Linked bibliography for the SEP article "The Kokugaku (Native Studies) School" by Gideon Fujiwara and Peter Nosco

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A wealth of primary and secondary readings on Kokugaku are accessible in English owing to the growing scholarship on this important intellectual tradition. John R. Bentley’s An Anthology of Kokugaku Scholars 1690-1868 introduces 13 key Kokugaku scholars ranging from Keichū to Suzuki Masayuki, and provides their various writings in translation under the categories of poetry, literature, scholarship, and “Japan/Religion.” Published over six decades since 1958, Sources of Japanese Tradition offers selected excerpts from representative works by major Kokugaku scholars including Kada no Azumamaro, Kamo no Mabuchi, and Hirata Atsutane. These sources are accompanied by introductions of the authors and their writings. While the above collections demonstrate variety and breadth within the Kokugaku school, several annotated translations of Motoori Norinaga’s major texts allow for further in-depth study on the school’s single-most influential intellectual. These are the book-length Kojikiden Book 1 by Ann Wehmeyer and Tamakatsuma (Basket of Jewels) by Bentley, as well as article-length translations of “Naobi no mitama” (Rectifying Spirit) and “Uiyambumi” (First Steps Into the Mountains) by Sey Nishimura. All the above-mentioned works are cited in the following bibliography, along with the ever-expanding scholarship on Kokugaku in the form of monographs, book chapters, and journal articles. These secondary works provide socio-political, intellectual, and literary contexts for the aforementioned primary sources, while also quoting the work of these Kokugaku scholars. To delve further into Kokugaku scholarship, one can access the many translated primary sources that these scholars read and wrote commentaries on. These classical works include the eighth-century mytho-histories of the Kojiki, the Record of Ancient Matters, and Nihon shoki, the Chronicles of Japan, and Waka anthology Man’yōshū, Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves, as well as the Tale of Genji (1008), Shin Kokinshu (1205), and tenth-century Engishiki.


  • [SJTa] De Bary, Wm Theodore, Carol Gluck, Arthur E. Tiedemann, W. J. J. Boot, and William M. Bodiford (eds.), 2006, Volume Two Sources of Japanese Tradition: 1600 to 2000: Part One: 1600 to 1868, second edition, abridged, (Introduction to Asian Civilizations), New York: Columbia University Press. (Scholar)
  • [SJT] Tsunoda, Ryūsaku, Wm. Theodore de Bary, and Donald Keene (eds), 1964, Sources of Japanese Tradition, volume two, first edition, New York: Columbia University Press. (Scholar)
  • [H&M] Haga Noboru and Matsumoto Sannosuke (eds), 1971 Kokugaku undō no shisō, (Nihon Shisō Taikei, vol. 51), Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. (Scholar)
  • [HAZ] Hirata Atsutane, 1911–1918, Hirata Atsutane zenshū, Muromatsu Iwao (comp.), Tokyo: Itchidō Shoten. (Scholar)
  • [KKMZ:SH] Kamo no Mabuchi, 1942, Kōhon Kamo no Mabuchi zenshū: shisō hen, Yamamoto Yutaka (comp.), Tokyo: Kōbundō. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1765, Kokui kō (Inquiry into the Idea of the Nation), adapted from SJT: 404–408. (Scholar)
  • Keichū, c. 1690, Man’yō daishōki: zassetsu in SJT: 395. (Scholar)
  • [KH] Miyahiro Sadao, Kokueki honron, in H&M.
  • Motoori Norinaga, 1790 [1991], “The Way of the Gods: Motoori Norinaga’s Naobi no mitama”, Nishimura Sey (trans.), Monumenta Nipponica, 46(1): 21–41. doi:10.2307/2385145 (Scholar)
  • –––, 1798 [1987], “First Steps into the Mountains: Motoori Norinaga’s Uiyamabumi”, Nishimura Sey (trans.), Monumenta Nipponica 42(4): 449–493. doi:10.2307/2384988 (intro) doi:10.2307/2384989 (translation) (Scholar)
  • –––, 1799, Tama no ogushi (The Exquisite Comb), extracts in SJT: 420–421. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1798, Kojiki-den, translation adapted from Holtom, Daniel Clarence, 1938, The National Faith of Japan: A Study of Modern Shinto, pp. 23-24, quoted in de Bary, et al., Sources of Japanese Tradition, second edition, Vol. 1 (Columbia Univ. Press 2001), 18. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2013, Tamakatsuma, Introduced and Translated by John R. Bentley. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University East Asia Program. (Scholar)
  • –––, 1780, Kuzubana in Ōno Susumu and Ōkubo Tadashi (comps), Motoori Norinaga zenshū, Chikuma Shobo 1968–75, Vol. 8, 123-181. (Scholar)
  • Muraoka Tsunetsugu [d. 1946], 1964, Studies in Shinto Thought, Delmer M. Brown and James T. Araki (trans.), Tokyo: Japanese National Commission for UNESCO. From his Nihon shisō shi kenkyū. (Scholar)
  • Ōkuni Takamasa, 1855 [1971], Hongaku kyoyō, Vol. 1, in Hirata Atsutane, Ban Nobutomo, Ōkuni Takamasa, (Nihon Shisō Taikei, vol. 50), Tahara Tsuguo, Seki Akira, Saeki Arikiyo, and Haga Noboru (eds), Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. (Scholar)
  • Yano Gendō, 1867, Kenkin Sengo in H&M: 547–585. (Scholar)


  • Bentley, John R. (ed.), 2017, An Anthology of Kokugaku Scholars 1690–1868, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University East Asia Program. (Scholar)
  • Brownlee, John S., 1997, Japanese Historians and the National Myths, 1600–1945: The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jimmu, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. (Scholar)
  • Burns, Susan L., 2003, Before the Nation: Kokugaku and the Imagining of Community in Modern Japan, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. (Scholar)
  • Flueckiger, Peter, 2008, “Reflections on the Meaning of Our Country: Kamo No Mabuchi’s ‘Kokuikō’”, Monumenta Nipponica, 63(2): 211–263. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2011, Imagining Harmony: Poetry, Empathy, and Community in Mid-Tokugawa Confucianism and Nativism, Stanford: Stanford University Press. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2014, “National Learning”, The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Scholar)
  • Fujiwara, Gideon, 2013, Spirits and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Northeastern Japan: Hirata Kokugaku and the Tsugaru Disciples, PhD Dissertation. University of British Columbia, April. doi:10.14288/1.0073793 (Scholar)
  • –––, 2015, “Rebirth of a Hirata School Nativist: Tsuruya Ariyo and His Kaganabe Journal”, Nosco, Ketelaar, and Kojima 2015: 134–158. (Scholar)
  • Hansen, Wilburn. 2008, When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane’s Ethnography of the Other World, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. (Scholar)
  • Hardacre, Helen, 2017, Shinto: A History, New York: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190621711.001.0001 (Scholar)
  • –––, 1989, Shinto and the State, 1868–1988, Princeton: Princeton University Press. (Scholar)
  • Harootunian, Harry D., 1988, Things Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Ideology in Tokugawa Nativism, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Scholar)
  • Heisig, James W., Thomas P. Kasulis, and John C. Maraldo (eds), 2011, Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook, Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. (Scholar)
  • Itō Tasaburō, 1982, Sōmō no Kokugaku, Tokyo: Meicho shuppan. (Scholar)
  • Kasulis, Thomas P., 2017, Engaging Japanese Philosophy: A Short History, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. (Scholar)
  • Katsurajima, Nobuhiro, 2005, Bakumatsu minshū shisō no kenkyū: bakumatsu Kokugaku to minshū shūkyō, Kyōto-shi : Bunrikaku. (Scholar)
  • Marra, Michael, 1998, “Nativist Hermeneutics: The Interpretive Strategies of Motoori Norinaga and Fujitani Mitsue”, Japan Review, 10: 17–52. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2007, The Poetics of Motoori Norinaga, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. (Scholar)
  • Matsumoto, Shigeru, 1970, Motoori Norinaga, 1730–1801, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Scholar)
  • McNally, Mark, 2005, Proving The Way: Conflict and Practice in the History of Japanese Nativism, (Harvard East Asian monographs, 245), Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2015, Like No Other: Exceptionalism and Nativism in Early Modern Japan, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. (Scholar)
  • Najita, Tetsuo, 1991, “History and Nature in Eighteenth-Century Tokugawa Thought”, in The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 4: Early Modern Japan, edited by John Whitney Hall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 596–659. doi:10.1017/chol9780521223553.013 (Scholar)
  • Nosco, Peter, 1981, “Nature, Invention, and National Learning: The Kokka hachiron Controversy, 1742–46”, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 41(1): 75–91. doi:10.2307/2719001 (Scholar)
  • –––, 1990, Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in Eighteenth-Century Japan, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Scholar)
  • –––, 2018, Individuality in Early Modern Japan: Thinking for Oneself, New York: Routledge. (Scholar)
  • Nosco, Peter, James Edward Ketelaar, and Yasunori Kojima (eds.), 2015, Values, Identity, and Equality in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Japan, (Brill’s Japanese Studies Library, volume 52), Leiden: Brill. (Scholar)
  • Sakai, Naoki, 1991, Voices of the Past: The Status of Language in Eighteenth-Century Japanese Discourse, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. (Scholar)
  • Teeuwen, Mark, 2006, “Kokugaku vs. Nativism”, Monumenta Nipponica, 61(2): 227–242. (Scholar)
  • Wachutka, Michael, 2013, Kokugaku in Meiji-Period Japan: The Modern Transformation of “National Learning” and the Formation of Scholarly Societies, Boston & Leiden: Brill. (Scholar)
  • Walthall, Anne, 1998, The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Scholar)
  • Wehmeyer, Ann, 1997, Motoori: Kojiki-den, Book 1, Ithaca, NY: Cornell East Asia Series. (Scholar)
  • Yoshikawa, Kojiro, 1983, Jinsai, Sorai, Norinaga, Tokyo: Toho Gakkai. (Scholar)

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