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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Suzuki Shigetane
(1812-63)
Scholar of National Learning (kokugaku) in the lage Edo era. His common names included Katsuzaemon, and his styles included Kashinoya and Izukashi. Shigetani was his formal name. He was born in 1812 in the village of Nii, Tsuna District, Awaji Province (present-day Hyōgo Prefecture) to the house of the hereditary village-head. He began his kokugaku studies from an early age under the tutelage of his father Shigetake, and continued his studies while working as an apprentice in the nearby cities of Osaka and Kobe. Beginning in 1832, he received instruction from Hirata Atsutane through correspondence, and became a disciple of Ōkuni Takamasa in 1834. While still in his twenties he opened his own private academy, where he taught the Japanese poetic form of waka. Though Hirata Atsutane passed away before Shigetani was able to meet with him face-to-face, Shigetani pledged himself as a disciple before Atsutane's memorial altar. Thereafter he established a residence in Edo and traveled to distant regions in northeastern Japan to propagate Hirata's teachings.
        Shigetani placed particular importance on the Nihon shoki and Norito liturgies, as is clear from his representative works from the years 1848-59, Engishiki norito kōgi (Lectures on the Engishiki Norito) and Nihon shoki den (Teachings of the Nihon shoki). Shigetani became increasingly critical of the Atsutane school, and by 1857 he publicly opposed Atsutane's sucessor Hirata Kanetane, until the following year when he was cast out of the school. He died on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of 1863 at the age of fifty-two. His other works include Nakatomi no yogoto kōgi (Lectures on the Rites of the Nakatomi) and Koshitai genkō.

—Yazaki Hiroyuki
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
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