Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Making a Moral SocietyEthics and the State in Meiji Japan$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard M Reitan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832940

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832940.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Approaching the Moral Ideal

Approaching the Moral Ideal

National Morality, the State, and “Dangerous Thought”

(p.114) Chapter 5 Approaching the Moral Ideal
Making a Moral Society

Richard M Reitan

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the national morality movement (kokumin dōtoku), a state-sponsored articulation of a “unique Japanese morality,” and its opposition to the so-called “dangerous thought.” National morality emerged as the dominant form of moral inquiry among rinrigaku academics in early twentieth-century Japan. This morality of the national folk posited as a moral ideal a morally homogeneous society of dutiful subjects all equally loyal to the state. Competing visions of the state, the individual, and the good were represented as “dangerous thought” and violently suppressed. This chapter first considers the connections between national morality and personalism before explaining how, why, and when a reconfiguration of national morality took place. It also explores what exactly was dangerous about “dangerous thought” and how it came to occupy a central position in Inoue Tetsujirō's conception of the good. Finally, it discusses the strategies deployed by national morality to suppress dangerous thought and how they were resisted.

Keywords:   national morality, moral ideal, dangerous thought, rinrigaku, state, good, personalism, Inoue Tetsujirō, Japan

Hawaii Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.