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When Tengu TalkHirata Atsutane’s Ethnography of the Other World$
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Wilburn Hansen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832094

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832094.001.0001

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The Critique of China and Defense of Native Culture

The Critique of China and Defense of Native Culture

(p.103) Chapter 4 The Critique of China and Defense of Native Culture
When Tengu Talk

Wilburn Hansen

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter shows how Hirata Atsutane’s nativist discourse concerning the newly discovered sanjin and his independent and superior Japanese cultural identity responded to the challenges from Chinese culture. Japanese scholar Motoori Norinaga’s legacy of hatred for things Chinese and for Japanese sinophiles had been passed on to Atsutane, and the construction of the figure of the sanjin bore traces of that legacy. The chapter then looks at Atsutane’s pre-Senkyō ibun, anti-China arguments. It also shows the new moves that a Tengu Boy medium and ethnographic fiction allowed him to make in his struggle to establish a believable and independent Japanese culture, even one that boasted its own writing script free from Chinese characters.

Keywords:   Hirata Atsutane, nativist discourse, sanjin, Japanese cultural identity, Chinese culture, Motoori Norinaga, Japanese sinophiles, ethnographic fiction

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