Mabuchi conducted research into the spirit of ancient Japan through his studies of the Man'yōshū and other works of ancient literature. A disciple of Kada no Azumamaro, Mabuchi is regarded as one of the four greats of Kokugaku.
In 1763, while Mabuchi was on his way to Ise Shrine, Motoori Norinaga sought him out and became a disciple. This single night of discussions, later known as ‘the night in Matsuzaka’, was the only occasion on which Norinaga directly received teaching from Mabuchi, although the two men later corresponded.
An explanatory marker stands at the site of Mabuchi’s residence in Edo (Hisamatsu-cho, Nihonbashi, Chūō, Tokyo). His grave can be found in the Tokaiji cemetery in Shinagawa. A museum stands beside the house where he was born in Hamamatsu (Higashi-Iba, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka).
- Kada no Azumamaro
- Japanese nationalism
- Motoori Norinaga
- Ueda Akinari