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A JAPANESE PHILOSOPHER.
BY GEORGE WM. Knox, D.D.
[Read January 20, 1892.]
Previous to the recent introduction of western literature and science, the intellectual development of the Japanese may be studied in three periods, each characterized by a distinctive system of religion and ethics.
The first period came to an end in the eighth century of our era.
It was the period of Shinto and of pure native thought. It has been fully treated in the Transactions of this society.
The second period began with the introduction of Buddhism and, with it, of the Chinese civilization in the sixth and seventh centuries A.D. Thenceforth for a thousand years the new religion was supreme.
" All education was for centuries in Buddhist hands, Buddhism introduced art, introduced medicine, moulded the folk-lore of the country, created its dramatic poetry, deeply influenced its politics and every sphere of social and intellectual activity." Religiously its highest distinctively Japanese development was in the
1 "The Kō-ji-ki,” translated by B. H. Chamberlain, Vol. X. Appendix; “ The Revival of Pure Shin-tau," by Ernest Satow, Vol. III. Appendix; Ancient Japanese Rituals,” by the same, Vols. VII, IX ; also “ The Classical Poetry of the Japanese” by B. H. Chamberlain.
2 " Things Japanese,” by B. H. Chamberlain, p. 71, 2nd Ed.