Good Naito Hypothesis Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: China, Culture, Japan, History, Politics, People, Power, Development

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/21

Naito Torajiro after close observation of the evolution of the Chinese culture was greatly intrigued by the differences in culture that identified each age period in Chinese’s history. He therefore went ahead to challenge the common notion that had been established that stated the change in cultural practices was caused by the western influence during the trading periods. Westerners such as the Spanish and Portuguese were assumed to have influenced the modernization of china. Another factor that was assumed to have contributed to the transformation of china was the opium war. Naito seemed to show and explain that the modernization of china begun with the sung dynast and he highlighted crucial differences between the cultural behaviour in the Sung and T’ang periods.
Most critics who were mostly not sought out to tackle the problem of periodization pointed out that the centre of the history of china had changed from north to south and therefore the hypothesis by Naito was worth thorough evaluation and discussion. Naito was able to discuss the age when Yuan shih-k’ai was getting ready to take his position on the throne and he predicted that the chines nation would become a republic and abandon the aristocratic mode of governance that dated back to the medieval times. He suggested that history should not be segmented into dynastic epochs or periods of the year but that historians should identify every event in either the ancient times medieval or the modern ages. This way it would be easy for scholars to understand japan and china by corresponding the periods between the two countries, this would bridge the gap between the historical evolution of china and japan as japan 2000 years old being half china’s age.
Naito was able to discuss all features of modern china from the cultural perspective. Through intense understanding of philosophy the arts and politics he was able to determine that a country capable of producing high quality of art would be one that had a long deep cultural tradition as compared to younger countries that sought to identify themselves in military and political activities. Scholars such as Professor Abe Takeo recommended that Naito’s study on the Onin war 1467-1477 was the driving force to change the Japanese nation as it fostered social changes in the move from the T’ang to the sung. During this period the aristocrats were dethroned and the ‘asbigaru’ who were villain soldiers rose to power.
The modern eras begun when the fundamentals of the social organization changed and not with the introductory of the country by Perry in japan nor the advent of foreigners in the Ch’ing and Ming dynasties in china so addressed Naito. In ancient period the noble power held by maternal kinsfolks of the emperors was extraordinary and the monarch did not have complete power over the aristocrats. Emperors who emerged from insignificance made up lineages to claim the honour of noble descent. But reverence for purebred was done away with throughout the five dynasties when martial leaders ascended from common soldiers, this situation completely overturned the aristocratic system to the point where the position of the emperor could be handed down to an adopted child. Naito therefore suggests theta that overruling of the belief of aristocratic power, increase in rights for the masses and the impact of sub administrators in government was the beginning of modern china.
Transition of china into the sung dynasty was characterised by a number of factors. The deterioration of aristocracy and the increase of dictatorship, the noble families were able to take all the noble positions in state matters and they demanded more eminent ancestry than emperors. However with the onset of military uprising the aristocracy lost some of its power over the people and the emperor was no longer their property this pushed forward the development of a free country where slavery was slowly done away with. This development could have not been brought forward by the foreigners but it had to grow from the country and the people themselves.
The change in form of factions’ jealousies in selfish cliques led to the deterioration of the dynasty. Therefore Ch’ing emperors prohibited cliques this prevented discrepancies between various people in the communities there was also a change in the economy where silver, copper and bronze started being used as a form of currency instead of the original silk and thread. As Bronze grew in popularity in the 1600-1700 BC and was mainly used for household items such as steamers cups goblets and other household equipment and was later on used for weapons and amour. Changes in culture included metrical compositions which were replaced by vernacular novels and drama became more appreciated. All these forms of transformation helped modernize china and also allowed it to keep some of its original traditions.
General progress of the common person is what characterizes modernity, in china the commoners and emperors gained freedom from oppression by the noble families; this was a great step even though they still had no political rights as compared to Europe. This was the age of despotism. Although Niato insisted that this was modern china growth there were still reservations in the working of the Chinese government. The emperor still held much power and the aristocrats were still very relevant. It is therefore important to note that the establishment of common rights was just a process that was long overdue and was evolution in traditions as well as modernity. Later on when right of ownership was established more Chinese begun to study Confucian canon, painters started appreciating landscape painting and they started mass producing porcelain and fabrics leading to the growth of the economy. This revelation can be the main push that helped identify the position of china in the global map, as of today china is still the best producer of porcelain and silk, with delicate life form art displayed all over the world. These practises may have started a long time ago but are still relevant to china today.
Politics being one of the most basic activities of humans has been around for decades, and with the beginning of the sung dynast the importance of politics begun to diminish. The oppressed common people had their rights and were no longer used as slaves. There developed a culture where the people had their own tastes, moral standards and frame of knowledge. The aspect of cliques and classes diminished and everything was common for all. This was very important for the wellbeing of the nation and it would ensure a growth in the socio cultural aspect of the community. The onset of common people rights proved to have been the beginning of a fair country where every person had rights and the emperor would be in a position to serve the people accordingly.

Works Cited

An Outline of the Naito Hypothesis and Its Effects on Japanese Studies of China Hisayuki
Miyakawa the Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 4, Special Number on Chinese History and Society (Aug., 1955), pp. 533
An Intellectual’s Response to Western Intrusion: Naitō Konan’s View of Republican China"
(pp. 161-183) From: The Chinese and the Japanese YUE-HIM TAM Princeton University
"Approaches To Modern Chinese Social History" (pp. 236-296)
Miyakawa, Hisayuki. "An Outline of the Naito Hypothesis and Its Effect on Japanese Studies
of China." Far Eastern Quarterly 14.4 (1955):533-552.
Joshua fogel , “on the rediscovery of the chinese past: cui shu and related cases” in his
Cultural dimension of sino-japanese relations (Armonk, N.Y: M.E. sharpe, 1995) p. 16
Politics and Sinology: The Case of Naitō Konan (1866-1934) by Joshua A. Fogel Review
Patricia Buckley Ebrey, Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 2nd edition pg. 29-31

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