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The Enlightment Period in Japan through the Novel Snashiro Essay

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The Enlightenment Period was all about new ways of thinking about life during the 18th century in Europe. The age of Enlightenment was during a time when society came to a conclusion that life could be improved through modernization. Some philosophers like Rousseu and Wollstonecraft challenged society’s beliefs. Japan however embraced everything it could from Europe. The novel Sanshiro guides us to acknowledge how Japan adopted ideas from the European Enlightenment, modernization, philosophies and freedom. Sanshiro novel is a classic example of how Japan transitioned from old Japanese tradition values to a more modern life style such as the city of Tokyo. Shanshiro who moved to Tokyo from his countryside saw of a more modern…show more content…
Sanshiro perceived Tokyo as a place of open communication, thoughts, and motivation and character Sanshiro was always trying to compare the two distinct places which is the countryside and the city. Throughout the book one can see the concept of Enlightenment strongly emphasized in the city of Tokyo. For example one could see this city flourishing with freedom of thought and expression and people living by their individual thoughts . In the novel Sanshiro the main characters were from Hongo. Hongo is in the district of Yamanote which is basically the high city of Tokyo. The Yamanote had a main administration and government. The private homes of the new Japanese lead were the main start to the modern Japanese state and personified the intellectual and administrative culture of the time. Their establishments were now new buildings and facilities for the city’s educational, administrative, military, and cultural establishments. Sanshiro learned a lot about the modern world through the help of his Professor Hirota. Hirota was a Western educated man who taught English at the First National College (Rubin 2002, 245-6) Hirota throughout the novel became very close to Sanshiro and ended up to be like a father for him. Sanshiro feels very connected to Hirota because he is the epitome of the modern Japanese individualist. Tokyo was becoming the center of modern life and the most modernized place in Japan. Western
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