IN CONSIDERATION OF 18th CENTURY JAPANESE "KOKUGAKU" STUDIES IN HARMONIZING OUR CULTURAL IDENTITIES WITHIN A HOLISTIC EDUCATIONAL APPROACH FOR THE 21st CENTURY
小川, ルビー Toshimi
(Ogawa, Ruby Toshimi)
(Bunkyo University Living Science Institute Guest Researcher)
: 2013 - 2013
(Bulletin of Living Science).
From the early formation of “Kokugaku” (Nativist Studies), the significance of this national narrative known as the “Kojiki-den” had valorized the intellectual movement for cultural self –determination in Japan. One of the most well respected nativist Japanese scholars exemplifying the intellectual movement of “Kokugaku” was the author and literary master, Motoori Norinaga. He originally started this work in 1764, and had authored the “Kojikiden” (“Commentaries of the Kojiki”) in 44volumes as his life’s work. Within the extensive writings of the “Kojikiden”, Norinaga supported the view of the “Japanese mind “and coined the term, “magokoro” or “pure mind”. Based on Norinaga’s idea of forming a distinct cultural identity that characterized human existence, the innate part of an individual’s national identity was potentially recoverable through a deeper sense of Japanese perceptions, judgments and values. In this regard, there is merit in establishing a formal identity whereby learning can flourish and take root to include our most common and universal value systems.
In the last few decades, the traditional educational goals are being redefined by incorporating a more holistic approach based on our values by integrating our culture-based nationalism. In part, our social identity has been determined by our cultural milieu and social mores. Within a holistic philosophy, the educational system can be explained from the total sum of its component parts from our national, cultural and ethnic identities. Specifically , famed psychologist Abraham Moslow refers to this part of holism as “self –actualization” of a person ‘s system of cultural and nativist values. Thus, the holistic perspective is primarily concerned with the development of a person’s potential as defined by various levels such as brain intellect, emotional intelligence, communication, physical abilities, artistic creativity, and inner spirituality. Each of these parts that define us create our “holistic” selves within our environment.
For this research inquiry on mobilizing a more “socially responsive” consciousness among learners in response to our environmental crisis, the ever-evolving role of an education system has been focusing on the harmony between the inner life and in embracing one’s cultural and personal identity. In taking strides for a more integrative, holistic approach toward education, this would enable the learner to understand the importance of social responsibilities with others from the community to global levels of connectivity based on our social and cultural personhood.