Kono Josai (河野恕斎)

Josai KONO (1742-March 26, 1779) was a Japanese Confusian scholar and composer of Chinese poems in the middle of the Edo period. He served the Saga Domain of Hizen Province as a Confucian.

His name was 子龍, azana (adult male's nickname) was 伯潜. Called himself Josai. His common name was Chuemon. He was from Kyoto Prefecture.

Brief Biography
Son of a jukan (an official under Confucianism) Hakku OKA in the Hasunoike Domain of the Hizen Province. Since the Oka family's original family name was Kono, Hakku let Josai use the original family name. He learned how to read and write around the age of 4 or 5, made Chinese poetry at the age of 10; he was called a prodigy. His first strain of learning was commentaries of the ancients like his father Hakku OKA, but later he changed it to Neo-Confucianism. Since he was great in Neo-Confucianism, he served Hasunoike Domain of Bizen Province. Josai worshipped Kagi and Riku Ka, his goal was that 'a Confucian acts for governing a nation and providing relief and peace to people,' he submitted a petition to the lord of the domain Naohiro NABESHIMA. The lord of the domain liked it, and appointed Josai as a keeper of Osaka.

In Osaka, he joined Konton-shisha (Chinese poetry club). He and his wife Nomura liked inviting guests, and often used to have people come over, served delicious food and held a poetry party. The couple enjoyed calligraphy and they used to imitate, mount and bind copybooks printed from the works of old masters of calligraphy. "野史詠" (1786) which was compiled by their friend Soshii includes Chinese poetry made by Josai. His wife died first and Josai himself followed as young as 37 years old. His grave is located in Komyo-ji Temple, Osaka City.

Literary work
"洪範孔伝弁正" Volume 1
"国語韋注補正" Volume 2
"韓非子解" Volume 3
"格物余録" Volume 10
"Jushin den"
"Koshin den" 2 volumes each
"享箒集" Volume 6

[Original Japanese]