September 24 2015: Intolerant but Morally Indifferent Regime? Social Control in early modern and modern Japan

The early modern political regime of Japan (Tokugawa Shogunate, 1600-1868) has generally been characterized as an oppressive system which was ideologically dominated by the moral codes forced by the ruling power. On the other hand, however, the ethical norms of daily life of Tokugawa society have been viewed as quite flexible or even anarchic in terms of the restrictions in sexual conducts, religious faiths (except for Christianity which was strictly prohibited) or family duties. How could these split characters coexist? This lecture attempts to suggest a way to understand the historical character of "heresies" and "misconducts" in the politico-ethical arguments in early modern Japan. Also the implications for modern Japanese society will be in scope.

Following on the lecture Daan Kok, Curator (Japan/Korea), National Museum of Ethnology, will discuss interaction of these ideas of social control with the worlds of art, literature and culture in early modern Japan.

Place: Lipsius 0.11
Time/Date: 15:15-17:00, September 24, 2015


About Koichiro Matsuda

Koichiro Matsuda is Professor of Japanese Political Thought in the Department of Politics, Faculty of Law, Rikkyo University, Tokyo. He is the author of Edo no chishiki kara Meiji no Seiji e [From Edo Knowledge to Meiji Politics] (Perikansha, 2008), Kuga Katsunan (Minerva, 2008), and (with Jun-Hyeok Kwak) Patriotism in East Asia (Routledge, 2014), and also serves on the advisory boards of the Journal of Japanese Studies and Monumenta Nipponica.

Last Modified: 10-09-2015