Not clickable maps

"A pair of natural phenomena and object"

Overview of the figures and the historical background

The two maps above drew as a pair of diagrams, not two different charts. The map on the right depicts the four elements that makeup objects that exist in nature. The figure on the left represents the four elements that makeup all the natural phenomena. I have to say that I believe Aristotle's four-cause theory influenced this idea of Baien. I've written this issue a few times by far, and I'll write it many more times.

The flow of the idea originated from the fact that Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) went to China in the Ming Dynasty for Christian missionary work. He humbly learned about Chinese religion, thought and culture, and did not forcibly propagate Christianity, and passed on the thoughts of Aristotle of ancient Greece, a Catholic legitimate view of nature. This has historically had a crucial impact on Chinese scholars. In particular, Youzi Liu(16 ??-?) 's "Questions and Answers on Astronomy" and Fang Yizhi (Fuichi, 1611-1671)' s "Knowledge on physics" are important. It was a pioneering achievement of Miura Baien. "Questions and Answers on Astronomy" was published in Japan in 1675, and was widely read throughout Japan after the Edo Shogunate removed it from the list of banned books in 1720.

Fang Yizhi (1611-1671) authored "Dongxi Jun", which is said to be "a collection of philosophical essays embodying the esotericity ". And yet Baien seems to have understood the contents of the book because he had been absorbed in reading "Knowledge on physics", in which the contents of "Dongxi Jun" was rewritten. "Dongxi Jun" was buried 300 years after being written, and was finally published in 2001. The following is a summary of a dissertation from Masataka Saito (Aichi University), who is conducting research on Fang Yizhi.


Fang I-chih(1611-1671 方以智),Chinese scholar in late Ming dynasty ,had a view of quality of life according to Confucianism. His view related to his transcendence.It was a kind of energy that one half escaped from situation that relativeness binded each other and controlled another one. He said live and death according to this transcendence. He criticized "one fear of death" and "four victories against live and death" in traditional Chinese thought, and pointed that a source of live and death is human mind, there was a way to care human mind by the book of changes.        (from "The view of life and death of Fang Yizhi" by Masataka Saito.)

China's view of nature in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties was overturned by the ancient Greek philosophy of Mateo Ricci. I don't know if that fact is known to Western and Chinese researchers. However, it is completely unknown that it had a decisive effect on Japanese common scholars in the mid-Edo period, and that it was one of the driving forces of the revolution toward the Meiji Restoration.

The transformation of the view of nature in the mid-Edo period was like a giant earthquake that transformed the whole of Japan into a modern Western-style nation, after which Japan was completely transformed into a Western-style one. But that didn't happen in China. This was due to the continent being too wide and the very low literacy rate of civilians other than elite bureaucrats.

Although the figure above is rarely understood by Japanese researchers, it is probably I alone who sees the effects of Aristotle's four-cause theory. It is undoubtedly influenced by Fang's work. Research on this path of thought connecting the east and west of the ocean is too slow. The following is an explanation of the figure.

This figure shows that there are four causes that make up everything. This is an essential structure that is common to all, and there is no exception. Baien thought that everything in nature is made up of these four causes, just like life and death are the principles with no exception. This is important. There are no exceptions in nature. He thought that everything was created equally. Heaven does not make the emperor, nor the land does not create farmers.

Takahashi Masayasu(1936 -2005) was the first researcher to discover this historical process. He also discovered a relationship with Fang Yizhi. He was my teacher. Sadly, he passed away in despair.

It could become too complicated when I start explaining it in detail, so here I will explain only the fact and it's historical process that Aristotle's four-cause theory had a great influence on Baien's thought.


next
back to former diagram
back to opening page


inserted by FC2 system