This week, we’ll be discussing the most important premodern Japanese philosopher that no one has ever heard of: Motoori Norinaga, the leading light of Kokugaku (National Studies) in Edo-period Japan. We’ll be covering his life, a bare-bones overview of his philosophy, and his impact on Japan.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Lorish, Fred C. Motoori Norinaga: An Intellectual Portrait.

Burns, Susan L. Before the Nation.

Plus a series of articles providing translations in whole or part of some of Norinaga’s published works. You can google around a bit if you’re interested in these.

Images 

A self-portrait by Motoori Norinaga.

A self-portrait by Motoori Norinaga.

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Norinaga's home in Matsusaka, now a museum dedicated to his life.

Norinaga’s home in Matsusaka, now a museum dedicated to his life.