Volume 29, 2008
Philosophy in Asia and the Pacific
Significance of Chomin Nakae as the “Rousseau of the East”
Chomin Nakae (Japanese thinker,1847-1901) has been called “the Rousseau of the East” by both Japanese and Chinese because he translated Jean-Jacque Rousseau, for instance, the Social Contract into Japanese and Chinese. It would be natural to suppose that Chomin read Rousseau’s books as an overseas student in France from 1872 to 1874 after the time of “ the Paris Commune”. It seems that many Chinese overseas students in Japan read Rousseau’s books in Chinese and Japanese translated by Chomin and accepted democratic and revolutionary thoughts originally born in the West and brought them home. Adding to the fact, it is insisted that the substance of Chomin’s thought is rather Confucian-biased democracy to be governed morally by both people and the sovereign than pure popular supremacy, which was gotten through examining the results of the recent research.