Next Article in Journal
Play, Game, and Videogame: The Metamorphosis of Play
Next Article in Special Issue
Hostile Natives: Violence in the Histories of American and Japanese Nativism
Previous Article in Journal
Transcontextual Narratives of Inclusion: Mediating Feminist and Anti-Feminist Rhetoric
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Missing Link between Meiji Universalism and Postwar Pacifism, and What It Means for the Future
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2018, 9(5), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9050161

Future Perfect: Tolstoy and the Structures of Agrarian-Buddhist Utopianism in Taishō Japan

Comparative Humanities Program, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
Received: 22 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 13 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [2228 KB, uploaded 16 May 2018]   |  

Abstract

This study focuses on the role played by the work of Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) in shaping socialism and agrarian-Buddhist utopianism in Japan. As Japanese translations of Tolstoy’s fiction and philosophy, and accounts of his life became more available at the end of the 19th century, his ideas on the individual, religion, society, and politics had a tremendous impact on the generation coming of age in the 1900s and his popularity grew among young intellectuals. One important legacy of Tolstoy in Japan is his particular concern with the peasantry and agricultural reform. Among those inspired by Tolstoy and the narodniki lifestyle, three individuals, Tokutomi Roka, Eto Tekirei, and Mushakōji Saneatsu illustrate how prominent writers and thinkers adopted the master’s lifestyle and attempted to put his ideas into practice. In the spirit of the New Buddhists of late Meiji, they envisioned a comprehensive lifestyle structure. As Eto Tekirei moved to the village of Takaido with the assistance of Tokutomi Roka, he called his new home Hyakushō Aidōjō (literally, Farmers Love Training Ground). He and his family endeavored to follow a Tolstoyan life, which included labor, philosophy, art, religion, society, and politics, a grand project that he saw as a “non-religious religion.” As such, Tekirei’s utopian vision might be conceived as an experiment in “alter-modernity.” View Full-Text
Keywords: violence; nonviolence; Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910); utopianism; Japanese Buddhism; Tokutomi Roka (1868–1927); Eto Tekirei (1880–1944); Mushakōji Saneatsu (1885–1976); nonresistance; agrarian way of life violence; nonviolence; Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910); utopianism; Japanese Buddhism; Tokutomi Roka (1868–1927); Eto Tekirei (1880–1944); Mushakōji Saneatsu (1885–1976); nonresistance; agrarian way of life
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Shields, J.M. Future Perfect: Tolstoy and the Structures of Agrarian-Buddhist Utopianism in Taishō Japan. Religions 2018, 9, 161.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top