Counterargument to the West: Buddhist Logicians' Criticisms of Christianity and Republicanism in Meiji Japan

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Although the tradition of the Buddhist logic in India had been developed through the debates with non-Buddhists, that in pre-modern Japan hardly had such experiences. The applications of inmyō were limited to the disputes between the Hossō school (Japanese transmission of Yogācāra school) and another Buddhist schools. During the rapid modernization and westernization after the Meiji restoration, however, Buddhist logicians also encountered the non-Buddhist cultures including the deductive and inductive logics, Christianity, democracy and republicanism imported from Western countries. A part of them, such as Kira Kōyō, regarded inmyō as useful for the democratic discussion, and promoted it to the politicians and the legal professionals. Their introductory books about inmyō included many sample expressions which criticized the existence of God and the authenticity of republicanism, as well as the unequal treaties forced by Europe and America. In spite of those efforts, inmyō did not become popular in modern Japan. In addition, it also lost the scholars' interest in the twentieth century, because of the introduction of the scriptures of Indian logic in Sanskrit and Tibetan. But the inmyō studies in Meiji period should not be ignored, since they were regarded not only as one of the intellectual refutations to the West in East Asia, but also as the previous researches which were studied by East Asian scholars of the Buddhist logic.
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Archival date: 2018-02-18
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