Administrative agencies headed by board members (hereinafter called “administrative commissions”), such as the Fair Trade Commission, were introduced to Japan after World War II ended. The Headquarters of the Allied Army requested the Japanese Government to set up such commissions after the independent regulatory commissions in the United States. Administrative commissions were expected to play important roles within the new administrative organization that were taking shape at the time. In fact, at the beginning of the occupational period, many commissions were set up for the purpose of economic regulation just like in the United States. Such commissions included Fair Trade Commission, Public Utilities Commission, Radio Control Commission, and Securities Exchange Commission. After Japan had gained its independence, however, many of them were either abolished or reorganized into advisory panels in pursuit of downsizing the administrative organization. Out of the U.S.-influenced economic regulatory commissions, it is only the Fair Trade Commission that has survived the backlash.
In the recently excavated Bamboo Manuscripts of Guodian, there is a volume entitled Xing Zi Ming Chu (性自命出). It has two parts and comprises 67 bamboo strips. The first part is well organized, while the second is a compilation of what seems to be fragmented pieces. The title 性自命出 (XingZi Ming Chu) is excerpted from the text of the first part. When this phrase is combined with 命自天降 (Ming Zi Jian Chiang), it is said to resemble the phrase 天命之謂性 (Jiang Ming Chih Wei Xing) in the preface of the ChongYoug (中庸). Accordingly, the Chong Youg has been used to interpret the meaning of the recently unearthed manuscripts. This is particularly the case because the Chong Youg, which centers on the nature of destiny (天命の性), philosophizes, as does the Xing Zi Ming Chu, on the relationship between the heart (心) and human nature (性). One problem with this approach, however, is that it does not accord with the currently accepted theory that the Xing Zi Ming Chu comes from the Warring States Period, while the ChongYoug stems from the Qin Unification Period. In search of a comprehensive understanding of the Xing Zi Ming Chu, I thought it necessary therefore to reconsider the relationship between it and the Chong Youg. In seeking a better grasp on the content of the Xing Zi Ming Chu, I considered some of its main concepts. In common with the Chong Youg, it addresses 天 (jian), 命 (ming), 性 (xing), 道 (dao) and 教 (jiao), in addition to 心 (xin), 情 (qing) and 物 (wu). Examining whether the semantics of these words are the same in the two volumes, I found the differences in their meanings to far exceed the similarities. For example, both volumes state that destiny (天命) determines one's nature (性) however, the nuances differ between the two: the Xing Zi MingChu does not ascribe an absolute sort of majesty to the words 天命 and 性, whereas the Chong Youg does. Rather, it tends to avoid such abstract notions as 天 (heaven) and 性 (human nature), in favor of more concrete, empirical expressions like 心 (heart) and 情 (sentiment). It states that the workings of human nature (性) can only be refined with the help of 情 and 道 (the path). Accordingly, in it 道 does not derive from 性, it does in the ChongYoug, but from 情. Looking at the two volumes in this light, their basic concepts are seen to run counter to each other: One pays homage to a world of“destiny”(天命), while the other emphasizes a world of the“path”and “learning”(道/教) centering on 情 and 物 (matter). Given the nature of the Xing Zi Ming Chu, thus elaborated, it is clear that it would be erroneous to try to interpret it based on a close relationship with the Chong Youg. In reverse, the same can be said with regard to determining the origins of the Chong Youg. In the heart-nature philosophy of the Xing Zi Ming Chu, there is contained a thought process characterized by an objectivity associated with the Xun Zu 荀子. This is significant in that it suggests a new line of thought within the annals of philosophical history.