Rude Awakenings

Zen, The Kyoto School, and the Question of Nationalism

James W. Heisig & John C. Maraldo, eds.

Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1995. xvii+384 pages.

What role did D. T. Suzuki and other Zen figures play in the Japanese nationalism that fueled World War II? What are we to make of nationalist elements in the thought of Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime, Nishitani Keiji, and other philosophers of the Kyoto school? Fifteen Japanese and Western scholars take up these and other questions about the political responsibility of Japanese Buddhist intellectuals, offering a variety of critical perspectives and a wealth of information for those interested in prewar and wartime history, Zen, Japanese philosophy, and the problem of nationalism today.

Ultimately, this exceptional collection challenges us to reconsider basic questions concerning intellectuals and society in the cauldron of war.

John W. Dower

With its superb translations and meticulous editing, this collection sets a sterling standard for future anthologies.

Graham Parkes

Students will find the text quite readable and scholars will find the sixty-five pages of endnotes and appendix a rich resource of information.