Albany: State University of New York Press (2001)

Encounter With Enlightenment: A Study of Japanese Ethics This study attempts to lay out some of the main influences in the development of ethical sensitivities in Japan. Daoism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Zen Buddhism all play a role. There are also individual thinkers who have made significant contributions to the way the Japanese think about ethics: Dogen, Shinran, Rikyu, Nishida Kitaro, Nishitani Keiji, Watsuji Tetsuro and many others. But ethics in Japan is, more often than not, taught through practice: the Way of Tea, the Way of Flower Arranging, the Way of Landscape Gardening all have a central ethical component: they are all pathways to enlightenment and one who is enlightened is likely to view oneself as part of the greater whole. To do unnecessary harm to any part of it is to do harm to oneself. Of course, the background to all of this is the Japanese idea of Nothingness. All things arise out of this indefinite One and thus we all have a common kinship: we are all the product of Nothingness, as are all of the ten-thousand things of existence. We are all one family. Thus, the expanded self, as transformed by enlightenment, identifies with the greater whole, seeks to preserve it, cherishes it, is emotionally enraptured by it and cares about its well-being. One can see here the roots of an environmental ethic.
Keywords ethics,  Japanese  culture
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ISBN(s) 079145018X   0791450171   9780791450185
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