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Fukuzawa Yukichi

Fukuzawa Yukichi

Overview
was a Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 author, writer, teacher, translator
Translation
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

, entrepreneur and political theorist who founded Keio University
Keio University
,abbreviated as Keio or Keidai , is a Japanese university located in Minato, Tokyo. It is known as the oldest institute of higher education in Japan. Founder Fukuzawa Yukichi originally established it as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo . It has eleven campuses in Tokyo and Kanagawa...

. His ideas about government and social institutions made a lasting impression on a rapidly changing Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 during the Meiji Era. He is regarded as one of the founders of modern Japan.


Fukuzawa Yukichi was born into an impoverished low-ranking samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

 family of the Okudaira Clan of Nakatsu in 1835.
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Quotations

Each individual man and each individual country, according to the principles of natural reason, is free from bondage. Consequently, if there is some threat that might infringe upon a country’s freedom, then that country should not hesitate even to take up arms against all the countries of the world.

Gakumon no Susume [An Encouragement of Learning] (1872-1876)

Moreover, the argument for national polity, for Christianity, and for Confucianism... are also insufficient to bolster people’s hearts. What, then, will? I say there is one thing: namely, to establish our goal and advance toward civilization... The way in which to preserve this independence cannot be sought anywhere except in civilization.

Bunmeiron no Gairyaku [An Outline of a Theory of civilization] (1875)

Therefore, to teach them [women] at least an outline of economics and law is the first requirement after giving them a general education. Figuratively speaking, it will be like providing the women of civilized society with a pocket dagger for self-protection.

From Fukuzawa Yukichi on Japanese Women (1988), trans. Kiyooka Eiichi

Whatever happens in the country, whatever warfare harasses our land, we will never relinquish our hold on Western learning. As long as this school of ours stands, Japan remains a civilized nation of the world.

Ch. X

I think I have made it clear that I never intended to make enemies. But in an age when anti-foreign sentiment was running high, it was unavoidable that in my position as an advocate of open intercourse and free adoption of Western culture, I should make some adversaries.

Ch. XI

To recount the history of assassination since the beginning of our foreign intercourse — in the beginning, people simply hated the foreigners because all foreigners were "impure" men who should not be permitted to tread the sacred soil of Japan... As I have said before, I felt my life in greatest danger during the twelve or thirteen years around the period of the [Meiji] Restoration.

Ch. XI

The world is large.

Ch. XV
Encyclopedia
was a Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 author, writer, teacher, translator
Translation
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

, entrepreneur and political theorist who founded Keio University
Keio University
,abbreviated as Keio or Keidai , is a Japanese university located in Minato, Tokyo. It is known as the oldest institute of higher education in Japan. Founder Fukuzawa Yukichi originally established it as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo . It has eleven campuses in Tokyo and Kanagawa...

. His ideas about government and social institutions made a lasting impression on a rapidly changing Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 during the Meiji Era. He is regarded as one of the founders of modern Japan.

Early life



Fukuzawa Yukichi was born into an impoverished low-ranking samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

 family of the Okudaira Clan of Nakatsu in 1835. His family lived in Osaka. Osaka, at that specific time, was the main trading center for Japan. His family was poor following the early death of his father, who was also a Confucian scholar. At the age of 5, he started Han learning
Han learning
Han Learning , or the Han school of classical philology, was an intellectual movement that reached its height in the mid-Qing dynasty in China.-Nature and origins:...

, and by the time he turned 14, he studied major writings, such as Analects, Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching
The Tao Te Ching, Dao De Jing, or Daodejing , also simply referred to as the Laozi, whose authorship has been attributed to Laozi, is a Chinese classic text...

, and Zhuangzi (book)
Zhuangzi (book)
The Taoist book Zhuangzi was named after its purported author Zhuangzi, the philosopher. Since 742 CE, when Emperor Xuanzong of Tang mandated honorific titles for Taoist texts, it has also been known as the Nánhuá Zhēnjīng , literally meaning "True Classic of Southern Florescence," alluding to...

. Fukuzawa was greatly influenced by his lifelong teacher, Shōzan Shiraishi, who was a scholar of Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 and Han learning
Han learning
Han Learning , or the Han school of classical philology, was an intellectual movement that reached its height in the mid-Qing dynasty in China.-Nature and origins:...

. When he turned 19 in 1854, shortly after Commodore Matthew C. Perry's arrival in Japan, Fukuzawa's brother (the family patriarch) asked Fukuzawa to travel to Nagasaki, where the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 colony at Dejima
Dejima
was a small fan-shaped artificial island built in the bay of Nagasaki in 1634. This island, which was formed by digging a canal through a small peninsula, remained as the single place of direct trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world during the Edo period. Dejima was built to...

 was located, in order to enter a school of Dutch studies (rangaku
Rangaku
Rangaku is a body of knowledge developed by Japan through its contacts with the Dutch enclave of Dejima, which allowed Japan to keep abreast of Western technology and medicine in the period when the country was closed to foreigners, 1641–1853, because of the Tokugawa shogunate’s policy of national...

).
He instructed Fukuzawa to learn Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 so that he might study European cannon designs and gunnery.



Although Fukuzawa did travel to Nagasaki, his stay was brief as he quickly began to outshine his host in Nagasaki, Okudaira Iki. Okudaira planned to get rid of Fukuzawa by writing a letter saying that Fukuzawa's mother was ill. Seeing through the fake letter Fukuzawa planned to travel to Edo
Edo
, also romanized as Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo, and was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868...

 and continue his studies there because he knew he would not be able to in his home domain, Nakatsu, but upon his return to Osaka, his brother persuaded him to stay and enroll at the Tekijuku school run by physician and rangaku scholar Ogata Kōan. Fukuzawa studied at Tekijuku for three years and became fully proficient in the Dutch language. In 1858, he was appointed official Dutch teacher of his family's domain, Nakatsu, and was sent to Edo to teach the family's vassals there.

The following year, Japan opened up three of its ports to American and European ships, and Fukuzawa, intrigued with Western civilization
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

, traveled to Kanagawa to see them. When he arrived, he discovered that virtually all of the European merchants there were speaking English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 rather than Dutch. He then began to study English, but at that time, English-Japanese interpreters were rare and dictionaries nonexistent, so his studies were slow.

In 1859, the Shogunate sent the first diplomatic mission to the United States
Japanese Embassy to the United States (1860)
The was dispatched in 1860 by the Tokugawa shogunate . Its objective was to ratify the new Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation between the United States and Japan, in addition to being Japan’s first diplomatic mission to the United States since the 1854 opening of Japan by Commodore...

. Fukuzawa volunteered his services to Admiral Kimura Yoshitake. Kimura's ship, the Kanrin Maru
Japanese warship Kanrin Maru
Kanrin Maru was Japan's first sail and screw-driven steam corvette . She was ordered in 1853 from the Netherlands, the only Western country with which Japan had diplomatic relations throughout its period of sakoku , by the Shogun's government, the Bakufu...

, arrived in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 in 1860. The delegation stayed in the city for a month, during which time Fukuzawa had himself photographed with an American girl, and also found a Webster's Dictionary
Webster's Dictionary
Webster's Dictionary refers to the line of dictionaries first developed by Noah Webster in the early 19th century, and also to numerous unrelated dictionaries that added Webster's name just to share his prestige. The term is a genericized trademark in the U.S.A...

, from which he began serious study of the English language.


Upon his return in 1860, Fukuzawa became an official translator for the Tokugawa bakufu. Shortly thereafter he brought out his first publication, an English-Japanese dictionary
Dictionary
A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often listed alphabetically, with usage information, definitions, etymologies, phonetics, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon...

 which he called "Kaei Tsūgo" (translated from a Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

-English dictionary) which was a beginning for his series of later books. In 1862, he visited Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 as one of the two English translators in bakufu's 40-man embassy, the First Japanese Embassy to Europe
First Japanese Embassy to Europe (1862)
The First Japanese Embassy to Europe was sent to Europe by the Tokugawa shogunate in 1862. The head of the mission was Takenouchi Yasunori, governor of Shimotsuke Province . The head of the mission staff was Shibata Sadataro. Fukuzawa Yukichi was a member of the mission, acting as one of the two...

. During its year in Europe, the Embassy conducted negotiation
Negotiation
Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties, intended to reach an understanding, resolve point of difference, or gain advantage in outcome of dialogue, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, to craft outcomes to satisfy...

s with France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Holland, Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, and finally Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. In Russia, the embassy unsuccessfully negotiated for the southern end of Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

 (in Japanese Karafuto
Karafuto Prefecture
, commonly called South Sakhalin, was the Japanese administrative division corresponding to Japanese territory on Sakhalin from 1905 to 1945. Through the Treaty of Portsmouth, the portion of Sakhalin south of 50°N became a colony of Japan in 1905...

).

The information collected during these travels resulted in his famous work Seiyō Jijō , which he published in ten volumes in 1867, 1868 and 1870. The books describe western culture and institutions in simple, easy to understand terms, and they became immediate best-sellers. Fukuzawa was soon regarded as the foremost expert on all things western, leading him to conclude that his mission in life was to educate his countrymen in new ways of thinking in order to enable Japan to resist European imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

.

In 1868 he changed the name of the school he had established to teach Dutch to Keio Gijuku, and from then on devoted all his time to education. While Keiō's initial identity was that of a private school of Western studies (Keio-gijuku), it expanded and established its first university faculty in 1890. Under the name Keio University
Keio University
,abbreviated as Keio or Keidai , is a Japanese university located in Minato, Tokyo. It is known as the oldest institute of higher education in Japan. Founder Fukuzawa Yukichi originally established it as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo . It has eleven campuses in Tokyo and Kanagawa...

, it became a leader in Japanese higher education.

In 1901, Fukuzawa Yukichi was buried at Zenpuku-ji
Zenpuku-ji
Zenpuku-ji , also known as Azabu-san , is a Jōdo Shinshū temple located in the Azabu district of Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the oldest Tokyo temples, after Asakusa.Founded by Kūkai in 824, Zenpuku-ji was originally a Shingon temple...

, in the Azabu
Azabu
is an area within Minato in Tokyo, Japan, built on a marshy area of foothills south of central Tokyo. Its coverage roughly corresponds to that of the former Azabu Ward, presently consisting of nine official districts: Azabu-Jūban, Azabudai, Azabu-Nagasakachō, Azabu-Mamianachō, Nishi-Azabu,...

 area of Tokyo. Alumni of Keio University hold a ceremony there every year on February 3.

Works


Fukuzawa's writings may have been the foremost of the Meiji period
Meiji period
The , also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from September 1868 through July 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan.- Meiji Restoration and the emperor :...

. Between 1872 and 1876, he published 17 volumes of Gakumon no Susume ("An Encouragement of Learning" or more idiomatically "On Studying"). In these texts, Fukuzawa outlines the importance of understanding the principle of equality of opportunity and that study was the key to greatness. He was an avid supporter of education and believed in a firm mental foundation through education and studiousness. His famous textbook Sekai Kunizukushi ("All the countries of the world, for children written in verse") became a best seller and used as an official school textbook.

In the volumes of Gakumon no Susume, influenced by Elements of Moral Science (1835, 1856 ed.) by Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

 President Francis Wayland
Francis Wayland
Francis Wayland , American Baptist educator and economist, was born in New York City, New York. He was president of Brown University and pastor of the First Baptist Church in America in Providence, Rhode Island. In Washington, D.C., Wayland Seminary was established in 1867, primarily to educate...

, Fukuzawa advocated his most lasting principle, "national independence through personal independence." Through personal independence, an individual does not have to depend on the strength of another. With such a self-determining social morality, Fukuzawa hoped to instill a sense of personal strength among the people of Japan, and through that personal strength, build a nation to rival all others. His understanding was that western society had become powerful relative to other countries at the time because western countries fostered education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, individualism
Individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing most external interference upon one's own...

 (independence), competition
Competition
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two and only two strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For...

 and exchange of ideas.

Fukuzawa also published many influential essays and critical works. A particularly prominent example is Bunmeiron no Gairyaku ("An Outline of a Theory of Civilization") published in 1875, in which he details his own theory of civilization. It was influenced by Histoire de la civilisation en Europe (1828; Eng. trans in 1846) by François Guizot
François Guizot
François Pierre Guillaume Guizot was a French historian, orator, and statesman. Guizot was a dominant figure in French politics prior to the Revolution of 1848, a conservative liberal who opposed the attempt by King Charles X to usurp legislative power, and worked to sustain a constitutional...

. According to Fukuzawa, civilization is relative to time and circumstance, as well in comparison. For example, at the time China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 was relatively civilized in comparison to some Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n colonies, and European nations were the most civilized of all. Colleagues in the Meirokusha
Meirokusha
The ' was an intellectual society in Meiji period Japan that published social-criticism journal Meiroku Zasshi .Proposed by statesman Mori Arinori in 1873 and officially formed on 1 February 1874, the Meirokusha was intended to “promote civilization and enlightenment”, and to introduce western...

 intellectual society shared many of Fukuzawa's views, which he published in his contributions to Meiroku Zasshi (Meiji Six Magazine), a scholarly journal he helped publish. In his books and journals, he often wrote about the word "civilization" and what it meant. He advocated a move toward "civilization", by which he meant material and spiritual well-being, which elevated human life to a "higher plane". Because material and spiritual well-being corresponded to knowledge and "virtue," to "move toward civilization" was to advance and pursue knowledge and virtue themselves. He contended that people could find the answer to their life or their present situation from "civilization", and furthermore that the difference between the weak and the powerful and large and small was just a matter of difference between their knowledge and education. He also argued that Japan shouldn't import guns and materials. Instead it should support the acquisition of knowledge, which would eventually take care of the material necessities. He also talked of the Japanese concept of being practical or pragmatic
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

 (実学, jitsugaku), and the building of things that are basic and useful to other people. In short, to Fukuzawa, "civilization" essentially meant the furthering of knowledge and education.

Criticism


Fukuzawa was later criticized as a supporter of Japanese imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 because of his essay "Datsu-A Ron
Datsu-A Ron
Datsu-A Ron was an editorial which was first published in the Japanese newspaper Jiji Shimpo on March 16, 1885. The writer is thought to be Japanese author and educator Fukuzawa Yukichi, but the original editorial was written anonymously. The editorial was contained in the second volume of...

" ("Escape from Asia") published in 1885, as well as for his support of the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

 (1894–1895). Yet, "Datsu-A Ron" was actually a response to a failed attempt by Koreans to organize an effective reform faction, an attempt he had supported. The essay was published as a withdrawal of his support. Nevertheless the assistance provided to radical Koreans during this era was never intended to lead to complete independence for the peninsula, but on the contrary sought to bring Korea under ever greater Japanese influence. This was amply demonstrated by the power-plays undertaken in Korea by both Koreans supported by Fukuzawa and the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 during the First Sino-Japanese War.

According to Fukuzawa Yukichi no Shinjitsu ("The Truth of Fukuzawa Yukichi", 2004, ISBN 4-16-660394-9) by Yō Hirayama, this view is a misunderstanding due to the influence of Mikiaki Ishikawa, who was the author of a biography of Fukuzawa (1932) and the editor of his Complete Works (1925–1926 and 1933–1934). According to Hirayama, Ishikawa inserted anonymous editorials into the Complete Works, and inserted historically inaccurate material into his biography. In fact, says Hirayama, Fukuzawa did criticize the Chinese and Korean governments but he did not discriminate against the Chinese and Korean people. Discriminatory statements attributed to Fukuzawa, he says, were actually due to Ishikawa.

Legacy



Fukuzawa's most important contribution to the reformation effort, though, came in the form of a newspaper called Jiji Shinpo , which he started in 1882, after being prompted by Inoue Kaoru
Inoue Kaoru
Count , GCMG was a member of the Meiji oligarchy during the Meiji period Empire of Japan. As one of the senior statesman in Japan during that period, he had a tremendous influence on the selection of the nation's leaders and formation of its policies.-Early years:...

, Ōkuma Shigenobu
Okuma Shigenobu
Marquis ; was a statesman in the Empire of Japan and the 8th and 17th Prime Minister of Japan...

, and Itō Hirobumi
Ito Hirobumi
Prince was a samurai of Chōshū domain, Japanese statesman, four time Prime Minister of Japan , genrō and Resident-General of Korea. Itō was assassinated by An Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist who was against the annexation of Korea by the Japanese Empire...

 to establish a strong influence among the people through publishing. All agreed the government should take the form of a national assembly
National Assembly
National Assembly is either a legislature, or the lower house of a bicameral legislature in some countries. The best known National Assembly, and the first legislature to be known by this title, was that established during the French Revolution in 1789, known as the Assemblée nationale...

, and as reforms began, Fukuzawa, whose fame was already unquestionable, began production of Jiji Shinpo, which received wide circulation, encouraging the people to enlighten themselves and to adopt a moderate political attitude towards the change that was being engineered within the social and political structures of Japan. He translated many books and journals into Japanese on a wide variety of subjects, including chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, the arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

, military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 and society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

, and published many books (in multiple volumes) and journals himself describing western society, his own philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and change, etc.


Fukuzawa's ideas about individual strength and his knowledge of western political theory, as presented in his writings, were instrumental in motivating the Japanese people to embrace change. He may well have been one of the most influential personalities in the modernization of Japan and one of the most progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 thinkers in Japan. He is regarded as one of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

. Fukuzawa never accepted a government position, and remained a private citizen all of his life. By the time of his death, he was revered as one of the founders of modern Japan. All of his work was written and was released at a critical juncture in the Japanese society and uncertainty for the Japanese people about their future after the signing of the Unequal treaties
Unequal Treaties
“Unequal treaty” is a term used in specific reference to a number of treaties imposed by Western powers, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, on Qing Dynasty China and late Tokugawa Japan...

, their realization in the weakness of the Japanese government at the time (Tokugawa Shogunate) and its inability to repel the American and European influence. It should also be noted that there were bands of samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

 that forcefully opposed the Americans and Europeans and their friends through murder and destruction. Fukuzawa was in danger of his life as a samurai group killed one of his colleagues for advocating policies like those of Fukuzawa. Fukuzawa wrote at a time when the Japanese people were undecided on whether they should be bitter about the American and European forced treaties and imperialism, or to understand the West and move forward. Fukuzawa greatly aided the ultimate success of the pro-modernization forces.

Fukuzawa appears on the current 10,000-yen
Japanese yen
The is the official currency of Japan. It is the third most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar and the euro. It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the U.S. dollar, the euro and the pound sterling...

 banknote and has been compared to Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, interestingly since Franklin appears on the similarly-valued $100 bill. Although all other figures appearing on Japanese banknotes changed when the recent redesign was released, Fukuzawa remained on the 10,000-yen note.

As a marketing gimmick, Fukuzawa's portrait from the 10,000-yen note is currently being used on the packaging of a weight-loss product marketed primarily to Spanish-speaking customers as "Te Chino del Dr. Ming" (Chinese Tea of Dr. Ming).
Yukichi Fukuzawa's former residence in the city of Nakatsu
Nakatsu, Oita
is a city located on the northern border of Ōita Prefecture in Kyūshū, Japan. The city is situated on the border with Fukuoka Prefecture.The city was founded on April 20, 1929. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 84,179, with a population density of 171 people per km²...

 in Ōita Prefecture
Oita Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan on Kyūshū Island. The prefectural capital is the city of Ōita.- History :Around the 6th century Kyushu consisted of four regions: Tsukushi-no-kuni 筑紫国, Hi-no-kuni 肥国, and Toyo no kuni...

 is a Nationally Designated Cultural Asset. The house and the Yukichi Fukuzawa Memorial Hall are the major tourist attractions of this city.

Yukichi Fukuzawa was a firm believer that Western education surpassed Japan's. However, he did not like the idea of debates in parliaments. As early as 1860, Yukichi Fukuzawa traveled to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. He believed that the problem in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 was the undervalued mathematics and science. Also, these suffered from a "lack of the idea of independence." The Japanese conservatives were not happy about Fukuzawa's view of Western education. Since he was a family friend of conservatives, he took their stand to heart. Fukuzawa admitted that he went a little too far.

One words sums up his entire theme and that is "independence." Yukichi Fukuzawa believed that national independence was the framework to society in the West. However, to achieve this independence, as well as personal independence, Fukuzawa advocated Western learning. He believed that public virtue would increase as people became more educated.

Further reading


  • Japan: A Documentary History
  • Pride and Independence: Fukuzawa Yukichi and the Spirit of the Meiji Restoration
  • Fukuzawa biography at UNESCO (PDF)
  • The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa. NY: Columbia University Press, 1966. Revised translation by Eiichi Kiyooka, with a foreword by Carmen Blacker.
  • The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa. (Paperback) Columbia University Press, 2007. Revised translation by Eiichi Kiyooka, with a foreword by Albert M. Craig
    Albert M. Craig
    Albert Morton Craig is an American academic, historian, author and professor emeritus in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.-Early life:...

    . ISBN 0-231-13987-X
  • Albert M. Craig
    Albert M. Craig
    Albert Morton Craig is an American academic, historian, author and professor emeritus in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.-Early life:...

    , Civilization and Enlightenment: The Early Thought of Fukuzawa Yukichi, (Hardcover) Harvard University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-674-03108-1
  • Tamaki, Norio. Yukichi Fukuzawa, 1835-1901: The Spirit of Enterprise in Modern Japan. (Paperback) Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. ISBN 0-333-80121-0

See also


  • List of motifs on banknotes
  • Datsu-A Ron
    Datsu-A Ron
    Datsu-A Ron was an editorial which was first published in the Japanese newspaper Jiji Shimpo on March 16, 1885. The writer is thought to be Japanese author and educator Fukuzawa Yukichi, but the original editorial was written anonymously. The editorial was contained in the second volume of...

  • Fukoku kyōhei
    Fukoku kyohei
    , originally a phrase from the ancient Chinese historical work on the Warring States Period, Zhan Guo Ce , was Japan's national slogan during the Meiji Era, replacing sonnō jōi ....

  • Zenpuku-ji
    Zenpuku-ji
    Zenpuku-ji , also known as Azabu-san , is a Jōdo Shinshū temple located in the Azabu district of Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the oldest Tokyo temples, after Asakusa.Founded by Kūkai in 824, Zenpuku-ji was originally a Shingon temple...



External links