Anesaki Masaharu’s Reception of Leo Tolstoy and His Failed Attempt at Finding the Faith

Susanna Fessler, University at Albany

Most of the British and American newspapers have reprinted Tolstoy’s passionate, prophetic, and masterful essay. How odd, then, that although the Osaka asahi and Heimin shinbun have translated it, Japanese critics are largely not noting this great commentary.
—Anesaki Masaharu[1]

The Russo–Japanese War lasted a relatively short nineteen months, from February 1904 to September 1905. On June 27, 1904, The Times of London published an essay by Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) titled “Count Tolstoy on the War: ‘Bethink Yourselves.’” This was an English translation from Russian of an essay of Tolstoy’s banned by the Russian authorities. It was quickly reprinted in other media, including the Washington Post and the New York Times. In Boston, the American Peace Society reprinted the essay the same year with additional text in bound book form.[2] Other publishers followed suit, resulting in multiple versions in subsequent years. In short, the essay was widely disseminated and widely read. Yet, as Anesaki Masaharu 姉崎正治 (1873–1949) noted in his essay “Torusutoi no daikeikoku” トルストイの大警告 (Tolstoy’s great warning), the Japanese media paid it little mind. Anesaki could have gone further in his statement, because although many Western newspapers made note of Tolstoy’s essay, they did so in a perfunctory way at best. At worst, they criticized Tolstoy for being unreasonable and idealistic. But for Anesaki, Tolstoy’s essay was a clarion call to mankind to change its ways fundamentally. He recognized in Bethink Yourselves a sentiment that no other intellectual seemed to notice. In a wartime and political context that forbade direct criticism of the Japanese war aims, Anesaki used Tolstoy’s essay both to promote his own vision of individual spirituality and to make a public statement against the war.

In order to understand Anesaki’s response, let us first consider the profile of religion in Japan and Russia at the turn of the century—in other words, the social contexts in which Anesaki and Tolstoy operated. Then we will return in greater detail to the substance of what each author wrote, and the responses of the Japanese and Western press. Finally, we will explore how Anesaki saw in the war an opportunity to criticize the Japanese government and advocate for an increased religious awareness worldwide.

Anesaki and Tolstoy in context

Anesaki was a young professor at Tokyo Imperial University and actively published in the popular press in addition to scholarly venues. By 1904, he had published seven books and compiled the Chogyū zenshū 樗牛全集, a compendium of works by the scholar Takayama Chogyū 高山樗牛 (1871–1902). He also published over one hundred articles in periodicals such as Tetsugaku zasshi 哲学雑誌 (Journal of philosophy), published by the Society of Philosophy at the University of Tokyo, and the general magazines Kokumin no tomo 国民の友 (Nation’s friend), and Taiyō 太陽 (The sun), as well as Rikugō zasshi 六合雑誌 (Journal of the cosmos), published by the first Young Men’s Christian Association in Tokyo. He had studied abroad in Europe for over a year (1901–1902), and actively promoted the new academic discipline of religious studies. He was passionate and vocal about the importance of spirituality in the modern world. In the few years leading up to the Russo–Japanese War, he had been advocating an approach to religion that focused on spirituality, rather than politics. In 1904, he published a collection of essays titled Fukkatsu no shokō 復活の曙光 (Dawn of resurrection), which has been characterized as “one of the representative works of the New Romanticism in Japan, one that included essays with a global focus on the themes of religion, ethics, spirituality, the arts, science, and man’s life.”[3] In less than a year, Fukkatsu no shokō was already in its fifth printing. The scholar of religious studies Hiyane Antei 比屋根安定 (1892–1970) commented that “of all Anesaki’s many textual spiritual forays, [Fukkatsu no shokō] must be commemorated as the one that most exalted spirituality.”[4]

Certainly, Anesaki was not the only advocate for framing religion in spiritual and not political terms, but he was one of the most prominent at the time. So when Anesaki read Tolstoy’s essay and saw parallels with his own arguments, he was inspired. He wrote essays challenging his readership to pay attention to Bethink Yourselves, to take Tolstoy’s argument seriously, and ultimately to oppose the war, but for reasons very different from the political arguments flooding the popular media. Anesaki was not fundamentally interested in the political arguments so often posed against the war; he was interested in religious arguments. He did not see the war as pitting Buddhists against Christians, which was how it was characterized by the Russian government.[5] Instead, he saw the Russo–Japanese War as a testing ground for universal spirituality, and he understood Tolstoy to be of the same mind.

Near the end of his career by this point, Tolstoy was renowned as a fiction writer and cultural critic. By the early twentieth century, he had retreated from the world to his country estate, Yasnaya Polyana, from where he issued occasional declarations to the world, including Bethink Yourselves. He was a proponent of Christian anarchism, a movement characterized by its rejection of the organization and politicization of Christianity, focusing instead on the individual’s relationship with God devoid of other human mediation.”[6] Tolstoy had previously been excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church,[7] in part because he advocated a “non-church” faith, leaving the individual free from societal and political pressures. Put another way, organized religion ostracized Tolstoy because he advocated its demise. This anti-authoritarian approach was indicative of a worldwide trend toward such an approach to religion at the turn of the twentieth century.

In his essay, Tolstoy railed against the hostilities leading up to the Russo–Japanese War. He was angry that a Christian country and a Buddhist country were fighting each other when their respective religions forbid such violence. He fumed that politicians, military men, diplomats, journalists, and even religious leaders could justify these hostilities. He complained that his contemporaries were behaving “as if there had never existed either Voltaire, or Montaigne, or Pascal, or Swift, or Kant, or Spinoza, or hundreds of other writers who have exposed, with great force, the madness and futility of war.”[8] In other words, people had forgotten these philosophers’ ideas in the insanity of modern society.

Religion and religious studies in Meiji Japan

Anesaki is known today as one of the pioneers of religious studies as an academic discipline in Japan. When Anesaki advocated taking a scholarly approach to religion, he faced not a little incredulity and resistance because scholars and political leaders had already been interrogating it throughout the Meiji Period, and in many cases had declared that religion was, at best, problematic. Although the history of “religion in the Meiji” is too large to be dealt with here in detail, some familiarity with it is essential for grasping Anesaki’s response to Tolstoy.

Why was religion problematic? Because in large part Meiji intellectuals saw it as just as much a political entity as it was a spiritual phenomenon. That is to say, those leaders felt that organized religions (in this case, Buddhism and Christianity) wielded too much political power. In this sense, Buddhism and Christianity were odd bedfellows. The two religions were based on very different metaphysics and epistemologies, but in the end, they were both marginalized somewhat because of their political power.

The other argument against religion was that it was based on intangibles, rather than science. Among the critics who took this approach were Fukuzawa Yukichi 福澤諭吉 (1835–1901), Nakae Chōmin 中江兆民 (1847–1901), and Inoue Tetsujirō 井上哲次郎 (1856–1944). Fukuzawa saw religion—which in his case included Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity—as primitive relics of earlier civilizations.[9] Inoue, a professor of philosophy at Tokyo Imperial University, was the author of an 1893 essay titled Kyōiku to shūkyō no shōtotsu 教育と宗教の衝突 (The collision between education and religion), in which he roundly dismissed theology as a false science borne of superstition.[10] Nakae Chōmin argued that there was no God, and no soul, because there was simply no empirical evidence for either of them.[11]

While Fukuzawa and Nakae advocated following Western science instead of religion, Inoue was a strong proponent of Shintoism and Confucianism. Inoue tied the concept of imperial Shinto divinity to Confucian hierarchical ethics, supporting the idea that the Japanese should be loyal to the emperor and filially pious toward both the imperial family and their own families. Such loyalty would be impossible if the adherent were also a loyal Christian. As Ketelaar notes, “Religion in [Kyōiku to shūkyō no shōtotsu] is portrayed as the dark, uncontrolled, and irrational fears of an ignorant people; it is a philosophy of the quotidian providing guidance to the weak-minded; it is the symbol of disunity and chaos.”[12] Although Inoue targets Christianity in particular, he characterized other religions similarly. Inoue made a signal contribution to the mid-Meiji hostility toward religion.

Adherents of Buddhism and Christianity persevered in their efforts to fight this anti-religious trend throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Anesaki Masaharu was prominent among them. Anesaki was raised in the Pure Land Buddhist tradition but by 1904 had turned to Nichiren Buddhism. As a scholar, he was a universalist, and made great efforts to find synergies between Buddhism and Christianity.[13] He often traveled abroad, and was fluent in English and German. He published widely in those languages and his native Japanese. As a scholar of religion, Anesaki helped define the concept of “religion” (shūkyō 宗教), and drew an important distinction between it and “faith” (shinkō 信仰). He was also instrumental in defining the discipline of “religious studies” (shūkyōgaku 宗教学) in Japan and beyond.[14] Although often at odds with the likes of Inoue Tetsujirō, Anesaki had one important thing in common with them: he too was suspicious of organized religion and ultimately rejected it. That sentiment was the reason why he had little respect for the Vatican, preferring the Christian ideal personified by Saint Francis of Assisi, and why he rejected various Protestant sects, particularly Lutheranism.[15] However, his dislike for organized religion was based on something very different from Inoue’s rejection of religion qua religion. Whereas for Inoue all religion was grounded in superstition and thus invalid, Anesaki understood that, because religious organizations—temples and churches—were human constructs, they were all too vulnerable to human foibles.

In addition, unlike Fukuzawa Yukichi, who dismissed religion on the grounds that it was subjective and not based on objective reality, Anesaki vehemently rejected science as a core component of modern civilization. He criticized scientists as too analytical, too quick to break a question into parts and study it from an objective point of view. He argued that his scientific contemporaries avoided asking the difficult questions, such as what is the nature of love?[16] Anesaki separated religion from politics and focused on what he saw as a crisis: the loss of true, individual faith in modern humanity had led to warfare and potential disaster. In 1906, he published a collection of essays under the title Kokuun to shinkō 国運と信仰 (National fate and faith), in which he argued, in part, that the fate of a nation is directly tied to the faith of its citizens. Here “faith” most decidedly does not mean a blind adherence to a national church. Rather, it means a kind of individual cultivation of spirituality divorced from structural snares, something very close to Tolstoy’s “non-church” ideal.

Although Japanese religious communities in the early twentieth century were to some extent still intellectually marginalized (Christians and Buddhists alike), that did not mean that they were united in their efforts to reduce that marginalization. This much is clear from a consideration of the Buddhist thinker Inoue Enryō 井上円了 (1858–1919), and the Christian thinker Uchimura Kanzō 内村鑑三 (1861–1930).

By the turn of the century, the term “religion” had lost its contrast object of “philosophy.” Instead, scholars contrasted religion with “superstition” (meishin 迷信). In Enryō’s case, he worked toward Buddhism being seen as a “religion” and not a “superstition,” in an effort to counter the anti-Buddhist movements of the earlier decades.[17] Enryō argued that Buddhism was situated in the realm of religion, in which the inexplicable and superstitious were jettisoned for the logical. Categorization as a “religion” brought a legitimacy and an acceptance that was not extended to “superstitions.”

Uchimura Kanzō, known for refusing to bow to the Emperor’s signature on the “Imperial Rescript on Education” because of his own loyalty to Christ, eventually rejected Western-led Christianity in favor of a new Japanese-led movement. Although he called this movement the “non-church movement” (mukyōkai 無教会), the antagonism was toward the organizational structure of foreign Christianity, not toward the idea that Christians could meet for Bible study in an organized fashion. In neither Inoue’s nor Uchimura’s case was there a focus on the concept of individual faith as the cornerstone of a healthy religion, as Anesaki held.

Tolstoy’s message and Anesaki’s response

Tolstoy’s essay Bethink Yourselves laments the outbreak of hostilities between Japan and Russia because those hostilities reflected a corruption of Christian ideals. Tolstoy writes that it is understandable for the uneducated masses to blindly worship icons and go to war as a result:

One could yet understand how a poor, uneducated, defrauded Japanese, torn from his field and taught that Buddhism consists not in compassion to all that lives, but in sacrifices to idols, and how a similar poor illiterate fellow from the neighborhood of Toula or Nijni Novgorod, who has been taught that Christianity consists in worshipping Christ, the Madonna, Saints, and their i[c]ons,—one could understand how these unfortunate men, brought by the violence and deceit of centuries to recognize the greatest crime in the world, the murder of one’s brethren, as a virtuous act, can commit these dreadful deeds, without regarding themselves as being guilty in so doing.[18]

Such people are “stupefied by prayers, sermons, exhortations, by processions, pictures, and newspapers.”[19] They are “ignorant of the Gospel and blindly believing all the prescriptions of the Church.”[20] Tolstoy does not particularly respect them, but he forgives them their ignorance. However, he does not extend that sentiment to the Russian aristocracy, which he sees as manipulating the peasantry for its own ends. The former justifies its actions by recourse to Christian texts, whether they be military, political, or social. And all those justifications, as Tolstoy sees it, are in direct contradiction to Christian morals. He writes:

Every one of these men, to the question why he, so and so, Ivan, Peter, Nicholas, whilst recognizing as binding upon him the Christian law which not only forbids the killing of one’s neighbor, but demands that one should love him, serve him,—why he permits himself to participate in war, that is, in violence, loot, murder, will infallibly answer the same thing: that he is thus acting in the name of his fatherland, or faith, or oath, or honor, or civilization, or the future welfare of the whole of mankind, in general, of something abstract and indefinite.[21]

But of course, Tolstoy argues, these abstract explanations are invalid, since they do not follow true Christianity. True authority lies in the Christian God. In sum, Tolstoy asks his readers to “bethink themselves,” in reference to Mark I:15, and recognize that the Kingdom of God is at hand.[22] He asks that they not be distracted by the human world around them, because if they are, they are fated to perish.

It is important to recognize that Tolstoy was not arguing for one particular church, even if he was arguing for one particular faith (Christianity).[23] Tolstoy argued for the overarching superiority and authority of a non-church approach, one that jettisoned “dogmas” and “the fulfillment of rites which afford a pleasant diversion, consolation, [and] stimulant.”[24] He was adamant that, for Russia to survive and thrive, the aristocracy had to abandon its approach to war and instead recognize that (Christian) love and faith were the ultimate authority.

Tolstoy’s essay was not published in Russia. It was, however, translated and published in The Times of London, and then reprinted in other newspapers throughout the Western world. As one might expect, there were responses in the press, too, but they were not uniform. Chronologically, the criticism in the editorial in The Times came first, in the form of an essay published in the same edition as Tolstoy’s essay. It was absolutely unforgiving in its response to Tolstoy’s ideas. According to the unsigned editorial, Tolstoy

imperfectly assimilated certain disjointed phases of European thought. In no country but Russia could a writer of the first rank so incongruously jumble the logical methods of the thirteenth century with the most advanced ideals of modern socialism.[25]

It goes on to characterize Tolstoy’s stance in this way:

The want of originality and of breadth which the manifesto displays is characteristic of the Slav reformer, but it is instructive to observe how the growing stress of the war brings into ever sharper relief his limitations and his defects. His inability to perceive, even dimly, the elementary facts which dominate the social and political order of the world, his intolerance of the men and the institutions upholding that order, and his powerlessness to suggest any working alternative for the system he would overturn become more and more prominent as the news of successive engagements and disasters reaches his ears. He has none of the serene patience which comes of the conviction that in the evolution of mankind it is ordained that good shall triumph over evil.[26]

In sum, the editorial in The Times rejected Tolstoy’s suggestions as naïve and disjointed. There was no attempt to consider Tolstoy’s essay as a serious argument. The Times set the tone for responses around the world. The result is that Tolstoy’s admonition—that Christians and Buddhists should not be at war—fell on deaf ears in Japan and in the West. Commentators were much more interested in the military and political components of the war than in the spiritual ones. In other words, responses to Tolstoy’s essay often took it as a springboard to a larger, unrelated political or economic argument.

For example, the editors of the Japan Weekly Mail[27] nominally agreed with Tolstoy on the point that any form of hostility was wrong, but they also argued that Russia had been an aggressor in Asia, and that it was Japan’s right and responsibility to defend herself and her neighbors. The language is unequivocal:

It is our duty to check the aggrandizement of Russia, the most inhuman savages, this prematurely evolved race, and so to keep the peace of the East undisturbed by any force, calm as heaven and long as the world lasts. This we are born to do, and nobody but we—the Good Samaritan.[28]

Six days later, the Japan Weekly Mail reprinted a letter that had originally appeared in the Westminster Gazette titled “The Russian People and the War.”[29] The letter conceded that Tolstoy had a good point when he declared the war immoral, but then went on to argue that he missed a larger, more salient point: that the Russian people were suffering at the hands of the Russian aristocracy. The spiritual side of Tolstoy’s argument was ignored.

Australian newspapers were also quick to mention Tolstoy’s essay, although that mention ended up being essentially the same short paragraph reprinted in dozens of different publications. The paraphrase of Tolstoy’s argument did not mention spirituality, but rather focused on the political corruption responsible for the hostilities. In some cases this short paragraph was sandwiched in between military and political reporting on the war, but no newspaper delved deeper into the spiritual issues that Tolstoy raised.

The Roman Catholic British weekly the Tablet ran a commentary on July 2, 1904, supporting the case of Japan over Russia in the war. As the editors saw it, Japan supported freedom of religion and Russia did not. This was true to some extent, in that Japan extended provisional religious freedom to all and, until April 1905, Russia only recognized the Russian Orthodox Church.[30] To the editors of the Tablet, this difference in religious toleration meant that Japan would welcome Roman Catholic missionaries, whereas Russia would not. Although the Tablet did not comment directly on Tolstoy’s essay, one can imagine that the editors would not have been enthusiastic about a “non-church” approach to the situation.

An editorial in the New York Times stated that “Socialist, Republican, and Monarchist, Agnostic, Protestant, and Roman Catholic have all ‘censored’ [Tolstoy’s] manifesto.” The editors characterized Tolstoy’s manifesto as a document that conjectured “international quarrels will become bloodless and the millennium of universal peace established when one people shall refuse to fight for those personages or officials who have made war inevitable.”[31] The New York Times also reported that the Austrian Neues Wiener Tagblatt deemed Tolstoy’s vision of world peace overly optimistic, and that the French La Petite République argued religion was on the decline in the world, and thus that Tolstoy’s appeal to human spirituality was misplaced.[32]

In Japan, Tolstoy’s essay was translated and published twice: first, on August 7, 1904 in Heimin shinbun, a socialist newspaper edited by Kōtoku Shūsui 幸徳秋水 (1871–1911), the radical journalist who was executed in 1911 on charges of treason. The second translation was by Katō Naoshi 加藤直士 (1873–1952), a Christian philosopher and journalist.

A commentary on Tolstoy’s piece by Kōtoku Shūsui appeared in Heimin shinbun shortly after the essay’s publication. At the start of his relatively short piece of just over two thousand characters, Kōtoku praised Tolstoy’s writing, but he later took issue with his message. He disagreed that a proper turn toward religion would be the answer to Russia’s woes. He averred that, although he was not anti-religion, man cannot live by religion alone in the same way as he cannot live by bread alone. Moreover, a simple exhortation to “bethink yourselves” cannot change a situation that has developed over millennia. He goes on to argue that what has caused the current situation is not, as Tolstoy suggests, that people have forgotten “true” Christianity; rather, the cause is fierce international economic competition. The way to eliminate war is to eliminate that economic competition and embrace socialism.[33]

Unlike Kōtoku Shūsui, Katō Naoshi did not write a response to Tolstoy’s essay. Rather, his translation of Bethink Yourselves was published along with a Japanese translation of “Tolstoï et la Guerre,” an article originally published in the French newspaper Le Figaro on April 5, 1904. “Tolstoï et la Guerre” also received much attention internationally. It was written by Georges Bourdon after interviewing Tolstoy in French on his country estate, Yasnaya Polyana. Tolstoy’s approach in that interview is much like that in Bethink Yourselves He says in part that, “The misfortune is that the war shows how men can forget every idea of duty (devoir), not of duty towards their officers, but Duty Towards God.”[34] By “God,” Tolstoy meant “all things” (le Tout) in other words, the cosmos. Katō saw the interview as confirmation of Tolstoy’s position in Bethink Yourselves and decided to publish them together. When Katō translated the interview, he rendered the French “devoir” as honmu 本務 (duty) and “Le Tout” as uchū 宇宙 (cosmos), thus effectively expressing Tolstoy’s rejection of the Judeo-Christian God. It was this approach that attracted Anesaki Masaharu’s attention.

Tolstoy recognized the cosmos as the ultimate object toward which man holds duty, not a particular version of the world as defined by a religious tradition. Tolstoy was arguing for all sides to lay down their weapons and reject war in the name of a higher power. In his essay “Tolstoy’s Great Warning” (Torusutoi no daikeikoku トルストイの大警告), Anesaki says that the only way to understand Tolstoy’s lofty ideals is as something that transcends the benefits of any group of people and instead appeals to the sincerity of the human heart. He recognizes that, in the current age of warring nation states, most would see Tolstoy’s ideal as unattainable. However, he insists, the fighting between countries for economic profit and between classes for authority extends to the realm of individual morals. In the name of imperialism and in defense of fighting for existence, he says that people are actually giving rein to a brutal selfishness. He draws a parallel, asking his reader to consider whether Tolstoy’s ideals are too grandiose and silly, or the ideas of current politicians, religious leaders, and scholars—all of which praise modernity—too utilitarian and materialistic? Are these people not encouraging the immoral practices of exclusion, perverseness, and selfishness? At the very least, he holds, religious leaders are downplaying the calamity of war. Educators and scholars, whose profession it should be to reform the evils that spring forth from international prejudice, are caught up in the craze for war. He rhetorically asks whether they should feel ashamed for simply joining the national trend, praising their country’s deeds as all being wonderful and good. One should follow Tolstoy’s example, he writes, and be true to these principles without any hesitation. War brings brutality and evil. Even if there were only one person who believed as Tolstoy did, it should be cause for celebration, because it is evidence that the light of peace and benevolence have not left the world of man.

Anesaki goes on to call for an end to the war that Japan began. He says that people should not be debating whether war is called for, or whether Russia should occupy Manchuria; they should not be discussing the fairness or otherwise of Japan’s policy toward Korea. Doing so, he says, would be like analyzing gunpowder that is already lit. He laments that Japan justified starting the war by saying that it was doing so for the sake of righteousness and peace, and had rushed madly ahead into hostilities in the name of those objectives. At the very least, he points out, there will be lingering animosities between the two sides even after the war ends. He warns that one should not laugh at Tolstoy’s “stupidity,” but instead take his spiritual ideal in all seriousness: “This is why we need to read Tolstoy’s gospel, which tells us that if ‘we love our enemy, we will have no enemy.’”[35]

The language that Anesaki uses in this short essay is strident. It is clear that Bethink Yourselves hit an intellectual nerve with him. “Tolstoy’s Great Warning” was certainly not the first time that Anesaki had written on Tolstoy, or on growing hostilities between Japan and Russia. Of note are an essay titled “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae” 戦へ、大に戦へ (To battle, to great battle!, January 1904) and another, “Roshiya no kokujō to Torusutoi” ロシヤの国情とトルストイ (Russian national sentiment and Tolstoy, March 1904). The former certainly sounds like a call to arms, but it is a call to idealism, and to aesthetic awakening. When Anesaki writes that the Japanese should “decide with conviction” that they were fighting for “peace in East Asia and the fate of the yellow race,”[36] what he is resisting is not so much the political and military machine of Russia, but rather the influence of a country whose religious situation was corrupt. Thus, Russia could offer no spiritual solace to East Asians, and particularly not to the Japanese, who were struggling with the concept of “religion” and what role it played in the life of humanity.

The opening lines of “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae” quote Nietzsche’s “Schopenhauer as Educator.” The same lines from the German original were translated in 1909 as follows:

When the traveler, who had seen many countries and nations and continents, was asked what common attribute he had found everywhere existing among men, he answered, “They have a tendency to sloth.” Many may think that the fuller truth would have been, “They are all timid.” They hide themselves behind “manners” and “opinions.” At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.[37]

This appeal to individuality caught Anesaki’s eye. He was quite familiar with Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, the latter of whose Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (The World as Will and Representation) he would later translate into Japanese.[38] The “fight” (tatakae) in the title of the essay refers to fighting for ideals and not fighting on the battlefield. In response to Nietzsche, Anesaki writes that modern men—politicians, educators, scholars, clerics, artists, etc.—should pursue their vocation as a spiritual one, rather than simply as physical labor. They should be serious and dedicated in their work, because it underlies the spirit of society. He exhorts these societal leaders to reflect on themselves, to be true to themselves, and to make sure that their actions are not cowardly or timid. Only those leaders who do so can effectively lead a country, he concludes.

In early 1904, the Russo–Japanese War had not officially begun, but there was certainly already international friction in other quarters of the globe, such as southern Africa and western Europe.[39] Consequently, the topic of “peace” was current in the press. Months before Tolstoy pointed out that Russian soldiers were blindly following what the Russian leadership told them to do, Anesaki wrote that people were jettisoning their selves in a hollow effort to attain peace. He pointed out that such a compromised peace, one that was not connected to the self, meant nothing.

Anesaki’s broadened critical response—Russia, Japan, and the world

What did Anesaki mean by “self” (jibun), and how was that connected to Tolstoy’s concept of “le Tout” (or uchū as Katō translated it)? Tolstoy held that “le Tout” was a kind of cosmic harmony to which the individual was connected by religious spirit. Without that direct connection between the individual and the harmony, there was no spirit. Anesaki saw the primacy of the self in a similar light; he held that there needed to be a direct connection between the self and conviction. That connection should not be compromised by bending to societal or governmental pressures. In his argument, Anesaki smoothly moved from the importance of the self (jibun 自分 or mizukara 自ら) to the importance of personal faith (jishin 自信). Although the word jishin is usually understood to mean “self-confidence,” Anesaki was using it in a different way. His meaning was “personal faith,” or in other words, jibun no shinkō 自分の信仰, as opposed to faith tied to socially constructed religious dogma. Anesaki and Tolstoy saw that human construct as an obstruction to true faith, which exists between the individual and the cosmos, or “le Tout.”

Anesaki and Tolstoy also shared the idea that idealism was superior to rationalism. In his essay, Tolstoy complained that societal leaders—governmental, military, and religious—all managed to justify belligerent acts by reason, which in the end went directly against ideals. Fundamentally, he said, Christian and Buddhist ideals hold that one should not kill. Yet, through rationalism, Christians and Buddhists had brought themselves to do just that. This was precisely the stance for which the editorial in The Times of London editorial dismissed Tolstoy, when it wrote, “Tolstoy applies his dogma of the unmitigated wickedness of all war with the rigid logic which so commonly plunges idealists into palpable absurdities in the real affairs of life.”[40] Anesaki similarly criticized scientists and scholars who were quick to explain all phenomena in the world. In his essay “Roshiya no kokujō to Torusutoi,” Anesaki wrote that “Today’s scientists know nothing besides analysis.”[41] He cynically noted that it must drive scientists mad that their logic could not explain a parent’s love for a child, or spouses’ love for each other. These are the mysteries of life, and one cannot but be moved by them. His criticism also extends to philosophers:

Because the many philosophers and ethicists in the world are quick to analyze, they end up analyzing everything. If they see or hear it, they analyze it. They disregard any question about how to integrate the things they have analyzed. They analyze themselves and their loved ones, and they do so composedly. But they do not consider the question of why their loved ones make their hearts flutter. And because they do not question this, they cannot fully expand and deeply savor that power of the heart. This is but one example, yet today’s scholars are happy to analyze anything. That contentedness becomes idleness, and that idleness becomes incompetence. The lack of robust debate in the academy today is one sign of peace, but the cost of that peace is that it was bought with incompetence.[42]

The conflict between Christianity and science had been ongoing for several decades by the time Anesaki wrote these words, fueled in part by the ideas of Herbert Spencer in his book First Principles.[43] Spencer was more sympathetic to science than to religion, because the former had more practical application than the latter. His ideas on education were quite influential in Japan, prompting curricular changes in the schools.[44] Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was also influential, which helped drive science to a strong position in Meiji Japan. As Robert Schwantes points out, the Christian missionaries in Japan realized that the largest hurdle they had to face was not Buddhism or Shintoism, but rather Western science.[45] Therefore Anesaki, in his biting criticism of scientists, was walking on well-trodden ground. Indeed, one might say that he was fighting a fight that most had given up on much earlier, conceding defeat to the scientists. Yet he remained tenacious in his convictions. He held that Japanese religion was of special concern when considering the future fate of the country. He wrote that in the past Buddhists included senile old men, devoted followers, people of high morals, and erudite scholars. “But what of them now?” he asked rhetorically, implying that they are no longer active. He conceded that there were younger religious followers who professed to have a new faith, and who were lively reformers, but he questioned how many among them had what he considered “faith.” Anesaki said that their “so-called new faith” is not only not Buddhism, it was barely even “faith.” Their mealy-mouthed dissertations on religion had made a laughing stock of the concept of faith, he concludes.[46]

Tolstoy argues that individuals (he uses Slav peasants in his example) blindly follow orders from military and political leaders, despite the fact that it is clearly not in their individual interests. If they were to follow that self-interest, they would simply lay down their arms and refuse to fight. Similarly, Anesaki argues that individuals (he is not specifically referring to the Japanese) at the turn of the century are living in an environment steeped in competition and, as such, are creatures of battle. The battle is a personal one. Individuals fight to gain some benefit (ri 利), but in the process of doing so they jettison their own resolve (mizukara no kakugo 自らの覚悟) and their own character (mizukara no jinkaku 自らの人格). They would “fight like dogs” if it meant gaining a benefit, but if there were no benefit, then they would stifle their voice and become cowards, compromising their personal faith (jishin) 自信.[47]

For Anesaki, faith (shinkō) was paramount in the world. It was directly tied to a country’s fate, as implied by the title of his collected essays, Kokuun to shinkō (National fate and faith). This was not a popular stance to hold at the turn of the century. As mentioned earlier, religion (both Christianity and Buddhism) was seen at best as a collection of superstitions and at worst as a political threat by many bureaucrats in the Meiji period. For those like Anesaki, arguing for faith was difficult because one was simultaneously countering the imperialist Confucianism as embodied in the “Imperial Rescript on Education” and the rational, scientific world that had been strongly embraced by the Meiji leadership. To add to the difficulty, Anesaki advocated a form of religion deracinated from much of its (human-bound) tradition. It was an ideal so lofty that few were willing to listen to it. It was quite similar to the ideal advocated by Tolstoy, for which he was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church.

The pursuit of a universal truth, one that unified all world religions, certainly did not start with Tolstoy or Anesaki. There have been a number of individuals and groups that in one way or another focused on such a concept. For Anesaki’s generation, one of the events that invigorated that pursuit was the World’s Parliament on Religions of 1893, held in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Organized largely by Christians, its ten goals included an admonition “To show men, in the most impressive way, what and how many important truths the various Religions hold and teach in common.”[48] Five Japanese Buddhists attended this conference. Despite the nominal universalist goal of the conference, it was in truth an attempt to promote Christianity as the embodiment of all world religions. All of the Japanese Buddhists in attendance except one had great difficulty communicating in English, and, in the end, they even disagreed amongst themselves over doctrine. In particular, the one Nichiren Buddhist among them, Kawai Yoshijirō, was an outlier, ostracized by his compatriots from other sects.[49] Thus, a commonality among world religions was not established by the parliament. Nonetheless, the participants were greeted warmly upon their return, and the seed of the ideal of unity was sown in the minds of contemporary Japanese scholars, including the young Anesaki.

What then did “faith” (shinkō) mean to Anesaki, and what was its role in Buddhism and other world religions? Anesaki locates the kernel of Buddhist faith in the Buddha, who was the personification of the Dharma. Similarly, he locates the kernel of Christian faith in Christ, who is the personification of the word of God. In his 1905 English-language essay, “How Christianity Appeals to the Japanese Buddhist,” he writes:

Here we see in both cases personal and moral evidence of religion in the persons of the founders. The Buddhist nirvana is the outcome of a long course of metaphysical thought, and the Christian God is the Creator of the world, the Father and the King. But in each case the centre of gravity in the religious consciousness falls on the personality of the founder, living among men and leading them to the One who has sent him, or to the ideal which he saw face to face. Faith in a person like this means becoming, through him, one with the Truth he represents and living with him in love. That all may be one, one with the Father, one with the Son, and one with them, is not only the kernel of Christian faith, but the very essence of Buddhist belief.[50]

Thus he brings together two disparate world traditions into one neat and fairly simple package. At the core is being “one with the Truth […] and living […] in love.” Tolstoy similarly identifies and takes for granted that a “teaching about the unity of the human spirit, the brotherhood of men, love, compassion, the sacredness of human life” lies at the core of Christianity and Buddhism, implying that humanity shares a common spirit and love, much like what Anesaki delineates above.[51]

The Russo–Japanese War did not change Anesaki’s opinion about the importance of faith on a national scale. In July of 1905, he published an essay titled Roshiyajin no shinkō to Roshiya kokuun no shōrai ロシヤ人の信仰とロシヤ国運の将来 (The faith of the Russian people and the future of the Russian national fate). Although the war had not officially ended, Russia’s defeat was anticipated by this point, and Anesaki was postulating about the future of the country. The essay accepts that Russians, regardless of what sect they adhered to, could not easily divorce religion from politics. Anesaki characterized the Russian spirit—particularly that of the peasants—as fatalistic. They believed fervently in the “final judgement day,” and so suffered in silence in this life content in the knowledge that any injustices endured today would be recompensed in the future. He describes the Russians’ faith as one based in ritual and not spirituality.[52] Tolstoy does not express similar ideas in his essay.

Anesaki describes for his Japanese audience the history of the Russian Church, and the schism between the Old Believers and the Orthodox Church.[53] Unsurprisingly, Anesaki was more sympathetic toward the Old Believers, for they were at once conservative and to some extent primitive in their faith. His description was largely based on differences in ritual, however, and skirts much of the issue of spirituality.

In his conclusion, Anesaki conjectured what the fate of Russia would be after the war, particularly in light of the Edict of the Toleration of Religion of April 17, 1905, which granted freedom of religion to the Old Believers. This edict marked a large change in policy for Russia, and effectively eliminated the grounds on which many Westerners (particularly missionaries) opposed the Russians in the war. Western missionaries had seen the restrictions imposed by the Orthodox Church as an impediment to their proselytizing efforts overseas. However, for Anesaki, the edict meant that the Old Believers who had been oppressed by the Romanovs and the Russian Orthodox Church could now exercise political, social, cultural, and religious power with two possible outcomes: either the Old Believers would jettison their conservative beliefs and embrace a more liberal religious approach, resulting in a unification movement of the people, or the Orthodox Church would abandon the idea of a theocracy and become faithless. In the latter case, the Old Believers would participate in such destruction. Anesaki averred that there was no way to anticipate which outcome was more likely, but that Russia’s future was inexorably connected to the faith of the people. In other words, the only certainty was that Russia’s future would be controlled by the ways in which the Orthodox Church would try to bring church and state together, and how the religions of prognosticators like Tolstoy would react. Anesaki hoped that the Russian people would not lose their faith, as many people in other Western civilizations had done in the nineteenth century, in his opinion.[54]

Similarly, Anesaki saw the human spirit as core to the future development of Japan. During the Russo–Japanese War and immediately after, his essays often zeroed in on this point, as in this passage from “Hyakunen no shukudai hyakunen no taikei” 百年の宿題百年の大計 (A century of tasks, a plan for the century):

Many people today, when looking at the war, do not see the fundamental international diplomacy therein. Those who see the diplomacy do not see the foundational economics strengthening the nation. Those who see the economics do not see the education that springs forth from the cultivation of human resources. Those who see the education do not see the arts and religion that constitute the wellspring of civilization. Those who see the arts and religion in the end do not see the illumination of the human spirit. And what use is national prosperity, military strength, or the wealth of the citizenry in such a case?[55]

Such sentiments are found sprinkled throughout his writings of this period. The underlying message is that war is the result of imperfect individual spirituality, and that religion and politics should not be intertwined. It was easy for Anesaki to criticize Russia on this account because it was the enemy. For him, the Russian Tsar and the aristocracy had used the Orthodox Church as a means of imposing their hegemonic position over the people, and the fate of Russia was imperiled because the individual could not nurture his or her own spirit. However, it was difficult and impolitic to draw a direct parallel to what was happening in Japan. Had Anesaki written that the Japanese government was similarly building nationalism based on Shintoism, he would have been putting himself in a precarious position. Instead, he examined in great detail the situation in Russia and the rest of Europe.

In “Sensō oyobi gaikō to shūkyō oyobi jinshu mondai” 戦争及外交と宗教及人種問題 (The problems of war and diplomacy, and religion and race), he discusses the Christian church, its history, and its direct involvement in several of the governments of the West. He notes how Russian Tsar Nicholas II (r. 1894–1917) and German Kaiser Wilhelm II (r. 1888–1918) in particular characterized their military activities in East Asia as a war between Christian countries and Buddhist countries. However, for Anesaki, wars should not be waged between religions, because, ultimately, human spirituality is universal. He thus dismisses the idea of a “holy war” and instead suggests that Japan must rise above such religious divisions and advance toward an ideal both eternal and profound.[56] A similar message is found in a speech he gave in September 1904 titled “Ōshū no kyōkai” 欧州の教会 (Churches of the Europe), in which he writes that “each European country is a Christian country. But in most cases, the people of those countries are not really faithful to Christianity.”[57] Given the history of the Catholic Church in particular, Anesaki warns his audience that “one worries that the Roman Catholic Pope will in future be able to tie together such-and-such a country and such-and-such a church. When that time comes, we will surely meet with extraordinary failure if we simply respond by mustering arms.”[58] Instead, he suggests that Japan needed a spiritual prophet (seishinjō no yogensha 精神上の 予言者), like Tolstoy. Such a prognosticator would unite the people’s spirit and consequently channel that spiritual strength to guide the entire world. But that person would absolutely need to have the greatness of Tolstoy in order to bring together faith and ideals and bring about world peace without resorting to weaponry. Religion and government need to be torn apart; the answer to world peace is not a strong government, army, or church. The answer is a spiritual leader who is committed to individual spiritual development.[59] Earlier in the same speech, Anesaki points out that only a man of Tolstoy’s international fame and status could have written what he did without being sent to Siberia. Even in Japan, he notes, such a strident argument would be banned from publication, just as Tolstoy’s essay had been banned in Russia. The implication, of course, is that such an opinion did exist in Japan—indeed, in Anesaki’s head—but there was no one like Tolstoy who could get it into print. It was a masterful bit of rhetoric, in that it essentially said something through the mouthpiece of Tolstoy that otherwise would never have gotten past the Japanese government censors.

Thus, Anesaki is indirectly saying that the Japanese government was following the same path as Russia was by advocating the idea of the “holy” destiny of the emperor and his people. Such an approach, irrevocably tied to military action, was doomed. Privately, Anesaki was pessimistic about his country’s future. In a personal letter written in late 1906 to his friend James Haughton Woods, a professor at Harvard University,[60] he wrote:

A thing I wish to know is whether there may be any prospect for me to get any position as a teacher in Buddhism (or Chinese and Japanese religions) in your University or in any other. Do you think this is not impossible after perhaps one year’s preparation? This I write to you because here in Japan a conservative tendency is growing and the kernel of the conservative principle lies in the praise of ancestor-worship. I must fight against it and though I hope to fight successfully I must expect one day to abandon my position because of this fight. This will be unimaginable to you but the conservatives have their stronghold in the government circle and they know how to crush their enemies by the name of the Imperial authority. For the fight I must be prepared for the worse case of this issue. In that case I hope I may find my shelter in your country.[61]

This passage demonstrates that Anesaki was deeply concerned about the direction that Japan was taking. If we compare the tone of this letter to the essays he was publishing at about the same time, we do not see such a direct criticism of the conservatives, undoubtedly because launching such criticism could result in direct reprisals, such as losing his position at Tokyo Imperial University. Therefore, Anesaki was bristling at the government’s “conservative tendencies” but was limited in what he could write. In this sense, I think that Russia in the Russo–Japanese War provided Anesaki with a convenient foil. When Bethink Yourselves appeared in 1904, he had recently returned from an extended stay in Europe, during which he had become disillusioned with Germany in particular.[62] That disillusionment was in part the result of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s “Hun Speech” of 1900, in which he exhorted German troops to fight the Boxer Rebellion in China in the name of the Christian God.[63] In the Russo–Japanese War, the Tsar told his troops that “God is on our side.” Anesaki found such rhetoric distasteful, because it politicized religion and pitted one religious tradition against another, losing sight of the individual, spiritual aspect common to all religions. Like Tolstoy, he recognized that being “Christian” did not necessarily mean having true faith.


Did his spotlight on Tolstoy accomplish what he wanted to accomplish? Did he convince his readers that faith was strongly connected to national fate? Reaction in the Japanese press to Kokuun to shinkō was lukewarm. The widely-read periodical Chūō kōron 中央公論 (Central review) described it as a work that might be of interest to those who wanted to know more about the issues of the intellectual world, although the writing occasionally lacked energy and tended to be wordy.[64] The journal Teikoku bungaku 帝国文学 (Imperial literature) noted that those who wanted to hear an exhaustive argument would be disappointed in the book, but those who wanted to see one example of an intellectual’s activities and thoughts on the war might bother to read it.[65] The reviewers seemed indifferent to his argument. It would seem that Anesaki did gain some momentum from his stance, though. He established the chair of religious studies in 1905 at Tokyo Imperial University, and went on to become a respected leader in the field. Isomae Jun’ichi 磯前順一 (1961–) notes that, thanks to Anesaki, “religiosity was understood as a central quality of human beings” and that religious studies as established by Anesaki “handled in a positive spirit the religious issues that […] Inoue [Tetsujirō] had not addressed. In that sense Anesaki’s religious studies was completely different from comparative religion under Inoue.”[66] Anesaki’s strident voice in the popular press faded after this point, perhaps because he realized that he could be much more effective changing minds in academia, and doing so was perhaps more prudent in times of escalating governmental pressures.

[1] Anesaki Masaharu 姉崎正治, “Torusutoi to Eibei no aidokusha” トルストイと英米の愛読者 [Tolstoy and his British and American readership], in Kokuun to shinkō 国運と信仰 [National fate and faith] (Tokyo: Kōdōkan, 1906), 64. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from the Japanese are my own.

[2] Leo Tolstoy, “Bethink Yourselves.” Tolstoy’s Letter on the Russo–Japanese War, trans. V. G. Chertkov and Isabella Fyvie Mayo (Boston: American Peace Society, 1904).

[3] Isomae Jun’ichi 磯前順一, Kindai Nihon ni okeru chishikijin to shūkyō 近代日本における知識人と宗教 [Modern Japanese intelligentsia and religion] (Tokyo: Tōkyōdō shuppan, 2002), 50.

[4] Isomae, Kindai Nihon ni okeru chishikijin to shūkyō, 50.

[5] See Richard Wortman, Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 391.

[6] For a history of Tolstoy’s religious views and influence, see Rosamund Bartlett, “Sectarian, Anarchist, Holy Fool,” in Tolstoy: A Russian Life (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), 294–344.

[7] See Bartlett, Tolstoy, 251–415.

[8] Tolstoy, Bethink Yourselves, 8.

[9] Fukuzawa Yukichi 福沢諭吉, Bunmeiron no gairyaku 文明論之概略 [An outline of a theory of civilization] (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1931), 97.

[10] Inoue Tetsujirō 井上哲次郎, Kyōiku to shūkyō no shōtotsu 教育と宗教の衝突 [The conflict between education and religion] (Tokyo: Keigyōsha, 1893), 54.

[11] Nakae Chōmin 中江兆民, Zoku ichinen yūhan 続一年有半 [One year and a half, continued] (Tokyo: Hakubunkan, 1917), 167–180. This essay was first published in 1901.

[12] James Edward Ketelaar, Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan: Buddhism and Its Persecution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 132.

[13] See Anesaki Masaharu, “How Christianity Appeals to a Japanese Buddhist,” Hibbert Journal 4 (October 1905–July 1906), 1–18.

[14] Of particular note is his treatise Shūkyōgaku gairon 宗教学概論 [Outline of religious studies] (Tokyo: Tokyo senmon gakkō shuppanbu, 1900), in which he outlines his definition of religious studies.

[15] See Anesaki Masaharu, Hanatsumi nikki 花つみ日記 [Flowers of Italy] (Tokyo: Hakubunkan, 1909), in which he compares the work of St. Francis of Assisi to that of the Japanese Pure Land saint, Hōnen 法然 (1133–1212).

[16] Anesaki Masaharu, “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae” 戦へ、大に戦へ [To battle, to great battle!], in Kokuun to shinkō, 260–261.

[17] For a detailed account of this, see Jason Ānanda Josephson, “When Buddhism Became a ‘Religion’: Religion and Superstition in the Writings of Inoue Enryō,” Journal of Japanese Religious Studies 33, no. 1 (2006), 143–168.

[18] Tolstoy, Bethink Yourselves, 3–4.

[19] Tolstoy, Bethink Yourselves, 8.

[20] Tolstoy, Bethink Yourselves, 9.

[21] Tolstoy, Bethink Yourselves, 13.

[22] In this chapter of the New Testament, Jesus travels to Galilee and tells his followers that they should repent and accept the gospel. The word “repent” is rendered as “bethink yourselves” in Tolstoy’s essay.

[23] Tolstoy was amenable to thinking outside of the Christian sphere when it came to spirituality, and this was in part what made him attractive to the Japanese audience. See Sho Konishi, “Translation and Conversion Beyond Western Modernity: Tolstoian Religion in Meiji Japan,” in Converting Cultures: Religion, Ideology and Transformations of Modernity, ed. Dennis Washburn and A. Kevin Reinhart (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 235–265.

[24] Tolstoy, Bethink Yourselves, 19.

[25] “The Dissertation Upon the War by COUNT LEO TOLSTOY,” The Times, June 27, 1904, 11.

[26] The Times, June 27, 1904, 11.

[27] Although this newspaper was published in Japan, it was written in English and its audience was the expatriate community; thus, I have categorized it as part of the Western press.

[28] Japan Weekly Mail, September 4, 1904.

[29] Japan Weekly Mail, September 10, 1904. This piece was reprinted on September 13 in the Australian newspaper the West Gippsland Gazette.

[30] Article 28 of the 1889 Meiji Constitution stated, “Japanese subjects shall, within limits not prejudicial to peace and order, and not antagonistic to their duties as subjects, enjoy freedom of religious belief.” Translated by Ito Miyoji.

[31] New York Times, July 17, 1904.

[32] New York Times, July 17, 1904.

[33] Kōtoku Shūsui 幸徳秋水, “Torusutoi okina no hisenron o hyōsu”トルストイ翁の非戦論を評す [Commentary on Tolstoy’s anti-war essay], Heimin shinbun 40 (August 14, 1904).

[34] English translation as it appeared in the Sunday Times, May 22, 1904.

[35] Anesaki Masaharu, “Torusutoi no daikeikoku” トルストイの大警告 [Tolstoy’s great warning], in Kokuun to shinkō, 44–47. In the last sentence, he uses two words associated with Buddhism: mishiki 味識 and shikidoku 色読. I think this was purposeful, in that he is imposing Nichiren Buddhist ideals on Tolstoy’s ideals.

[36] Anesaki, “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae,” 272.

[37] Anesaki, “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae,” 249–250. Friedrich Nietzsche, “Schopenhauer as Educator,” in Thoughts Out Of Season, trans. Adrian Collins (Edinburgh: T. N. Foulis, 1909), 1.

[38] Arthur Schopenhauer, Ishi to genshiki to shite no sekai 意志と現識としての世界 [The world as will and representation], trans. Anesaki Masaharu (Tokyo: Hakubunkan, 1910).

[39] The creation of the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance led to the First Moroccan Crisis (1905–1906), the Bosnian Crisis (1908–1909), the Second Moroccan Crisis (1911), and the Balkan Wars (1912–1913).

[40] The Times July 10, 1904.

[41] Anesaki Masaharu, “Torusutoi to Roshiya no kokujō” トルストイとロシヤの国情 [Tolstoy and Russian national sentiment], in Kokuun to shinkō, 60.

[42] Anesaki, “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae,” 260–261.

[43] Herbert Spencer, First Principles (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1864).

[44] Herbert Spencer, Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical (New York: D. Appleton Company, 1861). Translated into Japanese in 1880 by Seki Shinpachi 尺 振八 (1839–1886) with the title Shi-shi kyōikuron 斯氏教育論 [Herbert Spencer on Education] (Tokyo: Matsudaira Shūhei, Meiji 13 [1880]).

[45] Robert S. Schwantes, “I. Christianity Versus Science: A Conflict of Ideas in Meiji Japan,” Far Eastern Quarterly 12, no. 2 (1953), 124.

[46] Anesaki, “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae,” 266.

[47] Anesaki, “Tatakae, ōi ni tatakae,” 274.

[48] John Henry Barrows, ed., The World’s Parliament of Religions: An Illustrated and Popular Story of the World’s First Parliament of Religions, Held in Chicago in Connection with the Columbian Exposition of 1893, vol. 1 (Chicago: George M. Hill Co., 1893), 18.

[49] For details of the parliament, see chapter four of Ketelaar, Of Heretics and Martyrs, 136–173.

[50] Anesaki, “How Christianity Appeals to a Japanese Buddhist,” 6.

[51] Tolstoy, Bethink Yourselves, 38.

[52] Anesaki Masaharu, “Roshiyajin no shinkō to Roshiya kokuun no shōrai” ロシヤ人の信仰とロシヤ国運の将来 [The faith of the Russian people and the future fate of Russia], in Kokuun to shinkō, 230.

[53] The “Old Believers” were a group that split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the seventeenth century because of reforms instituted by the latter in liturgical practices.

[54] Anesaki, “Roshiyajin no shinkō to Roshiya kokuun no shōrai,” 241–242.

[55] Anesaki Masaharu, “Hyakunen no shukudai hyakunen no taikei” 百年の宿題百年の大計 [A century of tasks, a plan for the century], in Kokuun to shinkō, 8.

[56] Anesaki Masaharu, “Sensō oyobi gaikō to shūkyō oyobi jinshu mondai” 戦争及外交と宗教及人種問題 [The problems of war and diplomacy, and religion and mankind], in Kokuun to shinkō, 21.

[57] Anesaki Masaharu, “Ōshū no kyōkai” 欧州の教会 [Churches in Europe], in Kokuun to shinkō, 183.

[58] Anesaki, “Ōshū no kyōkai,” 186.

[59] Anesaki, “Ōshū no kyōkai,” 186.

[60] James Haughton Woods (1864–1935) was a scholar of Indic Philosophy. He and Anesaki shared a house briefly while both were studying in India in 1903. They originally met in 1902 through their common association with Paul Deussen (1845–1919). Woods later became Professor of Philosophical Systems of India at Harvard, and invited Anesaki to be a visiting professor there 1913–1915.

[61] Anesaki, “Letter to James Haughton Woods” (Letters to James Haughton Woods, 1885–1931 [MS Am 2693] Houghton Library, Harvard University). Shortly after writing this letter, Anesaki received a Kahn Foundation Fellowship that provided him with funding to spend September 1907–October 1908 in the United States and Europe. He did not lose his position at Tokyo Imperial University, as he feared he would.

[62] This trip was for study. Anesaki arrived in Marseilles in April 1900 and left Europe in November of 1902.

[63] The speech was delivered on July 27, 1900 in Bremerhaven. For Anesaki’s recollections of this time in Germany, see Anesaki Masaharu, Waga shōgai: Anesaki Masaharu sensei no gyōseki 我が生涯・姉崎正治先生の業績 [My life: The work of Professor Anesaki Masaharu] (Tokyo: Ōzorasha, 1993), 82–88.

[64] “Shinkan hihyō” 新刊批評 [Criticism of new publications], Chūō kōron 中央公論 (May 1, 1906), 125–126.

[65] “Hihyō” 批評 [Criticism], Teikoku bungaku 帝国文学 5 (1906), 114.

[66] Jun’ichi Isomae, Religious Discourse in Modern Japan: Religion, State, and Shintō, trans. Galen Amstutz and Lynne E. Riggs (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 95.