Although not practiced as a religion, Confucianism from
has deeply influenced Japanese thought. In essence,
the practice of proper forms of conduct, especially in
familial relationships. It is derived from compilations
to the fifth-century B.C. Chinese philosopher Kong Fuzi or
(Confucius; in Japanese, Koshi). Confucian government was
to be a
moral government, bureaucratic in form and benevolent
ruled. Confucianism also provided a hierarchical system,
each person was to act according to his or her status to
harmoniously functioning society and ensure loyalty to the
The teachings of filial piety and humanity continue to
foundation for much of social life and ideas about family
Neo-Confucianism, introduced to Japan in the twelfth
is an interpretation of nature and society based on
principles and is influenced by Buddhist and Daoist ideas.
Japan, where it is known as Shushigaku (Shushi School,
Chinese neo-Confucian scholar Zhu Xi--Shushi in Japanese),
brought the idea that family stability and social
are human obligations. The school used various
concepts to explain the natural and social order.
turn, influenced the kokutai (national polity)
emphasized the special national characteristics of Japan.
Data as of January 1994