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About Norinaga
About  Norinaga
Mptoori Norinaga
Motoori Norinaga

motoori norinaga Motoori Norinaga, a medical doctor and a Japanese classical scholar, born in Matsusaka in the Edo period.


He studied ancient Japanese thought and culture before Confucianism and Buddhism were brought to Japan. Through the study of Japanese classics, he dedicated his whole life to studies into the culture of traditional Japan and the Japanese language.

Scholars before Norinaga never questioned the works done by predecessors and added their own works to them. Eventually, vague points were left untouched. Norinaga was different. He never blindly accepted the predecessors' works. He reconsidered everything by going back to the starting point. He tried to prove everything, one step at a time. Because of this method, his studies are rational and reasonable. They are easy to understand even for modern minds.


He was born into a merchant's family. Everyone around him naturally expected him to succeed the family business, but from childhood he had been aware that he was not fit to be a merchant. Living with this dilemma, he began to think, "For what do I exist?" That question was the starting point of his career as a scholar. Fortunately with the help of his understanding mother, he was saved from taking over his father's business. Instead, he studied medicine and became a doctor. Working as a doctor all his life in Matsusaka, he was deeply involved in Japanese studies. He had many pupils and followers and taught them the joy of learning.