So I am doing another presentation soon – but this time it’s going in different directions from where I’ve taken it before. See, last summer I used T.R.Reid’s book Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living In The East Teaches Us About Living In The West to walk the class through the idea the Confucian morality and philosophy still has great underpinnings in Japanese society. The thing is, from a postmodern perspective (I know, there I go again) the relationships look a bit different. The husband-wife relationship looks vastly different from that of husband and wife in the West in certain instances. The father-son relationship as well. The friend – friend and elder sibling-younger sibling have a huge impact on today’s younger generation, and the ruler-ruled? Well, the ruler tends to be the group that X-san or Y-san belong to. Not much attention is paid to the political leadership on day-to-day things. I’ll never forget my host family’s mother in 1994 saying that she really didn’t follow what was going on in the government, and that the emperor didn’t matter much to anyone anymore. This was so different from what we were led to believe from our global studies textbooks.
One of the texts I am working through for my dissertation is Uchimura Kanzō’s Consolations of a Christian. It has never