Hayashi Gaho

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  • Born: 1618
  • Died: 1680
  • Other Names: 林春斎 (Hayashi Shunsai)
  • Japanese: 鵞峰 (Hayashi Gahou)

Hayashi Gahô, also known as Shunsai, was a prominent Neo-Confucian advisor to the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th century. The son and successor to Hayashi Razan, he played a significant role in establishing Neo-Confucianism's central position in shogunate political ideology and policy, and the central position of the Hayashi clan in advising the shogunate on such matters.

Gahô worked closely with his father in his youth, and succeeded him as both head of the Hayashi family, and of the family's Confucian academy, upon Razan's death in 1657.

The Confucian academy founded by Razan in 1630 was formally recognized by the shogunate with the name Kôbun-in (roughly, "Institute of Broad/Vast Culture/Letters") during Gahô's time, and Gahô himself was named kôbun-in gakushi ("scholar of the Kôbun-in"). He added a dormitory to the academy and began taking on his own disciples in earnest in 1663. His office was also granted the title of Kokushikan, or "Hall for the [Compilation of] the National History."[1]

He is known for a number of notable scholarly works, including the 310-volume Honchô tsugan, begun by Razan and completed by Gahô in 1670; the Kan'ei shoka keizuden ("Genealogies of the Houses of the Kan'ei Era"), on which he worked alongside his father in 1641-1643[2]; the preface to the Honchô gashi ("History of Paintings of the Realm")[3]; and Ka'i hentai, a work on foreign peoples and foreign relations, begun in 1674.

Gahô died in 1680, and was succeeded as head of the family, and of the school, by his son Hayashi Nobuatsu (aka Hôkô).


  • Wm. Theodore de Bary, Carol Gluck, and Arthur Tiedemann (eds.), Sources of Japanese Tradition, Second Edition, vol. 2, Columbia University Press (2005), 68.
  1. Luke Roberts, Performing the Great Peace, University of Hawaii Press (2012), 175.
  2. Mary Elizabeth Berry, Japan in Print. University of California Press, 2006. pp113-115.; "Kan'ei shoka keizuden." Digital Daijisen. Shogakukan, Inc.
  3. "Honchou Gashi." JAANUS: Japan Architecture and Art Net Users System. 2001. Accessed 30 December 2011.