Nishida Philosophy Association Overview
Nishida Philosophy, having been passed down through several generations of readers, has more recently seen a rapid increase in the number of researchers and works devoted to it, both domestically in Japan as well as in various countries abroad. In the light of this increase in domestic and international attention, Nishida Philosophy is revealing itself to be a treasure trove of new possibilities in the context of modern philosophical thought. Furthermore, Nishida Philosophy is gaining attention and exerting influence not only in such fields as religious studies and ethics, which is to be expected, but also in such disparate fields as psychiatry, aesthetics/fine arts studies, and architecture. With the depth and breadth of research currently being done on Nishida Philosophy, we can expect ever more fruitful results in the future.
The Selected Works of Nishida Kitarō (Nishida Kitarō Senshū) published by Tōeisha was widely well-received . Furthermore, the new edition of the Complete Works of Nishida Kitarō (Nishida Kitarō Zenshū) is currently being published by Iwanami Shoten. New opportunities for research on Nishida Philosophy will certainly come about as a result of these sources.
It should be noted that interest in the person as well as the thought of Nishida, beyond the scope of academic research in the narrow sense, has been on the rise among educated non-academics, that is to say, among intellectuals in the broad sense. In 2002, the Ishikawa Nishida Kitaro Museum of Philosophy was opened in Nishida’s place of birth, the town of Unoke in Ishikawa prefecture. This place has become a meeting spot for those with an interest in Nishida and his philosophy. Since February 2003, over 36,000 visitors have entered the museum.
Coincidently and fortuitously, in September of 2011 the German city of Messkirch, which has been the sister city of Unoke since 1985, opened the Martin Heidegger Museum. We may take this as a sign that these two representatives of Eastern and Western thought in the 20th century can be expected to open up new possibilities in the 21st century as well.
It is in this context that we keenly felt the need for a comprehensive organization to promote research and exchange regarding Nishida Philosophy, and, therefore, have established the Nishida Philosophy Association.
We do not wish for this Association to be narrowly restricted to academic scholars of philosophy. We would like for it to be a place for international exchange among all those who have an interest in Nishida Philosophy, and for it to become a base for the search for a new way of thinking that is capable of responding to the needs of this era.
—Nishida Philosophy Association Board of Directors
February 1, 2003
Seventh term, FY2021 to FY2023. In alphabetical order. Honorifics omitted.
Katsuya AKITOMI, Hiroshi ASAMI, Antonio Neto FLORENTINO, Samoa ISHII, Yujin ITABASHI, Mayuko UEHARA, Enrico FONGARO, Gen OKUMA, Hironobu OTA, Ryosuke OHASHI, Katsuaki OKADA, Masako KETA, Kunitsugu KOSAKA, Takako SAITO, Masato SHIRAI, Shigeru TAGUCHI, Yosuke TAKEHANA, Yutaka TANAKA, Masakatsu FUJITA, Bret DAVIS, Naoki MATSUMOTO, Tomoharu MIZUNO, Hitoshi MINOBE, Tetsuro MORI, Masaru YONEYAMA, Wingkeung LAM , Rolf ELBERFELD
Editorial Board Members
Mayuko UEHARA (Chief Editor), Katsuya AKITOMI (Associate Editor), Samoa ISHII, Masato SHIRAI, Yosuke TAKEHANA
Samoa ISHII, Yuko ISHIHARA, Jiro INOHARA, Hironobu OTA, Seiichiro KUMAGAI, Masato SHIRAI, Yosuke TAKEHANA, Yuta NAKAJIMA, Tatsunori NAWA, Felipe FERRARI, Naoki MATSUMOTO, Yusuke MORINO
Yasuhiko SUGIMURA, Yuji NAGAMACHI
*For more information on staff in the Nishida Philosophy Association, please reference article 7 of the association prospectus.
The greatest characteristic of the Nishida Philosophy Association is that, in order to respond to increasing interest in Nishida, we have opened ourselves to many laypersons without limiting ourselves to specialist researchers in a narrow sense. Indeed, our annual conference sees a great number of participating members without taking into account whether they are specialists or not. However, on the morning of the first day of our annual conference, we offer a corner for laypersons (Reading Group). We ask that you consult the 4th section of our prospectus for more information on the difference between A, B and C Membership types. However, please keep in mind that this differentiation is not related to whether or not one is a specialist.
Greeting from the President
Words from the President Hitoshi MINOBE
This time it unexpectedly came up to me to accept the position of President of the Nishida Philosophy Association. I would like to warmly greet all members. Since I have accepted the position, I intend to do my very best, but since the image I have of a president is so far removed from the person I know myself to be, I am at a loss as to how I can best contribute to the Association.
I remember reading a story in my high school Chinese literature class about Emperor Yao who went out to see if the country was being governed, and was relieved to hear an old man singing a song while beating his belly drum, saying that he was doing what he wanted to do and that the power of Emperor did not matter to him. Although the operation of an academic society may be quite different from that of national politics, I think there is a similarity in that the ideal of a good community is for each individual to be able to do what he or she wants to do more freely and comfortably than if there were no academic community.
Needless to say, this ideal cannot be realized by doing nothing. As was the case of Yao, need a real big force to make it happen. When my esteemed teachers were presidents, their personalities and academic knowledge made it possible for the association to move even if they themselves did not move, “the beloved object moves the lover,” to borrow Aristotle’s phrase. Miki Kiyoshi wrote of Nishida, “Talking with him makes me want to study.” This is an ideal situation. However, I am far from being able to be that kind of president. What I can do is, first of all, to move as much as I can, and to create an environment in which each member can fully demonstrate his or her abilities.
The Nishida Philosophy Association is an academic society bearing the name of Nishida. Since its establishment, there was a fear that an academic society named after an individual would focus only on the details of that person’s achievements and texts, and would lack the broad perspective that is necessary for philosophy. However, this fear has not become a reality. Rather, the presence of a specific person, Nishida, and his texts seem to have discouraged wild discussions based on fashions and superficial assumptions, and secured a place for original philosophical discussions. In addition, since its establishment, the Society has adopted a policy of not limiting its members to researchers specializing in philosophy in the narrow sense of the term, which I believe plays a major role in pursuing the original nature of philosophy, which addresses the issues of what comes before and after philosophy. I would like to continue this tradition of excellence, and to enable each member to think about his or her own problems and to cooperate with others to “grasp the age in thought” (Hegel) in which he or she is living.
I hope that you will not hesitate to send me your comments in order to further strengthen our association. (September 5, 2021)