The Yin-Yang-wu-Hsing doctrine in the textual tradition of tokugawa japanese agriculture

Asian Philosophy 8 (2):119 – 128 (1998)
Japanese agricultural scholarship reached its peak in the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). Most of its representative works were imbued with the Chinese metaphysical doctrine of yin-yang-wu-hsing. They used the ideas of yin-yang, wu-hsing, yun-ch'i, hexagrams, and feng-shui extensively to develop their views and to explain various practices. There were two different attitudes towards Chinese concepts among Tokugawa scholars. Some regarded Chinese ideas as universal principles, and faithfully introduced them to Japan, whereas some were faced with the problem of national identity and attempted to accommodate Chinese metaphysical principles to Japanese agriculture. This article examines the adoption of the yin-yang-wu-hsing doctrine in Tokugawa agriculture through a careful and critical textual study of several major Tokugawa writings.
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