This volume contains an English translation of Okina no fumi (Writings of an Old Man) (1746) and Shutsujo-kogo (Emerging from Meditation) (1745), by Tominaga Nakamoto (1715-1746), preceded by the translator's Introduction and followed by a Note on the editions used, the Conventions adopted in translation, a Bibliography, and Indexes of writings and characters for titles of writings and other names. Pye's translation assertively brings onto the Western academic stage a free and critical thinker, Tominaga Nakamoto-an unexpected but by no means unusual product of Tokugawa Japan, as Pye makes clear in his Introduction-who has hitherto been given very little attention by the majority of modern scholars both in Japan and overseas. Tominaga was what we today call a historian of religions and ideas, and a highly controversial figure of his time. He approached Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto (and, to a much lesser extent, Daoism) with his theory of historical development of religious traditions, which he called kajo, "adding [to the existent tradition] and superceding [it]." That is, "those who preach a moral way and establish a law of life ... tried to emerge above those who went before," as aptly quoted by Pye.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michiko_yusa/2/