____Kangaku: Writing and Institutional Authority continued 1_Kurozumi Makoto 2001

                 The oral power of the native language that could not be expressed by kanji and kanbun influenced the formation of both 
                 katagana and hiragana.  The kundoku reading conventions that produced katagana, which arose from a refusal to accept
                 kanbun as Chinese writing, involved preserving the visual kanbun text while rearranging it into Japanese word order
                 during the reading process. 9 The reader looks at the Chinese words while vocally transposing them into the flow of oral
                 Japanese, a process that involves retaining the syntax of Japanese at any cost.
                 At the same time, the native language had a profound effect on the use of individual kanji.  At first kanji were pronounced
                 with "on" readings that derived from their original Chinese sounds, but most kanji used in Japanese were also given "kun"
                 readings that signified native words.  Those aspects of native language that could not be exposed in kanji were initially
                 recorded in magana (man'yôgana) and eventually katagana and hiragana.  At the same time, the kun readings of graphs,
                 which coexisted with the on readings and were often determined by referring to Chinese dictionaries, 10 were not just raw
                 assertions of the oral world;  rather, they were an attempt to maintain a high degree of contact with the world of kanji and
                 kanbun while favoring the native oral language.  This linguistic consciousness, which valued both Chinese and Japanese
                 and promoted contact and fusion with Chinese from within Japanese, 11 involved not only the relationship of kun to on,
                 but also that between kana and kanji.
                 During the Nara and early-Heian periods, many Japanese intellectuals were bilingual in Chinese and Japanese, having
                 studied on the continent or immigrated from China.  However, the situation changed after the mid-ninth century, when
                 exchange with the continent came to an end.  The Tang system became unstable, and its cultural leadership began to 
                 deteriorate, with the result that the various peoples on the periphery became independent, creating their own individual
                 writing systems. 12 From the end of the ninth century, the period from which the earliest documents with katakana 
                 glosses (kunten) for kundoku reading remain, a new generation grew up within the native language and no longer read 
                 kanbun directly.
                 The situation in Japan contrasts with that in Korea, which was geographically closer to and had stronger ties with China.
                 Whereas the Japanese, with their greater sense of autonomy from China, devised the kun and kundoku systems as well
                 as their own various kanbun styles, and incorporated kanji into the native language, the Koreans embraced Chinese more
                 fully and did not introduce similar practices into the Korean language. 13 For this reason Japanese has an extremely 
              " high rate of kanji use," as Nakata Norio puts it. 14 Rather than rejecting Chinese, the Japanese achieved a delicate balance
                 between the imported language of Chinese and the native language, and even as the Chinese language per se became more
                 distant, the kanbun lineage continued to develop in Japan.

                 KUN and KUNDOKU * Notes on Chapter 8
          9 I use the term wago to refer to so-called Yamato-kotoba:  the native language that does not include words derived from
                 kanji (i.e., kango).  However, there are cases where that which is thought to be "Japanese" includes Chinese words or
                 words that have been influenced by Chinese;  moreover, the regional and historical nature of Yamato-kotoba is difficult
                 to determine, so that it is merely a concept of convenience.  Since the term "native language" (koyûgo) refers to words
                 that predate other, newer words introduced through linguistic contact, it goes without saying that it is also a historically
                 formed object.  Even imported Chinese become fixed as Japanese when they are compared with European loan words,
                 and then function as part of the "native language."
          10 Miyasaki Michisaburô, "Kanji no bekkun ryûyô to kodai ni okeru wagahô seidojô noyôgo,"
                 Hôgaku kyôkai zasshi 28, no. 5 (1910), reprint in Miyasaki kakushi hôseishi ronshû (Iwanami shoten, 1929).
           11 This kind of dynamic is not limited to the general relationship between on and kun readings;  it is also at work in the variety 
                 of readings for many characters that have multilayered sets of go-on and kan-on readings rather than a single on reading.
                 For kun readings as well, there are frequently multiple words assigned to each character.  For example, the character with
                 the on reading  (Ch. shang) has several kun readings, including ue (upper side), agaru (elevate), and noboru (climb).
                 The assigning of multiple pronunciations to an individual kanji has increased along with the development of the Japanese
                 language. * Nakata, Nihon no kanji, 95, 374.
          12 The scripts of the Liao state (Khitan) in the tenth century, of Hsi Hsia in the eleventh century, and of the Chin dynasty
                (the Jurchens) in the twelfth century are all examples of such systems, with Japan's kana syllabary a comparatively early
                example.  This phenomenon of writing or reading Chinese into another language existed in the Liao state, and possibly
                also among the Jurchens.  The situation in Japan was different in that kun was made into a system, the kundoku techniques
                based on that system were continually practiced, and the kanbun lineage of style and locution born from kundoku became
                part of the Japanese language.  On the formation of writing among peoples on the Chinese periphery, see Nishida Tatsuo,
                Kanji bunmeiken no shikô chizu (PHP, 1984).  Moreover, kun readings and kundoku also occurred in other countries.
                In the Silla period in Korea, hyangch'al was used as a character-based inscription for hyangga poetry in the seventh century;
                it is also said that Sol-chong created t'o, a notation for reading Chinese in the language of Silla.  Among the lower classes of
                officials, the idu system (Chinese read or written out in accordance with Korean syntax, using some graphs for words of the
                native language) was used until the Choson period. * Kim Moonkyung, " Kanji bunkaken no kundoku genshô," in
                Wakan hikaku bungaku kenkyû no shomondai, Wakan hikaku bungaku sôsho 8 (Kyûko shoin, 1988).
          **  Lee Kimoon, Kankokugo no keisei (Seikô shobô, 1983).
         13 See Kim, "Kanji bunkaken no kundoku genshô,"  and  Nakata, Nihon no kanji, 95, 395.
         14 Note on chapter 8 Kangaku:  Writing and Institutional Authority continued 1
               Final note on KUN and KUNDOKU p. 292
            Nakata, Nihon no kanji, 96.
            Another interesting phenomenon is the persistence, due to "distance" from the original cultural and linguistic influence,
               of things that have been lost through historical change in the source country.  Some examples of vanished or outdated
               linguistic or cultural elements that persisted in the periphery include the on readings of Japanese kanji, the preservation
               of texts that were lost in China, and the continued existence of Zen Buddhism, which in China was absorbed by
               Neo-Confucianism and ceased to be practiced.

               Image top of page
            ' Will and Testament with Handprints ' (1239)  by Emperor Go-Toba * Minase Shrine * Osaka National Treasure

                   Beyond Calligraphy


                 A major change in the position of Japanese vis-à-vis kangaku occurred at the beginning of the Heian period, and the latter half
              of the ninth century, due partially to the deterioration of the ritsuryô system.  At that time the oral language gained authority
              with the emergence of hiragana writing -- a shift symbolized most dramatically by the appearance of the Kokinshû,
          (Collection of Japanese Poems Old and New, 905), the first imperial waka anthology and the first official document 
              to be written in the hiragana script and style.  Although hiragana had been called "woman's hand" (onnade) and had been
              associated with the private (in contrats to the public and male association of kanji and kanbun), in the Kokinshû
           this "feminine" writing took on a certain public character and authority.
              The ascendancy of aristocratic cultural values exemplified in the Kokinshû also altered the world of kangaku.
              In Tang China, civil service examinations were systematized in 640, and the government sponsored Gokyô seigi
           (Wuching cheng-i, The Correct Significance of the Classics) commentary was selected as an official text, which emphasized 
              the five Confucian classics and considered literature and history to be of a lesser importance. 15 The situation in Japan was
              the opposite.  The university (daigakuryô), academies, and examinations, which were established under the ritsuryô system
              in the eighth century, were not considered to be elements of a large recruiting system. 16 The position of university professor
              (hakase) had been considered to be low ranking, and as those positions became hereditary, learning was pursued as "house
              studies" (kagaku) of hakase families.  There was no consolidated set of annotations to the classics, like Wu-ching cheng-i;
              rather, Japanese scholars had a strong preference for historical or literary texts such as the Wen-hsüan (Anthology of Literature).
              The position of Confucian classics (the Myôgyôdô curriculum), which had been at the center of scholarship, declined, while that
              of literature and history (the Monjôdô curriculum) steadly rose.  These tendencies became even more pronounced after the
              Heian period.
              That ability in Kangaku alone was not a determinant of position and power is illustrated by the fate of 
              Sugawara no Michizane (845-903) an eminent kangaku scholar, poet, and political figure.  Having risen from professor of
              literature (Monjô hakase) to minister of the right, Michizane fell victim to a plot by Fujiwara no Tokihira (871-909), lost his
              position in court, was exiled, and died in disgrace.  Eventually, to placate his angry spirit, he was deified as Tenjin, the god of
              learning, literature and Confucian cultivation -- much as in China, Confucius, the god of learning, was worshipped in the
              shih-tien (sekiten) festival.  Tenjin was revered by hakase scholars, and in the late-Edo period,Tenjin was worshipped in
              tera-koya schools.  As Michizane's transformation suggests, even though knowledge of kangaku was important, it was not
              the primary qualification for advancement in the political world.  Despite its linguistic and cultural importance, kangaku was
              external to political legitimacy itself and to the essentials of governance.  It is revealing that the scholars (hakase) depicted in
              Heian monogatari are depicted comically, as remaining in the obscurity despite their pride and intellectual authority.
              Religious conditions in Japan also contributed to the decline of the study of the Confucian classics.
              The failure of Confucianism to play a significant role in official promotions or enjoy state sponsorship can be traced,
              at least in part, to its inability to establish its own religious ceremonies.  After the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.),
              the study of Confucian classics was supported in China by important rites and ceremonies such as the worship of Heaven 
              and funeral rituals, and through "hidden wisdom" such as magic, divination, and fortune-telling.  In Japan, however, such
              collective and state rites were monopolized by the worship of kami (gods) and by Buddhism.  The only successful Confucian
              ritual in Japan, it seems, was the sekiten (shih-t'ien) festival, which celebrated Confucius and his disciples.  In the sixth century,
              in the pre-ritsuryô period, when a foundation for rites was established, Buddhism and Taoism, but not Confucianism, flourished
              in China and Korea -- a fact that deeply influenced the form of Japanese religious ritual.  While some Confucian ideals were
              embraced, for example, in the Nihon shoki, the scale of the bureaucracy required by the Japanese state was smaller than in
              China, and because of the clan system, it was not particularly necessary to install an examination or educational system as the
              basis of the state society.  Japan's political leaders probably hoped to establish the preexisting kami rites at the core of the state.17
          "Heaven" (ten), which was at the center of Chinese Confucian rites, was replaced in Japan by the "god of heaven" (ama tsu kami),
              and the legitimacy of the state was grounded in the lineage deriving from the "seed" (tane) of that god, thereby linking virtue to
              the external source.  Various rites of Taoism and Confucianism were absorbed into the system of kami worship, but priority was
              given to Buddhism, which had magical powers and involved fewer politcal complications.  The Nara period (eighth century)
              witnessed the gradual syncretism of Buddhism and kami worship, and after the ninth century this extended throughout the
              country.  Heian rites and ceremonies took place in a world in which the gods were closely linked to Esoteric and Pure Land
              Buddhism.  The deification of Sugawara no Michizane and the obsevance of kangakue, a Tendai Buddhist Festival that
              promoted learning, were the natural outcome of this process.  With his deification as Tenjin, a kami, Michizane put down
              roots in the soil of Japan;  in a similar fashion kangaku lived on in Buddhist form.
              Instead of becoming an independent social or religious institutions, kangaku became a literary and technical (a means of
              documentation) field in a syncretic environment of Buddhism and kami worship.  Significantly, hakase scholars were specialists
              in Confucianism, but their influence did not come close to that of the Buddhist priests.  Those who studied Confucianism were in
              fact primarily Buddhist priests and Shintoists.  In the medieval period, Shintoists along with members of the nobility, produced
              commentaries, did research, and gave lectures on the Nihon shoki, a kanbun text.  Kangaku was also linked with divination
              and fortune-telling, and was regarded as a kind of hidden wisdom behind politics and ritual, as it had been in China.
              As the portrayal of Taira no Shigemori (Kiyomori's son) in The Tale of the Heike reveals, and as depicted in other monogatari
              and setsuwa (folk litrature) -- especially in the works of mixed kana and kanji -- the idealized image of government and conduct
              was imbued with the Confucian virtues of benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, and wisdom, as well as loyalty and filial piety,
              virtues that were important in court culture.  Another measure of the political and moral authority of kangaku was the fact 
              that the warriors of the Kamakura bakufu also wrote their history, the Azuma kagami (Mirror of the East), in kanbun
              (albeit in a heavily Japanized style).
              Indeed, until wagaku (Japanese studies) or kokugaku (nativist learning) became established fields of study in the Edo period,
              one could say that there was no learning (gakumon) outside of kangaku.  Kangaku provided both the framework and the
              medium for every aspect of religious, governamental, and literary endeavor.  At the same time, it gave birth to the system
              of writing kana and kanabun (kana prose) that included elements that undermined and opposed kangaku.  Thus, while 
              Japanese kangaku did not maintain Confucianism at its absolute center, it did not mean that the authority of kana and 
              kanabun displaced that of kanji and kanbun.  Instead, there arose a general trend toward linguistic and cultural syncretism, 
              a "Japanese/Chinese (wakan) fusion."
              The tradition of elegant kana prose and poetry epitomized by the Kokinshû (905) was no more than one piece of a larger
              whole.  The period in which the imperial waka anthology appeared was one in which, on the whole, Chinese and Japanese
              elements coexisted harmoniously. 18 The image of the Heian period as effeminate and devoid of kangaku culture is thus
              highly misleading.  Many of the nobles plotted revolts, energetically carried out business at their provincial private shôen
              estates, or even, in some cases, relocated to the countryside and became warriors.  The perception that the Heian nobility
              were like the effeminate figures depicted in the Tale of Genji Picture Scrolls (Genji monogatari emaki) emerged later,
              as a contrast to the fierce image of the warriors who had seized power.  This perception began to circulate during the 
              Muromachi period, after the study of Heian waka and monogatari had become the object of highly retrospective classical
              study. 19 When we look at the entirety of Heian culture, however, we find Chinese and Japanese harmoniously syncretized,
              each an important element in Japan's linguistic culture.
             Bodhisattva Guanyin 6th century 
             Ethnological Museum in Berlin-Dahlem


              Notes on * Kangaku: Writing and Institutional Authority
              Chinese studies and the Pluralization of Authority pp. 292-3          
            Even in the Tang period, which saw the establishment of the examination system, the literary leanings that had been part of 
           the Chinese tradition from the Six Dynasties on were hardly absent.  Moreover, the classical studies that were recognized 
              by the examination system because of a fixed, empty, and overcomplicated framework, which eventually led to a reaction
              against them.  See Togawa Yoshirô, Jukyôshi (Yamakawa shuppansha, 1987), Section 4.
              On this topic, and on the issues discussed below, see 
              Chapter 1 of Wajima Yoshio, Chûsei no jugaku (Yoshikawa kôbunkan, 1965).
           The demands of these rites of the kami are clearly indicated by the governamental organization of the ritsuryô state.
              Although it was based on the Tang system, it did not reproduce the unitary Chinese imperial monarchy, but had the 
              dual structure of a dyarchy, in which the Daijôkan (Council of State; the political system) and the
              Jingikan (Council of Kami Affairs; the ritual system) were arranged alongside each other.
           This period was later called the __" Engi (901-923) and _Tenryaku (947-957) reigns "
              and idealized as a period of a government preceding the oppression of the Fujiwara regency.
           For a reevaluation of Heian nobility, see 
              Takahashi Masaaki, " Jôshikiteki kizokuzô, bushizô no sôshutsu katei," in
              Nihonshi ni okeru ko to shi, ed.  Rekishi to hôhô henshû iinkai (Aoki shoten, 1996).

              The Turbulent Eighth Century

                What is Shinto?

                  * Historical Foundations
              Tracing the Study of Buddhism


                 * Once again hiragana 

                  Fundação Japão São Paulo
                  Japan Foundation Library São Paulo * last updated Sunday, June 23rd, 2013