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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Yano Harumichi
(1823-87)
Scholar of National Learning (kokugaku) of the Hirata Atsutane school in the late Edo period and early Meiji era. Born the eldest son of Yano Michimasa, retainer of Iyo Ōzu Domain (in present-day Ehime Prefecture), Yano was an eager student from childhood. In 1845, he traveled to the Higashiyama district of Kyoto where he studied at the Buddhist academy Junseishoin and received instruction in historical research from Ban Nobutomo. The following year he moved to Edo, where he became a disciple of Hirata Atsutane. He returned to Kyoto in 1851, and until 1869 the ancient capital served as the base for his activities.
        In 1862 Yano received instruction in Shinto from the Shirakawa clan jingi haku authority (see Hakke Shintō), and in 1867 was conferred the post of head instructor of the Yoshida Shintō family. He authored a work entitled Kenkin sengo as a testament to the movement for the restoration of imperial rule (known as ōsei fukko), in which he outlined an extremely systematic framework for a national system from the point of view of a Hirata school kokugaku scholar.
        When the modern government was established after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Harumichi was initially given the post of Provisional Magistrate (gon-hanji) at the Bureau of the Interior. He was then promoted successively to the positions of Special Consultant for the Institute for Imperial Studies (kōgakusho goyōgakari) and Associate Professor of the University (daigaku chūhakushi), in which capacities he aggressively opposed supporters of Chinese-based education in support of the establishment of an educational system centered on Japanese nativism.
        In the third month of 1871, Harumichi, along with figures such as Maruyama Sakura, Kakuta Tadayuki, and Gonda Naosuke, was detained for crimes against the Meiji state, and thereafter was sentenced to three years of confinement in his home village. However, Harumichi was appointed Special Consultant at the research institute Shūshikan in 1877, and the following year to Special Consultant at the Imperial Household Ministry (Kunaishō). This was followed in 1882 by a post as first head of the Faculty of Literature at the newly established Research Institute for the Japanese Classics (Kōten Kōkyūsho, the forerunner of Kokugakuin University).
        In 1886 Yano completed work on the extended project Koshiden (Commentary on Ancient History), commissioned by the Hirata family. He died on May 19, 1887, at the age of sixty-five. He was the author of Shinten'yoku, Kōten'yoku, Tenji iken, Yaso kumade, Shōhōyashi, and Honkyōgakuchū, among other works.

—Murata Hideaki
Yano Harumichi

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