Tuesday, April 21, 2015
We talked more about the different western philosophers this semester and about the different philosophies they introduced and such. Since my major is Global Studies with a focus on Asian countries, I wanted to research more about different Asian philosophers and where they got their ideas. So my first post will be about Japanese philosophies.
The Japanese philosophy is mostly a mixture of foreign philosophy mixed in with some unique Japanese elements. By foreign, I mean mostly Chinese and Western ideas. The different philosophies first came with the introduction of Confucianism and Buddhism. From there Neo-Confucianism became very prominent and then the samurais class came with the ideas of loyalty and honor. The main religion in Japan is Shinto and Buddhism, besides those two religions are Confucianism and Taoism.
A well-known Japanese philosopher who was very influential in the twentieth-century is Nishida Kitarō. Nishida was the one who infused Anglo-European philosophies with Asian thoughts. Nishida was born in the Meiji era with the introduction of modernization and western philosophies. He also studied Chinese philosophy in secondary school before dropping out with his friend. He went the Tokyo Imperial University as a “limited status” studying the philosophy of Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. After graduating, he would fill different teaching positions for philosophy and German. He lived through the Second World War and saw the death of his wife and four of his eight children.
Japan never really had it’s own philosopher instead they fused it together with the different philosophies that entered their country from both China and the Western countries.