Creating the Ethical Body: Neo-Confucian Ethics in Early Modern Japanese Health Cultivation Literature (1600-1868)

01 January 2019 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Theory and methodology of philosophy
    • Philosophy
    • Other philosophy, ethics and religious studies not elsewhere classified
Neo-Confucian Ethics
Project description

The proposed project aims to better understand the influence of Neo-Confucian ethics on the
perception of the human body, particularly as seen in early modern Japanese popular vernacular
literature on health cultivation. The research will mainly
capture the crucial period from the 18th- into the early 19th century when the popularization of
‘Nurturing Life’ literature widely disseminated ideas of healthy living to a lay-audience, in the
process inextricably linking the body’s materiality and its performance to moral imperatives. In this
way, ideas about the body and bodily practices at the time reflect the gradual naturalization of Neo-
Confucian ethics, which became inscribed onto the body as rules or regimen, seeking to create
bodies that were both physically and morally ‘healthy’.