Nakae Toju (中江藤樹)

Toju NAKAE (April 21, 1608 - October 11, 1648) whose hometown was Omi Province (Shiga Prefecture) was a scholar of Yomeigaku neo-Confucianism in the early Edo period. He was called Omi Seijin (saint). His azana (one component of person's name) was Hajime, imina (personal name) was Korenaga and common name was Yoemon.


He was born as the first son of a farmer Kichiji NAKAE. He was adopted by his grandfather Tokuzaemon who was a samurai with a 150 koku stipend of the Kato family, the lord of the Yonago Domain in Hoki Province, at the age of 9 and proceeded to Yonago City. Since the lord of the Yonago Domain Sadayasu KATO was transferred to the Ozu Domain Iyo Province (Ehime Prefecture) in 1617, Toju moved with his grandparents. When his grandfather died in 1622, he inherited 100 koku.

He handed in his resignation for the reasons of being dutiful to his mother and of the condition of his health at the age of 27 in 1634, but it was rejected. After leaving the domain to go into hiding in Kyoto, he moved back to Omi. He founded a private school there. He got married to Hisa, a daughter of the feudal retainer of the Ise-Kameyama Domain Koheita TAKAHASHI in 1637. His pupils called him Toju because there is a wisteria (pronounced To in Japanese) at his residence. The name of his private school was Toju Shoin. He shortly concentrated on the Neo-Confucianism but came to investigate the theory of Katabutsu Chichi (Kakubutsu leads to maximal activation of wisdom) gradually under the influence of Yomei-gaku (neo-Confucianism based on teaching of Wang Yangming).

His wife Hisa died in 1646. He married Furi, a daughter of the feudal retainer of the Omi-Omizo Domain Tomotake BESSHO, again in 1647.

6 months before Toju died in 1648, he founded 'the site of Toju Shoin' in his hometown Kokawa Village (now Takashima City, Shiga Prefecture) to get an educational foothold for the pupils.
What he preached was characterized by the egalitarianism ideas beyond the social status and penetrated not only to samurai but also to merchants and workmen so that they called him 'Omi Seijin.'
There were representative pupils such as Banzan KUMAZAWA, Kozan FUCHI and Kenshuku NAKAGAWA.


Daigaku Keimo (Enlightenment of the Great Leaning [one of the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism, the Nine Chinese Classics]) in 1628. Jikei Zukai (a book illustrated one of the ways to discipline in Neo-Confucianism) in 1638. Genjin (a primitive man) in 1638. Rongo Kyoto Keimo Yokuden in 1639. Okina Mondo (talking between an old man and a pupil: a moral story) in 1640. Kokyo Keimo (one of the most important documents in Confucianism enlightenment) in 1642. Shoi Nanshin in 1643. Sinbo Kijutsu (Chinese medical book) in 1644. Kagamigusa (a book on child care) in 1647. Daigakuko in 1647. Daigakukai (an explanatory book for the Great Learning [one of the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism, the Nine Chinese Classics]) in 1647. Chuyokai (an explanatory book for Chuyo [The Four Books of Confucianism]) in1647. Chuyodokkai (understanding of Chuyo) in 1647.

[Original Japanese]