Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy

Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture
18 Yamazato-cho, Shōwa-ku
466-8673 Nagoya, JAPAN
FAX: (81) 52-833-6157

You can also view and download a cumulative list of all essays arranged by author.

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The Collection

  • James W. Heisig, ed.

    Japanese Philosophy Abroad

    You may also order the reprinted edition from Amazon Available as an eBook from Apple iTunes. The twelfth bi-annual symposium of the Nanzan Institute took up the problem of the philosophical tradition of Japan and how it has fared abroad. There were two principal foci of the meetings: the history and future prospects of the study and teaching of Japanese philosophy outside of Japan, and the preparation of a Sourcebook of Japanese Philosophy aimed at providing a solid anthology of Japanese philospohical resources from the earliest times up to the present. To address these two questions, 16 participants from six language-groups— Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish—were invited to Nanzan to deliver papers and discuss projects of common interest, including the Sourcebook. The final day of the conference included a discussion with selected Japanese philosophers and intellectual historians at Kyoto University.


  • James W. Heisig, ed.

    Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy

    Also available as an eBook

    Thirteen scholars gather together to discuss current issues in Japanese philosophy, critically examine its ongoing dialogue with Western philosophy, and open new questions for future research.

    … a concern with non-Western philosophy is not only important for broadening the current base of philosophical knowledge. Nor does it serve only, as we stated at the outset, to clarify where and how Western philosophy has been received. Engaging non-Western philosophy is a process of critical confrontation with one’s own philosophical questions, methods, and standards of rationality. It has an essential contribution to make in overcoming colonial attitudes and seecific context. Only then can the uncritical assumption that philosophy is an autonomous discipline be overcome.

    from the Preface by Prof. Dominik Perler, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


  • Victor Sōgen Hori Melissa Anne-Marie Curley, eds.

    Neglected Themes and Hidden Variations

    Also available as an eBook

    The growing scholarship on the Kyoto School of Japanese Buddhist philosophy has brought it to the attention of more and more people in the West, but in the process, the Kyoto School has acquired a fixed identity. It is usually depicted as centered around three main figures—Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime and Nishitani Keiji—and concerned with the philosophy of nothingness. In fact, however, as the thirteen scholars in this volume show, the Kyoto School included several other members beside the inner circle of three, and these members were concerned with a wide range of philosophical issues beyond the philosophy of nothingness. The range and variety of these essays give a much more realistic picture of the many fronts on which the Japanese encountered Western philosophy.


  • James W. Heisig Uehara Mayuko, eds.

    Origins and Possibilities

    Also available as an eBook The fourteen essays gathered together in this, the third volume of Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy, represent one more step in ongoing efforts to bring the concerns of twentieth-century Japanese philosophy into closer contact with philosophical traditions around the world. As its title indicates, the aims are twofold: to reflect critically on the work of leading figures in the modern academic philosophy of Japan and to straddle the borderlands where they touch on the work of their counterparts in the West.

    A first group of essays deals with the modern Japanese philosophers Kuki Shūzō, Nishida Kitarō, Nishitani Keiji, and Takizawa Katsumi. These are followed by three essays on comparisons with classical Western thought and three with contemporary philosophy. The final three contributions offer reflections on the role of Japanese philosophy today.


  • Lam Wing-keung Cheung Ching-yuen, eds.

    Facing the Twenty-First Century

    Also available as an eBook

    The seventeen essays that make up this book formed the basis of a conference on “Envisioning the Potential of Japanese and Chinese Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century” held in Hong Kong in December of 2008. Although Japanese philosophy now enjoys a wide international platform, the focus has been primarily on its encounter with the philosophies of the “West.” Aside from a handful of Chinese and Korean translations and monographs, very little on the subject is to be found in the “East.” In Hong Kong, a city that lies on the edge of the philosophical divide, courses in Western, Chinese, and Indian philosophies are now available in departments of philosophy—but not courses in Japanese philosophy. As we find ourselves facing the twenty-first century, with a concern for plurality and symbiosis emerging on all sides, philosophy cannot afford to lag behind. This volume aims to take a modest step towards addressing the imbalance and stimulating others to carry on with broadening the base of philosophical encounters.


  • Nevad Kahteran James W. Heisig

    Nove granice japanske filozofije

    Monolitna kulturološka označenja kao što je Zapad ili Istok postala su sumnjiva i puki izraz parokijalizma u eri globalizacijskih procesa. Otuda, trebalo bi biti očito da svjetska filozofija nije nešto što se može ograničavati isključivo na jednu tradiciju koja započinje sa Talesom. Ona mora biti dostatno široka da obuhvati svaki čin filozofiranja, svaki oblik traganja za mudrošću, budući da ne moramo svi biti Zapadnjaci da bismo filozofirali.

    Kako bi dali svoj doprinos prevladavanju općenite kulture ksenofobije na pragu 21. stoljeća u Bosni i Hercegovini i Balkanu općenito, dvojica su priređivača Novih granica japanske filozofije, Nevad Kahteran i James W. Heisig, uključili čitav serijal tekstova (11 eseja o japanskoj filozofskoj tradiciji), potcrtavajući ovaj nesrazmjer u pogledu unošenja azijskih prinosa te napose modela dalekoistočnjakog mišljenja u našim filozofskim seminarima, potičući druge da rade na produbljivanju ovakovrsnih susretanja i transkulturalnom dijalogu. Zapravo, ovim sveskom se sumiraju rezultati prethodna četiri sveska Nanzan Instituta (Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy 1, 2, 3 i 4) te japanski prinosi pluralizmu i interkulturalnim studijama postaju dostupni u našem jeziku.


  • Raquel Bouso James W. Heisig, eds.

    Confluences and Cross-Currents

    Also available as an eBook The list of publications having to do with Japanese intellectual history in general and Kyoto School philosophy in particular has grown steadily over the past years, both inside and outside of Japan. This is due in no small part to the important contributions made by those whose papers are included in this volume, the proceedings of an international conference held in June 2009 at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Although much remains to be done if Japanese philosophy is to shed its esoteric and exotic image in order to take its rightful place in the curriculum as one of the many valuable sources of philosophical reflection, the ongoing dialogue among veterans in the field and younger scholars reflected in these pages is as promising as it has ever been.


  • James W. Heisig Rein Raud, eds.

    Classical Japanese Philosophy

    Also available as an eBook The story of modern philosophy’s arrival in Japan cannot be told without taking into account the broader intellectual history with which it blended to produce the broad spectrum of philosophical thought we find today. Moreover, it was precisely in the context of the encounter with western thought that many classical Japanese thinkers were rediscovered and their heritage reconsidered. In this volume, fifteen scholars from ten countries look take up these questions in the attempt to make the influence, development, varieties of interpretation, and philosophical content of Japanese thought more accessible to western readers.


  • Morisato Takeshi, ed.

    Critical Perspectives on Japanese Philosophy

    Available in paperback or as a Kindle eBook from Amazon or as an Apple iBook from iTunes.

    The present volume is the latest example of what scholars of Japanese philosophy have been up to in recent years. The papers collected here, most of them presented at conferences held in Barcelona and Nagoya during the past year, have been arranged in four thematic parts. The first two parts cover the history of Japanese philosophy, as their topics extend from premodern thinkers to twentieth century philosophers; the last two parts focus on Nishida and Watsuji respectively.

    The Table of Contents and Introduction are available for downloading. Individual essays may also be downloaded free of charge from the cumulative list of essays on Japanese Philosophy. MORISATO Takeshi is a lecturer at Temple University, Japan.

  • sour la direccion de Uehara Mayuko

    Philosopher la traduction / Philosophizing Translation

    For the ninth volume of Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy, titled bilingually in French and English Philosopher la traduction/Philosophizing translation, most of the contributors wrote their articles in foreign languages. By claiming that philosophy has a fundamental “translation-ness”, the editor believes that we can open Japanese philosophy to pluralistic orientations from the perspective of the thematic of “translation,” and in doing so probe into the essential problems of Japanese philosophy. The pieces collected here focus on questions of translation derived from observations of East Asian history and culture where we can place Japanese philosophy. They provide diverse discourses on philosophical translation. The Preface and table of contents may be downloaded here. © Chisokudō Publications 2017 | Also available as an Apple iBook and as a Kindle eBook Order from Amazon in your home country.
  • Leon Krings, Francesca Greco, Yukiko Kuwayama, eds.


    The tenth volume of the Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy focuses on the theme of “transition,” dealing with transitory and intermediary phenomena and practices such as translation, transmission, and transformation. Written in English, German and Japanese, the contributions explore a wide range of topics, crossing disciplinary borders between phenomenology, linguistics, feminism, epistemology, aesthetics, political history, martial arts, spiritual practice and anthropology, and bringing Japanese philosophy into cross-cultural dialogue with other philosophical traditions. As exercises in “thinking in transition,” the essays reveal novel modes of doing philosophy as a way of boundary crossing that takes transition not only as an object of inquiry, but also as a method of philosophical practice itself. The Introduction, table of contents, and abstracts may be downloaded here. © Chisokudō Publications 2021 | Also available as an Apple iBook and as a Kindle eBook Order from Amazon in your home country.