In the first half of the 17th century in Japan, a nonviolent ideology was needed to rule over the country. Under such circumstances, Confucianism, especially Zhuzi xue spread widely and Buddhism was advocated for. Fujii Ransai (1617-1709) was a representative Confucian and a critic of Buddhism in the early Edo period. However, there are some narratives suggesting that his attitude toward Buddhism changed gradually from criticism to permissiveness.
This paper analyzes how and why his viewpoint of Buddhism changed from before to after the writing of his book Yamatoizenroku. This paper is organized in the following manner: first, it explores the stages of Ransai's life and the process of becoming a Confucian. Then, it summarizes the change of Ransai’s attitude toward Buddhism. Furthermore, it considers how Ransai encountered Chinese moralistic books, confirming how he, as a Confucian, perceived Buddhism. Lastly, it clarifies the background of the writing of Yamatoizenroku centered on the acceptance of Chinese moralistic books.