Meiji Quotes

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Meiji Quotes

13. A Buddha In Tokyo in th Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept Buddhas precepts scrupulously. He never drank intoxicants, nor did he eat after eleven oclock in the morning. The other teacher, Tanzan, a professor of philosophy at the Imperial University, never observed the precepts. When he felt like eating he ate, and when he felt like sleeping in the daytime he slept. One da Unsho visited Tanzan, who was drinking wine at the time, not even a drop of which is supposed to touch the tongue of a Buddhist. "Hello, brother," Tanzan greeted him. "Wont you have a drink?" "I never drink!" exclaimed Unsho solemnly. "One who never drinks is not even human," said Tanzan. "Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in intoxicating liquids!" exclaimed Unsho in anger. "Then if I am not human, wht am I?" "A Buddha," answered Tanzan.
— Nyogen Senzaki —

After the Meiji restoration in 1868, Japan adopted an expansionist and colonial attitude towards its neighbours. It sought to identify itself with the West and looked down upon the Asian continent as backward and inferior. For most of the next 70 years, Japan was at war, mainly with its neighbours.

— Martin Jacques

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