To Teikan (藤貞幹)

Teikan TO (August 13, 1732 - October 8, 1797), written as 藤 貞幹 in Japanese, was a scholar of yusoku-kojitsu (studies of the traditional protocol of the Imperial Court, courtiers, and leading samurai houses) who lived during the mid-Edo period. His imina (real personal name) was Sadamoto FUJIWARA. His azana (pseudonym) was Shito (子冬). He was also usually called Shukuzo (叔蔵). He had several gos (pen names) such as Mufutsusai (無仏斎), Mosai, Zuishosai (瑞祥斎), and Koko (好古). He was a son of Genki (who was in the rank of a Gon no Risshi [a provisional rank in the lowest managerial position] and from the Hino family), who was the head of Kuon-in, Bukko-ji Temple in Kyoto. Teikan is said to be the progenitor of Japanese philology and bibliography. Some people believe he used the family name 'Fujii,' written as 藤井 in Japanese, but this is false information and is not true.

He was raised to become a Buddhist priest like his father, and he entered the Buddhist priesthood at the age of 11. However, he had doubts about the teachings of Buddhism and he left home and the priesthood when he was 18 years old, and then he started to use the family name Fujiwara, which was the original surname of the Hino family. He learned Japanese poetry from Sukeki HINO, yusoku-kojitsu from Munenao TAKAHASHI, the art of calligraphy from Munetoki JIMYOIN, Confucianism from Saizan (柴山) GOTO and Ritsuzan SHIBANO, and tenkoku (seal-engraving) from Fuyo KO. In addition, he was well versed in gagaku (ancient Japanese court dance and music), tensho (a seal-engraving style of writing Chinese characters), sosho (a very cursive style of writing Chinese characters), and kinsekibun (words written on metal or stones), and he was good friends with Tenju KAN and Akinari UEDA. He was later invited to the Shoko-kan Library of the Mito Domain and he took part in the compilation of "Dainihonshi" (The Great History of Japan). He found a kindred spirit in Kozen URAMATSU, who was a biological younger brother of Sukeki HINO that had fallen into obscurity due to the Horeki Incident, and became his vassal, and then he helped Kozen write "Daidairizu Kosho" (The Evidential Research of the Outer Palace Precincts). At the same time, he insisted that every historical finding had to be closely investigated using excavated articles and any historical story or description should not be accepted without such a step even if it was seen in the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) and the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan); additionally, he wrote a book called "Shokohatsu" (Impulsive Remarks), in which the period of Emperor Jinmu's reign was moved back 600 years and the existence of jindaimoji (ancient Japanese characters which were believed to have been used before kanji characters were brought to Japan) was denied. This book provoked antipathy in scholars of Japanese classical literature, and Norinaga MOTOORI wrote a book called "Kenkyojin" against the issues stated about Emperor Jinmu and Susanoo (he was a deity who appears in Japanese mythology, but Teikan stated in his book that Susanoo had descended from a king of Silla) and insisted that Teikan's study of historical findings was very inaccurate. In contrast, Akinari UEDA criticized Norinaga's stance in support of Teikan, and Teikan's book eventually caused heated arguments among scholars. In addition to the above book, he wrote many books such as "Hyakkan" (All the Officials), "Kokucho Shomoku" (Book References of Successive Reigns), "Itsugo Nengo" (Imperial Era Names), "Ise Ryodaijingu Gishikicho Kochu" (An Annotated Edition of the Ceremonial Notes of Two Grand Shrines in Ise), and "Kogafu" (Ink Rubbings of Roof Tiles).