Motoori Norinaga

Also found in: Wikipedia.
Motoori Norinaga
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Motoori Norinaga


Born 1730, in Matsuzaka, Ise Province; died there, Sept. 29, 1801. Japanese philologist and linguist of the National Learning movement.

Opposing the Japanese sinologists, Motoori rejected Confucianism and Buddhism and applied himself to the study of ancient Japanese literature, which had become incomprehensible because of its archaic language and writing system. His commentary on the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters; 712) was a panegyric to the age-old traditions and culture of Japan. Motoori idealized the governmental structure of ancient Japan and called for a revival of Shintoism and the cult of the emperor.

Motoori wrote in the old Japanese written language, avoiding Sinicisms as much as possible. However, for his prose translation of the Collection of Old and New Songs (tenth century), he used the emergent national language, providing a model for its western variant.

As an ideologist, Motoori helped to lay the foundations for bourgeois-monarchist nationalism, while undermining the foundations of the shogunate.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
In Romania in 1878, a haiku belonging to the classic Japanese Motoori Norinaga will be translated by the great scientist Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, by request from King Carol I, who, astonished by the performance of wasting so much in order to get so little, exclaimed: "Only genius can sacrifice in vain." (9)
He points out that in The Japan That Can Say No, Ishihara Shintaro indulges in a kind of thought scarcely differentiable from that of Motoori Norinaga [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1730-1801), an eighteenth-century ideologue who held that Japan, a nation of purity and order, was spiritually superior to China, a nation of dirt and disorder.
They cover the history of the interpretation of the Kiki, the mythology of Susanowo, ancient and medieval versions of the Yamatotakeru legend, understanding god in the early-modern and modern periods, Motoori Norinaga's creation myths, and Ishimodo Sho's theory of the heroic age.
Yoda follows this up in chapter 4 with close readings of fragments of The Tale of Genji, showing that previous critics (notably Motoori Norinaga and Masuda Kat-sumi) missed the multiple layers of meaning in poetic dialogue, for example, between Genji and his lover, Rokujo.
The Japanese tradition of unmediated experience of natural phenomena, as expressed in the early poetry of the Manyoshu and later critically presented by Motoori Norinaga, establishes the enduring presence of the natural world.
Drawing on the same historical consciousness, Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), a leading figure of the National Learning school, came to reject the need to study Confucian Classics, for these were written in a different era and were thus irrelevant to the problems of his age.
A Study of the Thought of Motoori Norinaga. Tokyo: Shinchosha.
Motoori Norinaga [Chinese Text Omitted] (1730-1801), a student of Chinese phonology, noted in his Kanji san'on ko [Chinese Text Omitted] (published in 1785) that "with regard to contemporary pronunciation, among the greater and lesser differences found in the various provinces [in China], the pronunciations of Nanjing and Harngjou are considered standard" (p.
The poetics of Motoori Norinaga; a hermeneutical journey.
She begins her work with a thorough analysis of Motoori Norinaga's Kojikiden (Commentaries on the Kojiki), which when completed in 1798 became one of the most important intellectual works of the late Edo period.