiō 2), by the age of 58, Masahiko had completed several major works.261 That year of 1866, Masahiko was ordered by the daimyo of Morioka domain to produce polished drafts of his works and to submit them to the domain. Masahiko describes the situation surrounding the offering of his works in the following note, and expresses his feelings in a poem in Matsunoya kabunshū (『松の屋歌文集』 Pine House Poetry and Prose Collection): From winter of last year (1865), the customs of Morioka have changed, and the current lord and sachūshō general (左中将) favoured Ancient Learning (古学). This year in the fourth month, when Masahiko received an order to create polished drafts of his writings and submit them: Magatsu hi no kami koji kata no ōshiro ni wa Inishie manabi ima sakari keri  In the great castle where God of Magatsuhi had prevailed Ancient learning is now flourishing262  Masahiko asserts that the Nanbu lord’s order to offer polished drafts of his works reflects a change in “customs” within the castle, through the fifteenth daimyo, Nanbu Toshihisa (南部利剛 1827-96), who favoured Ancient Learning or kokugaku. Masahiko composes a waka poem which celebrates that “flourishing” of Ancient Learning in the castle, where the evil deity of Magatsuhi, considered the cause of evil in the world, had prevailed, and as a result Chinese studies had taken 261  By 1866, Masahiko age 58, had completed the following works, archived in the Morioka History and Culture Museum: Rongo kō (『論語考』10 vol. On the Analects), Kōso kyūsho kō (『皇祖宮所考』1 vol.), Yomi no kuni kō (『黄泉国考』1 vol.), Shōkan zōbyō ronshū kō (『傷寒雑病論集考』7 vol. On Writings about Typhoid Fever and Various Illnesses), Ōharae kotoba shūkai (『大祓詞集解』vol. 1 Interpretations of Liturgies for Great Purification), Shinado no kaze ben (『科長戸風弁』 2 vol. On the Shinado Wind), Maiasa shin hai ki bun (『毎朝 神拝記文』2 vol. Morning Order for Worship Text), Kenpaku sho (『建白書』1 vol. A. Petition), Kaizoku bōgyo hisshō roku (『海賊防禦必勝録』 1 vol. Records of Maritime Defence Against Piracy and Certain Victory), Gojū ga en kashū (『五十賀宴歌集』1 vol. Poems on a Fiftieth Birthday Banquet), Koden kō (『Origins of Chinese Character Sounds 古伝考』26 vol. On Ancient Records), Kanji on kigen (『漢字音起原』vol. 2 ), Matsu no ioe (『松の五百枝』vol. 10 Five Hundred Branches of Pine), Matsunoya kabunshū (『松の屋歌文集』 10 vol.). 262 Kōso kyūsho kō hashigaki, Kōso kyūsho kō, Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 627.  99  precedence. On the eighth day of the eleventh month that same year, Masahiko was ordered to serve as an instructor for the domainal school, Sakujin kan (作人館), or the Academy for Character Building. Following this, he devoted himself to writing and teaching, and eventually overcame his poor health. Eventually, in the second month of 1867 (Keiō 3), Masahiko quit his post, returned home, and died on the twelfth day of the second month, at age 59. Now, let us examine Ariyo’s criticism of Masahiko’s theories, Ariyo in 1856 obtained the Kōso kyūsho kō directly from Kanetane in the Ibukinoya, a work completed in 1840 and published in 1855. The published version includes a preface written by Kanetane, signed as “Ibukinoya second generation, Taira Kanetane” (伊吹の屋乃二世平銕胤), which describes Masahiko’s studies in the academy, and praises him for his novel theories on “matters which the Great men had not yet even given thought to.”263 As seen above, Masahiko became Atsutane’s disciple while the master was alive and active, and therefore had personal encounters with him, while Ariyo became a posthumous disciple. While both belonged to the same Hirata academy, Ariyo criticizes Masahiko for what he perceives to be mistaken readings of Atsutane’s teachings. In Kōso kyūsho kō, Masahiko notes in the divine age myths, that after the male and female creator deities Izanagi and Izanami created the islands of Japan upon heavenly order, and the eight million deities gave birth to all of creation, then Izanagi and Izanami built a great palace (大宮), but that the location of this palace was hitherto unclear. Masahiko argues that the location of this palace was the land of Yamato (大和国) in Kinai province.264 Ariyo attacks this assertion as a “forced claim” (強言), and based on further examination of ancient texts, asserts that the location of the great palace the two deities built was actually on the Onokoro islands in the land of Awaji, the islands formed when the drippings from the two deities’ jewelled spear 263 264  Ibid. Kōso kyūsho kō ben, Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 557.  100  had solidified.265 In making his argument, Masahiko relied primarily on the sections of Emperor Jimmu in the Nihon shoki, or the Chronicles of Japan, which state that the land of Yamato was named by Izanami. On the other hand, Ariyo consults not only the Nihon shoki, but also the Kojiki, or Record of Ancient Matters, which states the spacious “Yahiro palace” (八尋殿 Yahiro dono) was built on the Onokoro islands, and cites also Atsutane’s Koshiseibun, which maintains that the Yahiro palace was a divine creation of the deities, as well as Atsutane’s Koshi chō, The Meaning of Ancient History, which states this Yahiro palace was inhabited and existed exclusively in the divine age.266 Ariyo criticizes his counterpart in Morioka, stating, “In Masahiko’s mind, he thinks it is unsatisfactory unless it is like a man-made palace seen now. Is this, therefore, the reason he makes this forced claim? It is laughable.”267 Ariyo’s refutation of Masahiko’s arguments on the divine age myths and the location and nature of the ancient palace requires a more detailed study that is beyond the scope of this chapter. Nevertheless, it is evident that Ariyo’s acquisition in 1856 of Kōso kyūsho kō, by a Hirata disciple from Morioka, and subsequent criticism of it in his Kōso kyūsho kō ben served as part of the formative steps in the early years of Ariyo’s engagement with Hirata kokugaku. In Ariyo’s refutation, we see a rigor toward accurately interpreting ancient text and a staunch defence of and loyalty toward Atsutane’s teachings. Ariyo’s attitude toward such “ancient studies” and kokugaku is highlighted in his uncompromising strictness toward a senior disciple of Atsutane who had met the master and studied at the academy in person. Ariyo asserts his stance against this fellow Hirata disciple of the same academy, one who hails from the neighbouring, rival domain.  265  Ibid. Ibid. p. 558. 267 Ibid. 266  101  Contrasts and parallels are seen between the Hirata disciple communities in Hirosaki and Akita domains. As seen previously in his first letter to Ariyo, dated the twelfth of the ninth month in 1856, Kanetane makes reference to one Ogasawara Kenryū (1799-1858) of Akita, and urges Ariyo not to go through this Kenryū, but to correspond directly with the Ibukinoya academy. Kenryū became a disciple on the 20th day of the ninth month in 1841 (Tenpō 12), five months after Atsutane had been exiled to and made his return to Akita. Kenryū, therefore, attended his master’s lectures in Akita. Kenryū was a town physician, and managed book orders for the Akita disciples, his name repeatedly appearing in the Hirata family journals and transaction records.268 He served a central role among the disciples in Akita, and there is a suggestion in Kanetane’s letter to the Tsugaru disciples, that Kenryū had been either mediating between Ariyo and the Hirata academy, or that he had some contact with Ariyo. As shown in chapter one, Akita, as Astutane’s native domain and place of exile at the end of his life, became a hotbed for Hirata kokugaku from the 1840s through to the early Meiji period. Through Astutane’s lectures in his last years and the efforts by Kanetane and Nobutane to propagate the academy’s thought in the area, discipleship in Akita grew to about 300 by 1872 (Meiji 5). As seen early in Kanetane’s first letter to Ariyo in 1856, the emergence of Ariyo and the Tsugaru community showing interest in Hirata kokugaku pleased the Ibukinoya leader, because it meant the spread of Atsutane’s teachings beyond Morioka domain to the northern frontier of Honshū. It is also evident in Kanetane’s letters addressed to Ariyo, that Hirosaki’s close proximity to Akita which held such great importance to the Hiratas, also created a sense of  268  Kenryū’s name appears frequently in the Ibukinoya nikki (『気吹舎日記』) and Kingin nyūgaku chō (『金銀入 覚帳』) for large book purchases and payments, as well as letters written to the academy. Yoshida Asako. Chi no kyōmei: Hirata wo meguru shomotsu no shakaishi. Perikansha, 2012. pp. 288-289, 293, 297. Yoshida Asako. “Akita no Hirata monjin to shomotsu shuppan,” Nihon shisōshi gaku, Vol. 39 (September 2007), p. 140.  102  familiarity with this new group. In Kanetane’s letter to Ariyo dated the third day of the third month in 1858 (Ansei 4), he states: You are in the neighbouring country, and in light of our incessant desire that the ancient Way be rapidly and greatly opened up, we said for you [to request] anything you wish. However, we are troubled over a lack of those items. Please do not be disheartened…”269  Kanetane acknowledges the Tsugaru disciples are located in the “neighbouring country” (御隣 国) to Akita, and expresses his willingness to send requested items, availability permitting. He makes this offer with the desire that the “ancient Way” be quickly and widely “opened up” in that region through the proliferation of Hirata kokugaku. In a letter written two-and-a-half years later, dated the 13th day of the eleventh month in 1860 (Man’en 1), Kanetane again identifies the Tsugaru disciples with neighbouring Akita domain: This year, the spring weather was unfavourable, and regarding this, although you were concerned it would be a bad harvest year, the late summer heat was great and there was indeed a bountiful harvest. Akita was also the same way, and indeed the great joy of all was unsurpassed. People with shallow sincerity, would place no thought on the seasonal weather, but I am reading with interest your detailed and thoughtful letters.270  Kanetane states he was worried over the poor weather in the spring of 1860, but is now relieved to know that the late summer heat was strong enough to lead to a bountiful harvest for Hirosaki domain, as was the case for Akita. The associations made by geographical location and proximity notwithstanding, there were both major contrasts and parallels between the Tsugaru and Akita disciple communities. One contrast is the difference in size of the group, with Akita boasting around 300 disciples by 1872, while Hirosaki had 18 by that time. Also, the disciples in 269  Kanetane’s letter to Ariyo, third day, third month, 1858 (Ansei 5), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei, p. 605. Hirata Kanetane letter to Tsuruya Ariyo. Thirteenth day, eleventh month, 1860 (Man’en 1), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei. p. 609. 270  103  Akita were predominantly high-ranking samurai, many with a Confucian education, Chinese studies being more prominent in local education than were Japanese studies. The Tsugaru group was led primarily by townspeople and some Shintō priests. As will be examined in chapter seven, in the Boshin War, Akita domain and later Hirosaki showed their loyalty to the imperial court, by fighting in support of the new government forces. I will examine the issue of domainal allegiance for the imperial cause and the role of Hirata disciples in and around the Restoration years of 1868 to 1869.  Characteristics: Townspeople and Shinto Priest-Centered Group Finally, I consider characteristics of the Tsugaru group of disciples, compared to other local communities of Hirata disciples seen in chapter one or the case of Morioka or Akita. The Tsugaru group demonstrates a sense of social and cultural autonomy, by virtue of its early core members being townspeople (chōnin). As outlined earlier, beginning with townsman Tsuruya Ariyo, six of the first seven from Hirosaki to enrol as disciples in the Hirata academy were townsmen, most of them from merchant backgrounds who pursued poetry. Imamura Mitane, the lone domainal samurai among these first seven, was of merchant background also, and served as a financial patron to the group, purchasing many books from the Ibukinoya for circulation and copying among the members. Ariyo’s letter dated the twelfth month of 1862, notifying his fellow members of the following year’s “seasonal phrases” or subjects for poetry composition, demonstrates that this group of primarily poetic townspeople met freely at Ariyo’s residence. They pursued studies and composition of poetry independently, as a voluntary cultural and scholarly association, free from control by the domainal authorities or the domainal school. In  104  this sense, the Tsugaru group can very much be considered an example of a civil society in early modern Japan. Painter and townsman Hirao Rosen joined the group seven years after its inauguration by close friend Ariyo, and one reason for this delay could be that Rosen was not as devoted to waka or haiku poetry as the other members, and thus, did not find his place in a group so engaged with poetry. Later member and domainal samurai Inomata Shigenaga and “unofficial disciple” Osari Nakaakira served as instructors of Japanese studies in the domainal school on official order, but there is no apparent political influence they exerted on the Tsugaru group from their position as instructors in the school to educate children of the domain’s samurai. This point parallels with the cases of Morioka and Akita, where, as observed above, Chinese studies and Confucianism dominated domainal education. Confucianism was also the core of education in Hirosaki domain’s Keikokan, and Dutch Learning became increasingly prominent from the late 1850s. Hirosaki’s ninth daimyo Tsugaru Yasuchika expressed interest in Hirata kokugaku, as did twelfth daimyo Tsugaru Tsuguakira around the Restoration years. However, it can be argued that the low demand overall for “Japanese studies” or kokugaku at an official level in the domain, combined with the fact that the early carriers of Hirata’s teachings were Ariyo and other townspeople, prevented Hirata kokugaku from penetrating widely into the samurai ranks, or the domainal school. This issue will be taken up again in chapter eight, as I examine the Restoration years and modernization period more closely. As evident in group leader Ariyo’s “Study Rules” and letters he received from Kanetane, religious practice is clearly a major element of this group’s activities, as seen in group leader Ariyo’s worship of Atsutane’s handwritten poem and calendar, as well as the Master’s portrait. An emphasis on deity and ancestral worship is seen in Ariyo’s “Study Rules” which are very  105  much in line with Hirata school tendencies, while showing originality in its tenth guideline of “The unopposing nature (muteki) of the visible and invisible is the root of my way.” Such religious practice will be examined in greater detail in chapter six, in Ariyo’s major authored works, such as Kenyū rakuron or Treatise on Enjoyment in the Visible and Invisible Realms, which further pursues the notion of continuity between life and death as Ariyo’s central thesis.  Conclusion As a social context for my discussion on the Tsugaru group of disciples, this chapter outlined the history of Hirosaki domain in late-Tokugawa times. I broadly examined the various conditions that contributed to changes and developments in the local agricultural and capitalist economies, military defence of Ezo against Russian and other Western threats, social life in transition, needs and policies in domainal education, and religious activity. I chronicled the establishment of Hirata kokugaku in Hirosaki domain, beginning with daimyo Tsugaru Yasuchika’s invitation to Atsutane to give lectures in 1820. I then described Tsuruya Ariyo’s correspondence with Ibukinoya’s second head Kanetane, and detailed Ariyo’s role as leader and manager of the Tsugaru group from its inauguration in 1857. Through an examination of various documents, I reconstructed the group’s activities—their study and composition of poetry, studies of the ancient Way, and book purchases from and informational exchange with the Hirata academy. I compared and contrasted this group with Hirata disciple communities in neighbouring Morioka domain, focusing on Kikuchi Masahiko and Ariyo’s refutation of his work Kōso kyūsho kō, and with Akita, considering their ties to the Hirata family. All three disciple communities, Morioka, Akita, and Hirosaki have varying connections to their local domainal schools through 106  the appointment of some members as instructors, but the disciple communities maintained independence from these schools, and influence between the two sides was limited. Furthermore, an autonomous character is seen in the Tsugaru group, revolving around Ariyo and other townsmen pursuing poetry, which explains their freedom to conduct scholarship as a civil society, while also accounting for their limited growth and expansion within the local community, especially among the samurai class. Religious thought and practice, including deity and ancestor worship, are a strong element of this group’s activities, as seen in Ariyo’s “Study Rules,” as well as his other major works to be examined in greater detail in chapter six.  107  Chapter 4 Hirao Rosen I: Life, Art, Thought, Ethnography  Overview After chronicling the formation of the Tsugaru group of Hirata disciples, describing their activities, and making note of their characteristics in the previous chapter, the present chapter offers a biographical study of the life of a core member of this group, Hirao Rosen, and pays attention to his artwork and writings, leading up to his 1855 visit to the island of Ezo, one year after Hakodate port was officially opened to the West. I focus particularly on Rosen’s development as a painter and scholar in Hirosaki castle town and Tsugaru region, and on how he conceived of his local environment, through his ethnographic records of local life and culture in image and text, years before he seriously took up kokugaku studies and became a Hirata disciple. I demonstrate how Rosen’s first ever journey outside his Tsugaru home “overseas” to Ezo in 1855, his observation and encounter with Ezo locals and Europeans, Americans, and Qing Chinese provide him an opportunity to see the “world” and Japan’s place in it, as well as Tsugaru or Hirosaki domain’s place alongside Matsumae domain, which also upholds a part of Imperial Japan. Rosen’s experiences and writings around this pivotal time are increasingly directed toward studies of ethnography and kokugaku, and I pursue this tendency in greater detail in the following chapter which examines the interplay between regional and national identities in Rosen’s discussion on Tsugaru and Imperial Japan.  108  Hirao Rosen: Early Years Hirao Rosen was born on the tenth month of 1808 (Bunka 5) as the eldest son of Hirao Tōjirō, in the fish vending shop Obama-ya located in 80 (banchi) Kon’ya machi, Hirosaki castle town, Mutsu province.271 Rosen’s name was Sukemune (亮致), and his common name was Hatsusaburō (初三郎). He also used Kōsai (宏斎) as an artist, as well as Rosen (蘆川, 芦川) as a haikai poet. Later, this would be adapted to Rosen with the Chinese characters 魯僊 or 魯仙, by which he is best known posthumously. Across the river from Kon’yamachi was a town that connected to Nishihama, a port town on the Japan Sea coast, and so by virtue of lying on this junction, Kon’yamachi was a place with a concentration of domainal storehouses for the collection of rice and fish, and saw a regular bustling of activity.272 Goods were transported and information transmitted here, from Edo and the Kamigata area of Kyoto and Osaka. From a young age, Rosen has been characterized as naturally intelligent and perceptive (天稟頴悟, 稟性頴敏). It is said that as a small child, Rosen memorized poems from the Ogura hundred poem collection (Hyakunin isshū) which his mother recited while carrying him at her bosom. He came to be called “child prodigy” (奇童) from a young age. From age five, Rosen loved to draw, and would be content to spend his days indoors with brush and paper, as opposed to playing like other children. For fear that their child might be affected by melancholy, Rosen’s parents deprived him of his brush and ink, only for the boy to search for charred pieces of wood  271  I have based my biography of Hirao Rosen on the following texts. Rosenshi, Ed. Mikami Sennen, Kudō Sen’otsu. In Hirosaki Municipal Library, 1877. Nakamura Ryōnoshin, ed. Hirao Rosen Okina, Published by Hirao Chūbei, 1929. Moriyama Taitarō. “Hirao Rosen” In Kyōdo no senjin wo kataru (7) Kanematsu Sekkyo, Hirao Rosen, Akita Ujaku, Ed. Hirosaki shiritsu toshokan. Hirosaki shiritsu toshokan, 1971. Kojima Yasunori. “Bakumatsuki Tsugaru no minzokugakusha, Hirao Rosen: Hirata Atsutane to Yanagita Kunio no aida,” Shishi Hirosaki nenpō, 10, 2001. Moriyama Taitarō, “Hirao Rosen den”, Sunakose Kawaradaira wo aruita hitobito: Sugae Masumi, Hirao Rosen, Tsugaru minzoku no kai. Ed. Yamashita Yusuke. Sunakose gakushūkan, 2007. 272 Kojima, p. 17.  109  (燼) and wooden shingles to carry on drawing. At the age of eight, he climbed the 1,625 metre high Mt. Iwaki, then after returning home recreated images of the notable stops on the route in proper order, which astonished those around him. He also depicted the carrying of the mikoshi palanquin (御輿) at the local Hachiman shrine, military march formation, and the positions of sumo (角力) wrestlers at an arena with impressive accuracy. Rosen was praised as a “child artist” (画童) for his light and wondrous brushwork. He was naturally gifted and displayed a high level of curiosity toward the world around him. Rosen read and memorized children’s readings in the Imagawa jō collection (『今川 状』). At age nine, he enrolled in a Terakoya temple school, where he read aloud and became versed in the Four Books and Five Classics. He spent his free time drawing, instead of playing. It is said that at age eleven, Rosen listened to his father’s reading of Taikō ki, Warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s biography, and recited it from memory, which impressed those around him. That same year, Rosen entered the tutelage of Matsuda Kusui (松田駒水 1755-1830), the head of classical studies (経学学頭) at the domainal school Keikokan, where he studied the classics (経 学) and history. Kusui recognized that his student excelled beyond the other children, and devoted himself to drawing the natural landscape over play, and therefore sent him to study art with Kudō Gohō (工藤五鳳). After training the young man for some time, Gohō sent Rosen to study with his own teacher, Mōnai Unrin (毛内雲林). At age 14, Rosen quit school and returned home to assist with the family business. This did not stop him from studying, however, as he would devote his nights to studying, alternating between his two main subjects—learning painting one night, then reading books the next. Rosen continued to work and study in this way, with limited social interaction. One day when he was 110  age 16 or 17, his parents suggested he go out and enjoy some theatre. Rosen obliged and happily left home, but secretly went to a friend’s house and spent the day pursuing art studies and reading. The young man did not conform to his surroundings, and for his unusual ways, he was ridiculed and branded with the nickname of the otherworldly sennin (immortal 仙人). Perhaps out of humility and humour, Hatsusaburō added the character “Ro” (魯)273 to “Sen” (仙) to adopt the name Rosen 魯仙, which he also rendered 魯僊. At age 18, Rosen learned writing (書法) and haikai poetry from the prominent poet and leader of the local haikai circle, Utsumi Sōha (内海草坡). Sōha studied Chinese texts, the Ancient Way, and Buddhism, and was responsible for the reception of “Ancient Way studies” (古道学) into Tsugaru. Under Sōha’s tutelage, Rosen came to know his lifelong friend and scholarly peer Tsuruya Ariyo (1808-71), both of the same age. It is recorded that one day, Ariyo lamented to Rosen, “Is it not shameful, for us men to be born in the backwater of the Deep East (東奥僻陬), and wilt in futility along with the grass and trees?”274 Rosen was overjoyed to hear this, and both he and Ariyo are said to have set off for the cultural hub of Edo. However, while lodging in Ōwani village, an acquaintance recognized them, reported them to their families, and they were immediately called back home. It is said that when Rosen repeatedly tried to set out for Edo but failed, he became depressed and eventually fell ill. His parents worried and arranged for him to learn yōkyoku singing (謡曲) for noh theatre, tea ceremony (茶道), and flower arrangement. Rosen did not particularly care for these pursuits, but neither did he want to oppose his parents’ order and so took them up. Rosen eventually found comfort again in artwork. While tending to the family  273 274  The character 魯 can be read “nibui,” dull, or “oroka,” foolish. Nakamura Ryōnoshin, Hirao Rosen Okina, p. 5.  111  business, Rosen learned from Unrin and eventually studied under Momokawa Gakuan who was versed in both painting and literature. He then learned the secrets of Yamato painting colouring (Yamato-e chakushoku) from Kano Harukawa’s disciple, Imamura Keiju (今村渓寿), and other painting techniques from Edo painter Sō Shihō (宋紫峯). All the while, Rosen continued to work, assisting with the family business. At age 23, Rosen married Tomeko (登留子、登女 Tome), daughter of the Masuda family of merchants. From around this time, the family finances were strained, and Rosen had to devote himself solely to the business, putting aside art and his studies for seven years. At 30, Rosen deplored to his father, “My nature is not suited to managing the family business. Fortunately, younger brother Saburōji has this [nature], and so I ask you, please pass my inheritance on to him. I wish to live independently and solely research on the way of art (画 道).”275 Rosen’s father granted his eldest son’s request, permitting younger son Saburōji to manage the business. Rosen changed residence to nearby 178 Kon’yachō, and resumed his artwork and studies. 1837 (Tenpō 8), the year Rosen became independent and began his career as an artist, immediately follows the Tenpō famine of 1833 to 1836. Rosen experienced the difficulty of making a living on his artwork, and his family faced dire poverty, as he could no longer rely on his inheritance as the eldest son. Out of sympathy, his parents gave Rosen some clothes and food. Rosen’s biography records that he gave these gifts to his wife Tomeko, and handed her the following message: Although I pledged a vow of marriage with you for life, the poverty of our family is as you see. However, no matter how great a famine we may face, I vow not to abandon my research on the way of art. Because of this, the family finances will increasingly fall in 275  Ibid. p. 6.  112  poverty, and finally we could not avoid the plight of starvation. The ancients also say that a woman’s happiness and sadness simply lie in the wealth or poverty of her husband. You are still young. Quickly leave and seek a good relationship with another.276  Thus Rosen wrote in the customary “three and a half lines” (mikudari han) of a divorce paper and delivered it to Tomeko. Tomeko was astonished by this and cried. However, she tore the paper and replied, “Though I may be misfortunate, once receiving orders from my parents to be betrothed to you, how can I desire wealth or success with another, as long as I keep my vow with you to death? Starvation is a fate of the times. Wealth is also a fate of the times. In all things, I simply follow the fate of the times.”277 In response, Rosen three times tried to convince his wife to leave, but she would not listen. Finally, Tomeko sold clothing and books, in order to gather brush and paper, and encouraged her husband, “Devote your heart to this and endeavor in your studies! Never let poverty interfere with your will.”278 Thus encouraged by the unwavering support of his wife, Rosen pursued his artwork with renewed will and determination.279 He worked through sleepless nights and extreme cold. On days that his hands could no longer endure the cold, he is said to have soaked his hands in icy water until he felt warmth returning to them, then resumed to take up his brush. Years of devotion led to his advancement in skill, and at age 34 or 35, he gained recognition and his works came to be sought after, leading to a more stable life. Nakamura describes Rosen’s character as “honest and straight” (誠直), with a tendency to record all accounts that he hears.280 This is seen in his meticulous records of written and oral  276  Ibid., p. 7 Ibid. 278 Ibid. 279 Rosen and Tomeko’s granddaughter Doki Yasuko, reflects on hearing her grandmother tell her this story, of her determination to support her husband and the actual struggles they faced over the years. See her account in the same biography edited by Nakamura. Ibid. pp. 61-62. 280 Ibid., p. 9. 277  113  accounts of strange, mysterious, and spiritual things and phenomena in his Gappo kidan (『合浦 奇談』), or Strange Tales of Gappo, and Tani no hibiki (『谷の響』), or Echoes of the Valley. Rosen was known to regularly display flowers on his desk, or carp and other fish in a water tank to observe in close detail. Rosen’s artistic productions include books of sketches and paintings of nature—including flowers, fish, animals, people, and various objects from daily life.281 He stressed the importance of directly observing objects and people before drawing or painting their image, and is even known to have severely scolded a young disciple for painting the image of a Chinese child (唐子) without adequately studying the appearance and behaviour of actual children.282 Rosen urged that one begin with the true image of original objects, and idealize them later. He is also quoted as saying, “first follow the law (法), then later leave the law.”283 In order to accurately depict people of the past with accuracy, he studied kojitsu, or rituals, laws, and etiquette of the past. His books of sketches and paintings also include those devoted to military armory and weaponry. Rosen moreover studied and collected ancient earth and stone vessels, as well as other archaeological findings, namely in the Tsugaru area.284 He provides sketches of unearthed vessels and artifacts, accompanied by explanations in Gappo kidan (Strange Tales of Gappo). Early modern records of this domain show interest and excavations of sites from early on, including those of Jōmon sites, such as Kamegaoka, located in the southwest part of Tsugaru plain in marshland just west of current-day Tsugaru city.285  281  Some of Rosen’s sketchbooks are archived in the Hirosaki City Library, Hirosaki City Museum, Aomori Prefectural Museum, and in Tokyo. 282 Nakamura, p. 53. 283 Ibid. 284 Ibid. pp. 31-32. 285 Tsugaru ittōshi (『津軽一統志』), a record compiled by the ruling Tsugaru family from the 18th century, gives detailed descriptions of archaeological excavations of earthen vessels in Kamegaoka. In the late-Tokugawa to early  114  Rosen’s career and thought as a Hirata disciple and kokugaku scholar make up a major topic in itself, and I discuss this in greater detail in chapters five and eight. To outline in simple terms, Rosen joined his friends Tsuruya Ariyo, Imamura Mitane and others as Imperial loyalists (勤王家, 勤皇家) and joined the Hirata academy in 1864. He also learned Chinese and Imperial studies (皇学) from domainal school instructor Kanematsu Sekkyo (兼松石居 or Seigon 成言), who also became one of Rosen’s biographers. Sekkyo records in Rosen’s biography that “at forty, he was awakened to the right way of Imperial Studies (皇学)”. As Kojima Yasunori rationalizes, this “Imperial Studies” likely refers to Hirata kokugaku which he takes up in later years, and when considering it was his haikai teacher Sōha who transmitted Ancient Way studies to Tsugaru, we can imagine that Rosen received this influence under his teacher’s tutelage, and at around forty he gained conviction in his kokugaku studies.286  Study of Folk culture Rosen was a prolific ethnographer or researcher of the folk culture and life of the Tsugaru region. While I use the terms “ethnography” and “folklore studies” here, I make a distinction between these and the modern academic discipline of minzokugaku or folklore studies, pioneered by Yanagita Kunio, Orikuchi Shinobu, and others in the late Meiji period and onward. Later in this chapter, I will discuss these early studies which preceded modern “ethnography” and “folklore studies,” and the transition from early modern to modern forms, contextualizing Rosen’s activities within these movements. Rosen’s interest in ethnography or folklore studies is  Meiji periods, there were several prominent figures in Hirosaki domain and Aomori prefecture who participated in archaeological excavations, namely Minomushi Sanjin (蓑虫山人 1836-1900). 286 Kojima, “Bakumatsuki Tsugaru no minzokugakusha, Hirao Rosen: Hirata Atsutane to Yanagita Kunio no aida,” p. 19.  115  reflected in his paintings and drawings of local Tsugaru landscape or commoners’ life and culture, his major treatises written later in life, and his waka poems which he composed throughout his life and collected in his Hirao Rosen kashū, or Hirao Rosen Poetry Anthology, likely around 1877 (Meiji 10), in his later years. All of such works, most of which will be discussed in greater detail later, are invaluable visual and written records of local commoner culture in Tsugaru society, reproduced and cited regularly in contemporary Aomori prefecture, in studies and celebrations of local history and culture, particularly in introducing the annual Neputa festival from late July to early August. Tsugaru fūzokuga maki (Images of Tsugaru customs), features colourful paintings of a number of local cultural and everyday activities, beginning with “Neputa no zu” (Neputa image), and also featuring “Bon odori no zu” (Bon festival dance image), “Oyama sankei no zu” (Mount Iwaki Worship image), “Fuyu no sagyō fūkei to yōgu” (Scenes of winter work and tools).287 “Neputa no zu” depicts a festive scene similar to those of contemporary times that take place for one week from the end of July into August. Over a hundred people are seen marching in a procession, some men in only loincloth, carrying large Neputa floats lit from inside depicting mythical and historical figures, warriors, an octopus, an assortment of local produce, and a castle. There are taiko drummers, and people dancing, and some buying goods from merchants. “Bon odori no zu” depicts groups of people performing bon dance in the summer festival of the seventh month to welcome back souls of the dead. Some groups are comprised of people in 287  Tsugaru fūzokuga maki is known to exist as reproduced versions, whereas Rosen’s original has yet to be located. Known reproductions are one by Rosen’s disciple Satō Senshi (佐藤仙之), and a reproduction of this work by Kimura Senshū (木村仙秀), disciple of Mikami Sennen (三上仙年), one of Rosen’s prominent disciple painters. Senshi’s version is privately owned by Hasegawa Takashi in Hirosaki, and Senshū’s belonged to the collection of the late Moriyama Taitarō. Senshi’s version includes a preface “Kyū han Hirosaki fūzoku ga jo,” but Senshū’s contains an inscription, “Tsugaru fūzokuga maki.” Though it is unknown how Rosen himself referred to the work, I use the latter which has become the accepted name. Please see a reproduction (Senshi’s version) and Hitoshi Narita’s description in “247 Tsugaru fūzokuga maki” in Shinpen Hirosaki shishi shiryō hen 3 (Kinsei hen 2). Ed. Shinpen Hirosaki shishi hensan iinkai. 2000. Preface, pp. 775-78.  116  elaborate costumes of ogres, and animals, as well as samurai and ladies with oversized heads. One of the groups includes an individual holding a large umbrella. A larger group is dancing in a circle waving their arms in one direction. There are male and female adults as well as children in the scene. Musicians, many in varying costumes, are playing shamisen and flutes. “Iwaki sankei no zu” recreates the Mount Iwaki worship, a festival to pray for a plentiful harvest, with pilgrims setting out from local towns and villages on the first day of the eighth month, lodging along the way, worshipping at the Iwaki shrine, then climbing the mountain through the night, to watch the sunrise atop the summit. In the image, men are climbing up the slope, carrying nobori banners and streamers. Only men are depicted here, as women were restricted from climbing this mountain until this rule was abolished in Meiji.288 The scroll also shows a scene of pilgrims after descending from the mountain. There are many in costume dancing vigorously, many wearing tall eboshi hats, some with fans in hand, accompanied by a group of taiko drummers. Shishi mai lion dancers are also performing, flanked by more dancers. These images of the Mount Iwaki harvest festival nicely complement Rosen’s individual print of the same name, Iwaki sankei zu.289 This print includes Rosen’s inscription, “Ōshū province (奥州), Tsugaru, Mount Iwaki, Image of going to and returning from worship, from the first until the fifteenth day of the eighth month.” The colourful print depicts multiple dimensions of the Mount Iwaki worship, and the layout of the images suggest transition in the activities of this festival. The foreground shows a bustling scene of worshippers, merchants tending shop, taiko drummers, dancers, and entertainers. Several men are carrying nobori banners of “Iwaki san daigongen” (Mount Iwaki Avatar). Our view is led from the busy festive scene on the right,  288  Moriyama Taitarō. Nihon no minzoku: Aomori. Daiichi hōki, 1972. p. 171. Hirao Rosen “Iwaki sankei zu.” As labelled, this is a print prepared by Seiji (成治版) in Hirosaki, and reprinted (再写) by Ukiyoe Artist, Utagawa Sadahide (歌川貞秀, 1807-79?) in Edo. One print is housed at Hirosaki City Museum as well as another at Mitsunobu kō no yakata (Lord Mitsunobu Museum) in Ajigasawa, Aomori.  289  117  toward the more serene atmosphere of the shrines of Mount Iwaki shrine visited by worshippers, which is represented in much smaller scale. Clouds separate these two scenes of the bustling people and shrine from the image of Mount Iwaki, as the main object of journey, as if to define the line between sacred and secular. “Yuki fune hiki no zu” (Sled pulling image) is another impressive image, this time a winter scene, of several tens of men pulling a large object by rope on large ski-like sleds (yuki fune). Aside from this party are smaller groups such as a high-ranking samurai, wearing a bigshouldered haori vest, being pulled in his elaborate seat on sleds, accompanied by several attendants. Another man is pulling what could be a bushel of rice or barrel on sleds, with a small boy sitting aboard. There are images also of adults and children playing in the snow. In one, men are laughing at another who fell into a trap pit they had set up. Children are being pulled on a sled along a slope. Rosen depicts a comical scene of children piling on top of each other, with a description: “For those who fall when riding the slope, there is a rule called ‘nihotsumu,’ a game in which children pile atop when someone falls. This is obviously a case of the rule being observed.”290 There are others carefully climbing and descending the snowy slopes and paths, with some slipping and falling. In the ensuing “Tōki sagyō no zu” (Winter work and tools image), men are clearing snow from off a building roof and making roads with it. Rosen describes the different jobs involved in the process, and provides diagrams of tools and gear used for such work in the snow. A man presses down the snow to make a road (街道), using a “yuki oshi” or snow press, a tool consisting of a long shaft with a long flat piece of wood on its end. The next man treads on and hardens the snow also in the road making process, wearing cylindrical “yuki fumi” or snow tread  290  Hirao Rosen. “Yuki no asobi no zu.” In Shinpen Hirosaki shishi. Shiryō hen 3. Kinsei hen 2. p. 777.  118  on his feet, cut out of tawara straw bags. He is holding a “kaheshiki” or shovel. Two men are flattening snow also using “kaheshiki,” one of them wearing another kind of flat, broad-based “yuki fumi” made of tawara bags for carrying coal. Two men are shoveling heavy snow from off of the roof. Another man is cutting blocks out of “accumulated snow from the second month” with saws, for more road making, while another is pulling out those cut blocks. Rosen’s list of snow tools and gear include objects not mentioned above such as other variations of footwear, and ski-like sleds for transporting objects. Tsugaru fūzokuga maki and Iwaki sankei zu are representative works of Rosen that demonstrate his fine detail to folk culture of commoners in daily life in the local Tsugaru setting. Rosen’s policy of depicting images of objects and people only after closely observing their originals is seen in his works on Tsugaru. Next we will examine how he is able to apply this artistic philosophy to his journey to Ezo in 1855. We will also see how 1855 and the years surrounding become an important period for Rosen’s scholarly thought and tendencies going forward.  1855 Visit to Ezo On the second day of the seventh month in 1853 (Kaei 6), Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry led four black steamships to Uraga Bay in Edo. The four ships mounted sixtyone guns, carried 967 men, and were six or more times larger than any ship in Japan.291 Perry stated he had been ordered to deliver a letter from President Filmore directly to the emperor, and sought trade privileges with Japan. After asserting his demands and instilling fear in the bakufu  291  Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: 2000. p. 277.  119  and daimyo, Perry left to replenish supplies in China, then returned again in the second month of the following year, 1854 (Kaei 7). In 1854, following negotiations between Perry and Hayashi, the head of the Shōheikō Academy in Edo, the Tokugawa Bakufu signed amity treaties with the United States, England, and Russia. The Japan-U.S. Amity Treaty was signed in the third month, and guaranteed perpetual peace between the two countries, the opening of Shimoda and Hakodate ports, the right to purchase supplies of firewood, water, coal, and food, and the protection of American castaways, and ensured the United States’ status as “most favoured nation.”292 Also in 1854, the bakufu, out of fear of Russian encroachment southward on Japanese territory, declared Ezo (present-day Hokkaido) under Bakufu control, and re-established a magistrate in the port town of Hakodate, located on the southern coast of Ezo. In the following year of 1855 (Ansei 2), the bakufu ordered the northern domains293 to carry out the security of Ezo, and Hirosaki and Morioka domains received official order to defend and control West Ezo.294 The events of Perry’s arrival, heightened concerns about the Tokugawa state’s military capabilities, and the opening of the country, are all subjects of the numerous official documents, letters, and treatises copied, edited, and compiled in the six-volume fūsetsu gaki bulletin, Taihei shinwa (『太平新話』), or New Writings on the Vast World, which Rosen completed in the second month of 1855 (Ansei 2).295 The voluminous Taihei shinwa reveals Rosen’s awareness of  292  The “most favoured nation” clause is a feature of the “unequal treaties” signed between imperial powers and Asian states from the mid-nineteenth century, which granted to the superior nation any and all privileges and rights promised to other nations with which they negotiated agreements. 293 These northern domains included Sendai, Morioka, Akita, Hirosaki, Matsumae, Aizu, and Tsuruoka. 294 Hasegawa Seiichi. Hirosaki han. Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 2004. pp. 215~17. 295 Taihei shinwa (『太平新話』) is archived at Hirosaki City Library. This collection begins with “Memorandum from Uraga magistrate on Kaei 6 (1853) arrival of foreign vessels”「嘉永六年異国船渡来につき浦賀奉行よりの 届け書」」, and letters (上書) from daimyo to the bakufu, letters from Russia, and documents depicting local life in Matsumae. There are also various colour images including one of Commodore Perry, American warships, and several maps. The volume contains Kyūmu issoku (A Principle of Urgent Matters) written in 1853 (Ansei 1) by  120  such current events and his ability to obtain such information, and the work overall is reminiscent of Hirata Atsutane’s Chishima no shiranami (White Waves of the Kuriles, 1807) compiled almost half a century before, following Russian and British ships’ arrivals to Japanese coastal waters. On the eleventh day of the sixth month of 1855 (Ansei 2), Rosen left his home in Hirosaki castle town to embark on a journey to Ezo. His 33-day excursion featured crossing the Tsugaru Strait to travel to Matsumae port and castle town, where he stayed two days, before traveling eastward through mountainous forests and the southern coast of Ezo, visiting villages along the way, then arriving in Hakodate where he stayed 18 days. Rosen records his observations and experiences of this Ezo visit in writing and images in Hakodate kikō (『箱館紀 行』), or Hakodate Travelogue,296 and Yōi meiwa (『洋夷茗話』), or An Account of Foreigners.297 In the openings of both Hakodate kikō and Yōi meiwa, after the text’s title, Rosen  Chōshū scholar and military strategist Yoshida Torajirō (Shōin, 1830-1859) which discusses Imperial Japan’s military preparedness in the face of foreign encroachment, and explains the importance and the need for good naval defence in Japan: “For those born in the Imperial Country, how can they not reflect on the past and on returning to the militant past? The four sides of the Imperial Country are all ocean and there is nowhere that is without barbaric contact. Also Edo is where the barbarian-subduing government is located.” (Taihei shinwa, folio 46, front) It is not clear how and through whom Rosen obtained such current documents, but one can imagine his source may be other fellow merchants who regularly dealt with ships from Edo, Osaka-Kyoto areas, and Ezo, such as the wealthy Kanagiya merchant house, which produced the Kanagiya diary, full of detailed information on late-Tokugawa political and social change, as well as the local life of commoners. Hasegawa, Hirosaki han. pp. 198~203. 296 As Moriyama Taitarō explains, Rosen completed Hakodate kikō (archived at Hirosaki City Library) about a year and one month after his return from Ezo on the 22nd day of the eighth month in 1856 (Ansei 3), and this work is a revised version of Matsumae kikō (Matsumae travelogue) archived at Hakodate City Central Library. Matsumae kikō has been reproduced in 1989 by Hakodate City Central Library as Kyōdo shiryō fukusei sōsho hachi, and in Nihon shomin seikatsu shiryō shūsei, Volume 20, Tanken, kikō, chiri, hoi. San’ichi shobō, 1972, along with Moriyama’s introduction and annotation. Hakodate kikō has been reproduced in Seikatsu no koten sōsho: Yōi meiwa, Hakodate kikō. Yasaka shoten, 1974. 297 Yōi meiwa complements Hakodate kikō, and contains several tens of accounts observing Westerners. It was completed on the tenth day of the eighth month in 1856 (Ansei 3), and this is a revised version of Hakodate ijindan (housed at Hakodate Central City Library). Yōi meiwa was reproduced as Aomori kenritsu toshokan kyōdo sōsho daisanshū, in December, 1970. Matsumae kikō and Hakodate ijindan are later revised into Hakodate kikō and Yōi meiwa, respectively, but between the two editions there were two sketchbooks, Matsumae fūkei and Hakodate ikoku jinbutsuzu, both housed at the Northern Studies Collection, Hokkaido University Library. I write about the changes and editing processes between Matsumae kikō, Matsumae fūkei, and Hakodate kikō, as well as how this is reflected in Rosen’s later works in my “Matsumae fūkei: Hokkaidō daigaku fuzoku toshokan Hoppō kankei shiryōshitsuzō”  121  writes, “Hirosaki recluse Hirao Rosen’s Records” (「弘陽逸民平尾魯僊喘」), identifying himself as an “itsumin” (「逸民」), and recluse or hermit, not bound to public office, but living his life freely, pursuing his artwork and studies. Coming from a merchant household, Rosen identifies himself as a townsperson of Hirosaki, independent of social classifications. In this sense, Rosen’s travelogues of his journey to Ezo are valuable records of Ezo, and particularly of Matsumae and Hakodate of that period, from a commoner’s perspective.298 The primary purpose of Rosen’s journey to Ezo appears to have been for exploration and research to fulfill personal interests, but he was also likely fulfilling public duty in drawing images (図) for Hirosaki domain. Hirosaki domain’s military base was located in Chiyogadai, on the outskirts of Hakodate, and Yōi meiwa records that on the 28th day of the sixth month, Rosen, accompanied by three domainal samurai, visited Chiyogadai and produced images of it.299 It is known that Rosen shared his experiences in Ezo with others, as evidenced by Tsuruya Ariyo’s essay, “Ezo ga kyūsen, koto no kotoba” (A few words on Ezo bow and arrows, and harps), in which Ariyo writes about the Ezo harps that Rosen had seen during his visit to Hakodate.300 Also, in a letter written on the eleventh day of the sixth month in 1869 to Shimozawa Yasumi, Rosen  (Matsumae Landscape: Archived in Northern Studies Collection, Hokkaido University Library) Hirosaki Daigaku kokushi kenkyū (Hirosaki University Studies in Japanese History) Vol. 130 (March 2011) pp. 41-56. 298  Images and passages of Rosen’s Ezo travelogues are cited in many works, including local histories of Aomori and Hokkaido. They are also reproduced at the historical display and elevator of the Goryōkaku Tower of Hakodate, built on the site of the Bakufu stronghold in late-Tokugawa. 299 “On the 28th day of the sixth month, I was accompanied by two samurai Iwasawa and Ishibiya, and another samurai belonging to both of their battalions, three in total, and went to draw an image of a place called Chiyogadai which manages a military base.” Yōi meiwa. p. 102. Chiyogadai is identified in maps contained in Hakodate kikō and Yōi meiwa, however, the whereabouts of the image of the military base commissioned by the domain are unknown. 300 Tsuruya Ariyo, “Ezo ga kyūsen, koto no kotoba”, in Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei gakugei hen. p. 537.  122  expresses his desire to send Yōi meiwa and Hakodate kikō to Ibukinoya academy head Hirata Kanetane, stating, “I wish to spread these in society as much as possible.”301 Rosen’s 1855 journey to Ezo during this transformative period in the region’s history, also had major influence on his scholarly activities and thought formation in the years to follow. Let us closely examine Hakodate kikō and Yōi meiwa in order to see how in Ezo, Rosen “discovered” the world, and in conjunction, rediscovered the “Divine country” (皇国 mikuni) and “Tsugaru.” First, let us look at how Rosen identifies the first local community he sees in Ezo within a context of “Imperial Japan”. After arriving in Matsumae late on the 16th day, Rosen begins to survey the port town from the following morning, noting a shrine and temple, residences, ships sailing in and out of the harbor, sailors loading and unloading cargo to and from their ships, and the bustling commercial and merchant activity taking place on the streets. A townsman and merchant by birth, Rosen confirms the prosperity of the island as he had heard it reported, stating, “Indeed, the fact that this island has remarkable prosperity and local customs is not a falsehood, and testifies to the riches on this land.”302 Despite witnessing this economic activity, however, Rosen laments that the vast potential of this island is not realized due to its incomplete development: Ah, what a waste! Sadly, if there was even a single valiant figure, who laid down irrigation, reclaimed paddies and fields, cleared the reef, and established a foreign-style base, adding wealth on wealth and strengthening the country’s base, like adding wings to a tiger, would it not respectfully profit the Divine Country (皇国 mikuni) for ten thousand generations, and benefit not only this single island?303  301  Hirao Rosen letter to Shimozawa Yasumi. 11th day of sixth month, Meiji 2 (1869), Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei gakugei hen. p. 617. Note that 1869 (Meiji 2) is a correction from 1868 (Meiji 1) as rendered in Aomori kenshi shiryō hen kinsei gakugei hen. 302 Hirao Rosen, Hakodate kikō, p. 121 303 Ibid. pp. 121, 128.  123  Rosen deplores that there does not appear “a single valiant figure” to develop Matsumae agriculturally through laying down irrigation and reclaiming the land, as a port city through clearing the reef to improve naval access, or in military defense through building a foreign-style base. Here, Rosen expresses his vision of Matsumae as upholding a vital part of the Divine Country’s economy. Above, we saw how Rosen regarded Matsumae’s place and role in the Divine Country, in terms of development and economic prosperity, and now in the following passage, we are provided a glimpse at Rosen’s vision of the “people of the divine country” (皇国人 mikuni no hito), through his encounter with youth in Hakodate: On the night of the Two-Star Festival (Tanabata), twenty-three youth of Hakodate joined together, some carrying the Nebuta, some pulling the rope and chanted, “Yasa, yasa,” some even removed their clothes. There were those wearing headbands, some daringly jumped around, and until the very end they followed and propped up [the float]. When I see their attitude toward the people of the imperial country (皇国人 mikuni no hito), is it not insulting and underhanded, how they brush them off as if they had become familiar with them? Because we cannot understand each other’s languages, this is difficult to determine.304 Rosen describes the lively participation of Hakodate youth in the Tanabata Festival, where they are propping up a Nebuta float, and chanting and jumping, donning festival attire. Despite the fact that these youth live in the “wajin” or “Japanese” territory of Hakodate, and are partaking in a common “Japanese” or “Tsugaru” cultural event, Rosen distinguishes them from “people of the imperial country,” and a number reasons can be considered. For one, Rosen points out what he deems as improper and disrespectful attitudes of the youths toward the “people of the imperial country,” for brushing them off with an air of familiarity. Second, the language barrier between the Hakodate youth and himself suggests a difference in backgrounds—the youths might be  304  Hirao Rosen, Yōi meiwa, p. 103.  124  children of migrant workers from a region with a markedly foreign dialect, or they may even have been Ainu, though the former seems more plausible.305 In any case, such personal encounters afforded by this journey in the racial, ethnic, and cultural mosaic of Ezo allowed Rosen to “flesh out” his visions of identity, of who were and were not the “people of the imperial country.” Keeping in mind these boundaries of identity, let us now examine Rosen’s encounter with a new external other. Yōi meiwa’s opening passage immediately depicts a very “globalized” Matsumae and Hakodate, whose residents were exposed and had even grown accustomed to the Westerners’ presence. Rosen’s early observations are striking in that the boundaries separating the different Western nations are blurred: This year, Ansei 2 (1855) Kinotou [52nd year of the cycle] summer, late in the sixth month, the foreign ships docked at Matsumae and Hakodate ports were of four countries: North America, England, France, and Germany. The ships’ build are roughly the same, and it is only by the design of their flags that the countries are distinguishable. At the time, eight ships were docked, and from these ships 30 to 40 people, or 50 to 60 at one time, a total of roughly two to three hundred people, came up to shore daily, and they come and go through the city of Hakodate, as well as Kameda village (four kilometres from Hakodate) and Arikawa village (12 kilometres from Hakodate), and even if they rub shoulders with the locals, they have become accustomed to it and do not even turn and look. I now refer to several things I saw and have made them topics of casual discussion.”306 At the very start of his travelogue, Rosen depicts the scene of foreign ships from four countries docking in the Ezo harbour towns, noting that these Westerners are coming on shore in the several tens, and that in total they number in the three to four hundred. Rosen observes that the ships’ designs are more or less the same and “it is only by the design of their flags that the countries are distinguishable.” This lack of clear distinctions between Western nations is a point 305  For discussions on Ainu and other peoples inhabiting Ezo in the late-Tokugawa period see Kikuchi Isao, Ainu minzoku to Nihonjin: Higashi Ajia no naka no Ezochi. Asahi shinbunsha, 1994. Tanimoto Akihisa, “Bakumatsu ishinki no Matsumae Ezochi to Ainu shakai,” Sekai shi no naka no Meiji ishin. Meiji ishinshi gakkai, Yūshisha, 2012. Howell, David L. Capitalism From Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. 306 Hirao Rosen, Yōi meiwa. p. 3.  125  that Rosen makes repeatedly throughout this text. Furthermore, he expresses surprise at how these Westerners have blended into the local scene, such that residents of Hakodate and nearby villages could make slight physical contact with them, without even showing a reaction. He discovers an international society within a northern Japanese port town where foreign encounters have become mutually mundane. This journey to Ezo provides Rosen direct contact with Americans and Europeans, and observations of how peoples of different countries communicate and interact. These direct observations come to shape his views of foreign people and cultures, beyond mere conceptual views: The way that people of England [Igirisu] call their own country sounds like “Engeresu,” and America sounds like just “’merica,” with that pronunciation the tip of the tongue is very light as if the sound is emitted from the teeth. Also, even though their speech is fast, the five sounds [vowels] are well distinguished, the high and low [in intonation] of word endings is similar to the twang in the western provinces of our country. Because Russians are unseen, they are unknown, but those of America, England, France, and Germany are all heard, and yet people like me have difficulty in differentiating between them. Further, the people of these countries converse and interact with each other such that it appears as though there is no distinction between oneself and other. Their headgear, clothes, and facial appearance and complexion look the same and it is difficult to distinguish between them.307  Rosen dwells on the “difficulty in differentiating between” Americans, English, French, and Germans, remarking that these people of different countries speak and have social interaction with one another, appearing, “as if there is no distinction between oneself and other.” Rosen is citing the mutual language(s) being used, and the lack of distinction in appearance and dress, as well as their casualness of interactions. Such vague separation between “oneself and other,” and blurring of boundaries among Westerners, appears to be a revelation to Rosen, who by contrast,  307  Ibid. p. 22.  126  drew a clear distinction between “people of the imperial country” and those youth from Hakodate. While Rosen is unable to clearly distinguish the origins of the ships and the people aboard them, he is quick to begin a physical description and comparisons of these Westerners to the “people of the imperial country” (mikuni no hito 皇国の人) or people of Japan.308 Rosen’s comparisons between the Westerners and Japanese begin with physical stature and height, noting the foreigners to be generally much taller, with height ranging in centimetres in the 170s. He also differentiates these Westerners’ manner of dress and walking in terms of their social rank, with officials carrying swords, dressing well, and walking in brisk, long, and ordered strides, which contrasts against the juniors whose strides are fast but disordered and unregulated. This is simply the first of numerous observations of Westerners’ practices that lead to comparisons with Divine Japanese on a variety of matters including hairstyle, clothing, eating and drinking habits, slaughter of livestock, Christian funerary rites, and the appearance and manners of women, emphasizing the more distinguished sensibilities of the Japanese in many cases. The text is full of racial prejudices common for those times. While racial and cultural differences are pointed out, however, Rosen displays a level of relative objectivity in his observations—perhaps those of an objective scholar or artist—that contrast with Atsutane’s descriptions of foreigners that were often distastefully xenophobic.309  308  Ibid. p. 3. While Atsutane credited the Dutch for their skill in science and technology, and identified them as superior to the Chinese whom he also labeled as unclean and deceitful, his descriptions of the Dutch also include expressions of a vicious xenophobia: “As everyone knows who has seen one, the Dutch are taller than other people and have fair complexions, big noses, and white stars in their eyes. By nature they are lighthearted and often laugh. They are seldom angry, a fact that does not accord with their appearance and is a seeming sign of weakness. They shave their beards, but their nails are not dirty like the Chinese. Their clothing is extremely beautiful and ornamented with gold and silver. Their eyes are really just like those of a dog. They are long from the waist downwards, and the slenderness of their legs makes them resemble animals. When they urinate they lift one leg, the way dogs do. Moreover, apparently because the backs of their feet do not reach the ground, they fasten wooden heels to their shoes, which make them look all the more like dogs. This may also explain why a Dutchman’s penis appears to be 309  127  One major conclusion that Rosen arrives at, concerning the Western nation, is that they are a very real and imminent force that Japan cannot take lightly. Throughout Hakodate kikō, Rosen observes the Westerners’ naval and military technology that he perceives as superior to Japan’s. Furthermore, Rosen records a humiliating experience told to him by Tadashichi, head clerk of the wealthy merchant Yamadaya in Hakodate, which exposes Japan’s vulnerability against the West: He then took out a map of the globe and pointed to the large countries here and there, and watching him raise his hand and looking up, I wonder if he means that to identify countries belonging to him. Also, his pointing to Japan and laughing, must mean he is laughing at its small size. He made many hand gestures and pointed to Japan, as if to say, “obtaining this would be terribly easy.” Also, he circled the country of Japan with his finger, he clasped his hands, and what he said was, “It is possible to circle Japan in ten days.” All of them scorned this country as a small country, all of them did so, even the sailors. “They laughed heartily that the boats are also small and easily become dismantled, and the guns also are small and are useless for military use.” So spoke the man named Tadashichi.310 What is notable here is that, while Rosen discusses the potential of Japan’s military defeat and colonization at the hands of Western powers, he does not add a rebuttal to challenge such an idea as Atsutane did in the face of ridicule that Japan was a small country, stating, “No matter how large it is, an inferior country is an inferior country. No matter how small and narrow it is, a superior country is a superior country.”311 Rosen seems to accept fatalistically, Japan’s vulnerable position against the West, without challenging or confronting it. However, as Rosen witnesses first hand, it is not merely Japan at risk, but even mighty Qing China suffered a severe defeat at the hands of England, France, and other European powers in the Opium Wars that began just over a decade earlier from 1839 to 1842—an ominous sign for  cut short at the end, just like a dog’s.” In Donald Keene, The Japanese Discovery of Europe, 1720-1830. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1969. p. 170. 310 Hakodate kikō, pp. 48-49. 311 Hirata Atsutane, “Kodō taii,” quoted in When Tengu Talk, Wilburn Hansen, p. 192. Hansen notes that this response is almost a direct quote of Norinaga’s arugment.  128  those paying attention in Asia and Tokugawa Japan. He witnesses this reality in some Qing officials in Hakodate:  Now, these two who appeared to be officials came to a Pure Land temple called Jōgenji, and in their written dialogue with the priests said, “In recent years, we went to war with England over trivial matters, and the Qing court lost profit and all people fell into terrible misery. Our king showed compassion and desired to save us, yielding military force to make peace.”… These men are distinguished officials even in Guangzhou, and the ten or more men are retainers of these two. Also, everyone suddenly shed tears over the English employing these vassals. Ah, even amid these changing times, it pains my heart to hear this!312  This is a remarkable passage, written sympathetically toward Qing China’s miserable disposition after military defeat, which included paying reparations and making territorial and legal concessions to the prevailing countries through the Treaty of Nanjing. In seeing several men of the Qing court being employed as vassals by the British, Rosen witnesses the harsh realities of a country experiencing military defeat, and lets out a sigh at the predicament of the Qing Chinese. Rosen was able to see the Tokugawa bakuhan system in part, represented by the recently re-established Hakodate magistrate. In the appendix to Hakodate kikō, Rosen observes the orderly nature of Hakodate on a whole, and praises the governance of the magistrate. Since Takeuchi Lord of Shimotsuke of the Hakodate magistrate has taken office, governance is extremely peaceful, taxes and corvee ( 課役) are minimized, rice prices are lowered, and relief rice「堤守粮 ヨウイマイ」 is rented out and the poor are helped. At that time, even though foreign ships would dock one after another, and foreigners would come and go through the streets, there is no further unrest, and the people are devoting themselves to and enjoying their work. Therefore, the Nebuta event which had been discontinued has been re-established. Offering this as an exhibit for those above (上観に 供へ、下興を尽くせる), and stirring excitement for those below, fully constitutes benevolent government (仁政), and everybody says to one another that this is something venerable.313  312 313  Ibid. pp. 65, 68. Ibid. p. 189.  129  At the close of Hakodate kikō’s appendix, Rosen highly praises the accomplishments of Takeuchi Lord of Shimotsuke Yasunori (1807~?) who had been appointed to the Hakodate magistrate in 1854 (Ansei 1). Hakodate’s port had been opened and Americans and Europeans had been permitted to enter the ports, and since then, Takeuchi has taken office and has succeeded in governing Hakodate and his governance is praised as “benevolent government.” In this way, Rosen saw the bakufu government represented in the newly “opened” port town of Hakodate, and here expresses his approval of the Hakodate magistrate directly, and the Tokugawa regime indirectly.  Between Ezo and Tsugaru As we have seen above, Rosen conducted comparisons between foreign countries and the divine country, and furthermore, as Moriyama Taitarō points out, in the same appendix to Hakodate kikō cited above, Rosen describes the landscape, people, lifestyle, dialects, clothing, folk customs, and mode of life (習俗, 風俗) of a number of villages in Ezo, while at times comparing them to his native Tsugaru which he also introduces. Here I will present some examples of the local observance of ceremonies (冠婚葬祭). For example, he notes that in Hakodate, “according to the folk custom of this area, all boys, regardless of being poor or rich, all four classes preserved their topknot, and when they turned 16 or 17, they would celebrate their coming of age [genpuku] with an Eboshi oya (烏帽子親)”.314 This individual who crowned the young man with the eboshi hat, also prepared the ceremonial dress for the occasion, and received a “gift” (幣物) from the father. There is a folk custom (習俗), such that when a girl  314  “Furoku” Hakodate kikō, p. 180.  130  marries, she was required to go through someone called a “kaneoya” or one who professionally blackens teeth, and they were otherwise not allowed to blacken their own teeth. In such a case too, there is a gift-giving ritual. Concerning funerals, Rosen explains that when relatives or the above-mentioned “kaneoya” pass away, “members of their group” conduct a wake for 17 days following the funeral procession.315 He notes several points in common in the local funerary customs with “our country” Tsugaru. Rosen writes, “sending red bean rice (強飯調羮) to express appreciation is the same as in our country (当邦)”.316 Also, whether those involved are affluent or poor, everyone カコ  uses a palanquin (轎) instead of a coffin (柩), and “people of wealthy houses use a four-sided coffin (四方棺) from inside the temple,” likely carried by four men on their shoulders, and “the view of the procession bears no difference from our country (吾邦).”317 Rosen also records in detail his observations of shrines, temples, and festivals in Ezo, as well as the “Festival of the Soul in the seventh month” (七月魂祭) or Bon Festival. His description of the Neputa festival as a point of comparison between Ezo and Tsugaru culture is especially important. In Ezo, Neputa occurs on the sixth day of the seventh month, and is called the Tanabata Festival (七月祭). Children gather materials from their “schools” to create what “is called kaku (plaque) Neputa in our dialect” of Tsugaru.318 On this plaque, they write “Tanabata Festival” and images are displayed. Additionally, people’s names are inscribed inside the plaque, it is adorned with various decorations, and a tanzaku sheet is tied on. Affluent people prepare the Neputa elaborately, and “the decorations are the same as our country.” Rosen depicts the playing 315  Ibid. p. 182. Ibid. p. 183. 317 Ibid. 318 Ibid. p. 184. 316  131  of the taiko drums, flutes, bells, and shamisen, lighting of the lanterns, singing and dancing, and the festive scene of the Neputa being propped up and paraded through the street. Even though Rosen visited Ezo in the sixth and seventh months of the summer season, he reports on year-round events and rituals. He points out that although there is no jūnigatsu sekizoro (十二月節季候) custom in the twelfth month,319 nor shōgatsu banzai (正月万歳) in the first month,320 they do nevertheless practice Daikoku mai (大黒舞).321 In the Daikoku mai, performed in the New Year, the masks are dyed in various different colours, and there is singing and chanting accompanied by taiko drums and shamisen. One person is designated to come and jest. Rosen points to Tsugaru’s neighbouring domain, stating, “these are mainly products from イハシ  トリ  Nanbu, and in this region (当地) it is said they belong to the sardine fishers (海温取),” meaning that migrant sardine fishermen from Nanbu likely transported this custom here.322 Kadomatsu pine and bamboo decorations for the New Year are usually small, and because they are expensive, “ones similar to those in our country are few,” and only displayed by the affluent. As we have seen to this point, in his journey of Ezo, Rosen encounters both Europeans and Americans, and through these encounters, he distinguishes between foreign countries and his native “divine country” Japan, and increasingly recognizes Japan’s relative place in the world. Not only that, while exploring Matsumae, Hakodate, and the various villages in between, he  319  Jūnigatsu sekizoro (十二月節季候) literally means “’Tis the season of the twelfth month” and is a custom performed from year end to the new year, in which two or three people form a group, veil their faces with red cloth and dress up, and sing and dance, while shouting, “sekizoro gozareya!” (’tis the season). They would utter blessings for the new year, walking about and seeking rice and monetary donations. 320 Shōgatsu banzai (正月万歳) is also a dance performed in the new year in which blessings are uttered for a prosperous year ahead. Banzai shi (万歳師) would make visits and perform. 321 Daikoku mai (大黒舞) was another popular song and dance performed in the new year, in which the performer would wear a mask and dress up like Daikokuten (大黒天 one of the seven deities of fortune) and announce his arrival with a bushel of rice and blessings he brought for the new year. 322 Ibid. p. 186.  132  further distinguishes between Ezo and Tsugaru. Rosen relativizes the positions of Ezo and Tsugaru within Japan, describing these as distinctive regions and communities from each other.  After returning to Tsugaru What is the significance of Rosen’s visit to Ezo within the larger context of his works and thought? One might be cautioned against overemphasizing such a brief period in Rosen’s life. However, the fact that it was his sole journey outside his domain, combined with his detailed documentation through multiple editing of his travelogues show the attention he paid to reconstructing these “foreign” travel experiences. With this in mind, let us now examine the patterns in Rosen’s works and thought from around 1855 and onward. As I demonstrated before, after Rosen returned home from his journey to Ezo, he compiled images along with written descriptions in Matsumae kikō (『松前紀行』), or Matsumae Travelogue, in which he combines all images from the Ezo visit, including those of landscape and water of Tsugaru territory.323 Specifically, among the 33 images appearing in Matsumae kikō, 21 are those of Tsugaru, and 12 are of Ezo, thus representing both places. However, in the process of rearranging and editing this travelogue, Rosen separates the records of Tsugaru and Ezo, transferring eight images of Ezo from Matsumae kikō to the following sketchbook, Matsumae fūkei, and the final edition Hakodate kikō completed a year later, and transferring 13 images of Tsugaru to Gappo sansuikan (Mountain and Water Images of Gappo), a three-volume compilation of 59 images of Tsugaru. In this way, after returning from his Ezo journey, Rosen clearly separates his experiences and observations of Ezo and Tsugaru in his travelogues and sketchbooks.  323  Fujiwara, Gideon. “Matsumae fūkei: Hokkaidō daigaku fuzoku toshokan Hoppō kankei shiryōshitsuzō,” Hirosaki Daigaku kokushi kenkyū. Vol. 130 (March 2011), pp. 41-56.  133  Let us now examine his other works. 1855, the year of Rosen’s visit to Ezo, was a considerably active and formative year in terms of his writing. For about a decade, from the Kaei years (1848~1853) to 1859 (Ansei 6), Rosen compiled Kōsai shōshi (Kōsai’s Records)324 a 150volume edited collection of excerpts from classical and more contemporary Japanese and Chinese texts. This voluminous collection contains tales, anecdotes of military generals, histories and anecdotes of Confucianists and literati, Japanese and Chinese histories and miscellaneous works, Hirosaki domainal histories and other records, and Norinaga and Atsutane’s writings, which display Rosen’s broad-based learning.325 Kōsai shōshi is not a text authored by Rosen, but rather, an edited volume, and so, rather than expressing Rosen’s original thought, it represents his accumulation of foundational knowledge during a formative period which would shape his later thought. Rosen’s major works, to some degree, overlap with this “foundational period,” these texts being Gappo kidan (1855), Hakodate kikō (1856), Yōi meiwa (1856), Fude no susabi (1860-61), Tani no hibiki (1860), and Yūfu shinron (1865).326 When considering the above succession of works appearing from 1855 onward, one can see that until around the time that Rosen embarked on his visit to Ezo, he had been broadly surveying classical and more contemporary Japanese and Chinese texts, as well as records of Hirosaki domain, and laying down a foundation for his future research, and that a combination of these various materials would contribute to his own scholarly interests and original thought, which would crystallize thereafter.  324  Kōsai refers to Rosen’s personal name. According to Moriyama Taitarō, the 150 volumes of Kōsai shōshi are archived at the Hirosaki City Library, but I have yet been able to locate them. Please see Moriyama’s introduction on this text in his “Hirao Rosen,” pp. 68~71. 326 Rosen’s many works include authored texts, edited volumes, paintings, collections of images, and poetry anthologies, but the major works I list here are those authored texts he lists in his letter of the 11th day of the sixth month in 1869 to Shimozawa Yasumi, as his representative works he wishes to send to Ibukinoya’s Hirata Kanetane. Hirao Rosen letter to Shimozawa Yasumi, 11th day, sixth month, 1869, Aomori kenshi. p. 617. 325  134  Conclusion Hirao Rosen, who established himself as an exceptional artist and scholar of Hirosaki castle town, closely observed local life and folk culture of his town and Tsugaru region, and recorded this through paintings and writing. His paintings of winter work and play, the Neputa festival of summer and the Mount Iwaki worship of early autumn remain invaluable records to this day. 1855 was an instrumental year in Rosen’s thought development and scholarship. In 1854, the Tokugawa bakufu signed the Japan-U.S. Amity Treaty, which “opened Japan,” and in the sixth to seventh months of 1855, Rosen journeyed from Hirosaki castle town “overseas” to the northern island of Ezo, including the newly-reopened port of Hakodate, where there were stationed foreign ships and visitors. There, Rosen directly observed and encountered both Ezo locals and the “world” in European, American, Qing Chinese, and Indian visitors. This “international” encounter awakened Rosen to the military superiority of the Western powers, the miserable defeated condition of Qing China, and Japan’s military weakness and vulnerability to potential Western threats. This 33-day journey allowed Rosen to make observations of everyday life and culture of Matsumae, Hakodate, and the southern Ezo coast in between, which led him to juxtapose Tsugaru, or Hirosaki domain, and Matsumae domain, within a larger Imperial Japan. I showed how Rosen drew clear boundaries between his experiences and observations of Tsugaru and Matsumae, and categorized them in his edited records, Hakodate kikō (Hakodate Travelogue), Yōi meiwa (Account of Foreigners), and sketchbook of Tsugaru, Gappo sansuikan (Mountain  135  and Water Images of Gappo). This journey to and from Ezo in 1855, led Rosen to re-enforce the boundaries constructing his worldview between Japan, the West, and China, including the lines drawn between Tsugaru and Matsumae. It was during this same year that Rosen finished compiling his 150-volume collection of excerpts from classical and more recent Japanese and Chinese texts, and completed Gappo kidan, or Strange Tales of Gappo, the first of his three major works which explore spiritual and mysterious matters from ethnographic and nativist approaches. Let us proceed to the next chapter, where we examine Rosen’s major works, which demonstrate an interplay between his ethnographic inquiry and engagement with Hirata kokugaku.  136  Chapter 5 Hirao Rosen II: Conceiving of Tsugaru and Imperial Japan Through Ethnographic and Kokugaku Studies  Overview Based on the previous chapter’s biography of Hirao Rosen’s life and artistic and scholarly work up to 1855, the present chapter examines the dynamics between the ethnographic and nativist dimensions of Rosen’s scholarship in Rosen’s three major works—Gappo kidan (Strange Tales of Gappo, 1855), Tani no hibiki (Echoes of the Valley, 1860), and Yūfu shinron (New Treatise of the Spiritual Realm, 1865)—completed over a ten-year period. Through these three texts, we see Rosen’s conception of the strange, mysterious, and spiritual matters and phenomena within the local Tsugaru landscape and community, and can observe how this “spiritual landscape” of Tsugaru is located within a larger landscape of Imperial Japan (皇国 mikuni). The dynamics and interplay between the two “countries” (国 kuni), Tsugaru and Imperial Japan, become increasingly pronounced during this decade in late-Tokugawa Hirosaki, and this tendency, as we will examine, coincides with his ever-increasing engagement with Hirata kokugaku, and with his notable enrolment in the Ibukinoya academy in 1864. To provide context, I begin this chapter with general discussions on early modern ethnographic approaches—the studies of commoner life and culture—which precede modern folklore studies influenced by the west, and developed by Yanagita Kunio and others in the Meiji period and onwards. I consider the relationship between these earlier ethnographic methods in the Tokugawa period with kokugaku. I next proceed to closely examine Rosen’s main texts, from Gappo kidan to Tani no hibiki, and their progression. Then I outline Chinese and Japanese Confucian and kokugaku discourses on kishin spirits and the divine realm, before entering into a 137  detailed study of Rosen’s magnum opus, Yūfu shinron. Finally, I examine Rosen’s scholarly engagement with local Tsugaru and a larger Imperial Japan through his ethnographic approach and kokugaku, and consider the motivations behind his intellectual inquiries.  Studies of Local Life and Japan in Tokugawa Times Even before the importation of folklore studies from Western Europe to Japan, early modern intellectuals displayed a strong interest in the tradition and legends of commoners (民間 伝承), and there were efforts to gather collections of materials on commoner life, as explained by Uchino Gorō.327 Kokugaku scholars were among those that utilized such materials. Uchino notes that since Sugae Masumi (1754-1829), wandering kokugaku scholar of the late-Tokugawa period and his Jun’yū ki (『巡遊記』) or Roaming Records, were taken up by Yanagita, similar ethnographic works such as Amano Sadakage’s (1663-1733) Shio jiri (『塩尻』1697), Matsuura Seizan’s (1760-1841) Kasshi yawa (『甲子夜話』 Tales on the Night of Kasshi 182141), Suzuki Bokushi’s (1770-1842) Hokuetsu seppu (『北越雪譜』 Snow Country Tales 183540),328 and Kitagawa Morisada’s Morisada mankō (『守貞漫稿』 Morisada’s Essays, about 1853) and others have garnered attention as materials that highlight the “prehistory of Japanese folklore studies in the early modern period” (「近世における日本民俗学の前史」).329 However, Uchino explains the reason why these materials do not qualify as more than a  327  Uchino Gorō, “Nihon minzokugaku ni okeru kokugaku to shin kokugaku” Nihon minzoku kenkyū taikei Vol. 10 Kokugaku to minzokugaku. Ed. Nihon minzoku kenkyū taikei henshū iinkai hen. Ōfūsha, 1990. p. 11. 328 Suzuki Bokushi. Snow Country Tales: Life in the Other Japan. Trans. Jeffrey Hunter and Rose Lesser. New York: Weatherhill, 1986. 329 Ibid.  138  “prehistory” of modern folklore studies, is because they did not display “a clear scholarly consciousness” (「はっきりした学問意識」).330 An early example of the connection between kokugaku and ethnography is seen in the following words of Motoori Norinaga under the subheading of “The matter of ancient things remaining in the countryside”: Not only words, but regarding all things, deep in the countryside, there are many remnants of things ancient and refined… the disappearance of ancient things is something terribly lamentable. Funeral and marriage rites and the like, especially in the countryside, there are many things old and interesting. All such examples, [displaying] manners of the countries unto the seacoasts and mountain villages, I wish to broadly inquire about, listen to and collect, and even make written recordings of.331 This quote from Norinaga’s late-18th century text of miscellaneous items, Tama katsuma (『玉 勝間』 Basket of Jewels) demonstrates the author’s early awareness and interest in ancient folk culture preserved in rural areas, as compared to major urban centres. Minami Keiji points to the above quotation as indicative that kokugaku and early modern ethnography shared certain internal connections, and states it shows “the basis for the inevitable reason,” that Tokugawa kokugaku scholars would harbour an interest in ethnographic studies.332 Minami goes on to examine how kokugaku scholars undertook the editing of local geographies (「地誌編集」) in their rural areas. The prominent scholar of Japanese folklore, Miyata Noboru, looks to the above quote as Norinaga’s call to collect folklorist materials (「民俗資料」).333 Miyata also recognizes that Edo period scholars who collected stories and materials of the strange, such as Ōta Nanpo (1749-1823), Matsuura Seizan (1760-1841), and Negishi Yasumori (1737-1815) as  330  Ibid. Motoori Norinaga. “Inaka ni inishihe no waza no nokoreru koto,” Tama katsuma. Vol. 8. Motoori Norinaga zenshū. Vol. 1. Eds. Ōno Susumu and Ōkubo Tadashi. Chikuma shobō. 1968. p. 235. 332 Minami Keiji. “Kokugakusha no minzokugaku kinsei” Nihon minzoku kenkyū taikei. Vol. 10 Kokugaku to minzokugaku. Ed. Nihon minzoku kenkyū taikei henshū iinkai. Ōfūsha, 1990. pp. 184-85. 333 Miyata Noboru. Nihon wo kataru 1 Minzokugaku e no michi. Yoshikawa kōbunkan. 2007. pp. 170-71. 331  139  studying folk culture through changes in daily life, and had their beginnings through “study groups” of scholars who gathered and exchanged data. Perhaps more than any other kokugaku scholar, Hirata Atsutane attracts attention as a scholar of both kokugaku and ethnography. In terms of his kokugaku scholarship alone, it can be said that Atsutane is most commonly compared with his teacher Norinaga, but in terms of his ethnographic approach, the contrasts with his teacher Norinaga, and parallels with Yanagita Kunio come to be stressed. Haga Noboru states that Atsutane differs from Norinaga, in that he pursued direct methods to elucidate the yūmeikai or kakuriyo spiritual realm, and listened to and reported on the various folk faiths found in Japanese folk societies.334 Examples of such methods are seen in texts such as Inō mononoke roku (『稲生物怪録』 Records of Inō and Spirits) and Kokon yōmikō (『古今妖魅考』 On Marvels Old and New) Haga likens Yanagita’s Yōkai dangi (『妖怪談義』 Discussion of Monsters) to these texts of Atsutane in method and content. Haga also goes on to assert that Yanagita adopted from Atsutane’s method, the dimension of listening and recording, surveying, and documenting (「聞き書き、調査、記録」) the specific contents of ethnographic material seen in Atsutane’s later works.335 Gerald Figal offers a thoughtful, broad-based study of the treatment of spirits and the invisible world in the Meiji period, focusing primarily on modern folklore scholars, but also referencing the influence of kokugaku scholars, primarily Atsutane.336 Figal asserts that Atsutane’s work of “opening up and delving into the spirit world” was important to Yanagita and others taking up the topic of bakemono in the modern period, as “a scholarly precedent for the  334  Haga Noboru. Yanagita Kunio to Hirata Atsutane. Kakuseisha, 1997. pp. 211-12. Ibid. p. 212. 336 Figal, Gerald. Civilization and Monsters: Spirits of Modernity in Meiji Japan. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999. 335  140  recording and interpretation of reports of contemporary supernatural incidents.”337 Atsutane’s work was, Figal argues, a “serious intellectual endeavour” that provided “an aura of legitimacy to the scholarly pursuit of monsters.” Furthermore, Yanagita admits to having received “the gist of the theories on the hidden world” (yūmeiron no kosshi) from Atsutane’s works, but distinguishes his scholarship from his predecessor’s, through including the tengu within the hidden yumei world, unlike Atsutane, whom he accuses of an anti-Buddhist stance that led to an exclusion of the tengu from the spiritual realm.338 The tengu are a central focus of Wilburn Hansen’s study on Atsutane’s ethnographic approach. Hansen identifies Atsutane’s “ethnography of the other world”, and describes how Atsutane collected stories of mountain-dwelling sanjin (山人) and their community and culture in his Senkyō ibun (『仙境異聞』 Tidings from the Land of Immortals), and how this can be viewed as a “forerunner of minzokugaku, or Japanese folklore studies.”339 Hansen boldly argues that just as the purpose of Tama no mihashira (『霊能真柱』 The August Pillar of the Soul) was to offer comfort and assurance to the people of Japan that life in this world would not lead to a miserable yomi underworld, “the goal of Senkyō ibun, was to establish a culture hero whose primary reason for existence was to render the Japanese comfort, assistance, and protection until they reached the Other World.”340 However, this statement could be further substantiated and contextualized within Atsutane’s broader discussions on spirits and the other world, beyond Senkyō i