This article examines two manga, Stop!! Hibari-Kun! and No Bra, which prefigure the increasingly popular anime and manga genre of otokonoko from a queer studies perspective. Otokonoko, also known as otoko no musume, is a genre of manga in which persons assigned male at birth (AMAB) wear women’s clothing and are perceived as attractive women. The term otokonoko (男の娘) is pronounced identically to the term男の子, meaning boy-child; however, due to a pun in the kanji which replaces "child" (子) with "daughter"/"girl" (...) (娘), it translates to “boy-girl”, “boy-daughter”, or sometimes“boy-princess”. It is often translated into English as “cross-dresser”. The genre emerged in the early 2000s and has since become a popular point of reference and conversation both within and outside of anime and manga communities. Both the genre, and its titular characters have become iconic within both Japanese and Western online culture. As with most genres, the otokonoko genre is trope heavy, so I decided to look at works that prefigure the genre to better understand the appeal without the weight of the traditions of the genre weighing too heavily on the content. Both Stop!! Hibari-Kun! and No Bra follow the story of a boy who becomes increasingly attracted to a gender ambiguous character assigned male at birth, but who appears female to most. Both manga are centrally about this conflict between the love interests’ perceived maleness and the protagonists perceived heterosexuality. The article analyses the appeal of each work to both male and trans feminine readers, because what would later become the otokonoko genre is popular with both male and trans feminine readers. It also argues that these manga offer something unique from Western depictions of transgender lives, based on the popularity of manga and anime among Western trans feminine readers. (shrink)
The contributions to Concepts of Philosophy in Asia and the Islamic World reflect upon the problems implied in the received notions of philosophy in the respective scholarly literatures. They ask whether, and for what reasons, a text should be categorized as a philosophical text (or excluded from the canon of philosophy), and what this means for the concept of philosophy. The focus on texts and textual corpora is central because it makes authors expose their claims and arguments in direct relation (...) to specific sources, and discourages generalized reflections on the characteristics of, for example, Japanese culture or the Indian mind. The volume demonstrates that close and historically informed readings are the sine qua non in discussing what philosophy is in Asia and the Islamic world, just as much as with regard to Western literature Contributors are Yoko Arisaka, Wolfgang Behr, Thomas Fröhlich, Lisa Indraccolo, Paulus Kaufmann, Iso Kern, Ralf Müller, Gregor Paul, Lisa Raphals, Fabian Schäfer, Ori Sela, Rafael Suter, Christian Uhl, Viatcheslav Vetrov, Yvonne Schulz Zinda, and Nicholas Zufferey. (shrink)
Nishida Kitaro is a well-known Japanese philosopher whose work is marked by attempts to combine the world outlooks of the national spiritual tradition with elements of European philosophical thought. The article analyzes Nishida’s views on culture that are an independent part of his original philosophical theory. Religion, art, morality, science are the ideal forms of being in the historical world. The work of a scientist or artist is a manifestation of the formative activity of a person. The historical world as (...) the “sphere of absolute nothingness” is the final point of the introspection of “nothingness,” where reality comprehends the identity of its opposites through human activity. Nothingness, or “Emptiness,” in the East Asian tradition has another, dynamic, dimension – these are the relations between people and the relations between man and the cosmos, or Nature, which are not perceived by rough human feelings and not comprehended by equally rough mind. Nishida stressed that for Japan the issue of the authenticity of the national foundations of culture, separated from Chinese and Indian influences, has a clearly positive answer in the aesthetic sphere: in the field of traditional poetics. The traditional aesthetics of Japan reflects the archetypal structure of the national culture. All world cultures have a common prototype, but each of them is a deviation, one-sidedness of this prototype. In the West, a culture of the form triumphed, beginning with Plato and Aristotle. In Japan, on the contrary, the culture was characterized by fluidity, processability, formlessness. In fact, Nishida is one of founding fathers of modern Japanese cultural studies. (shrink)
Watsuji Tetsurō’s concept of fūdo (風土) is intended to capture the way in which nature and culture are interwoven in a setting that is partly constitutive of and partly constituted by a group of people inhabiting a particular place. This essay offers a careful examination of the sense in which the self both constitutes and is constituted by the fūdo, or geo-cultural climate, in which it is emplaced. It concludes with a brief survey of the prospects and problems posed by (...) the interpretation of fūdo that has been presented. (shrink)
The following article aims to answer the question: “How do we experience weather and qi?” Answering this question addresses two problems: Both the phenomena of weather and qi elude classic phenomenological paradigms such as thing-perception and Dasein, brought forth by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, respectively. If phenomenology is concerned with giving an account of experience starting with the “things themselves,” weather and qi necessitate a different phenomenological paradigm, which comprehensively accounts for the experience of both. This article demonstrates that (...) inconspicuousness, as it has been recently phenomenologically accounted for by Günter Figal, is such a new paradigm. Philosophy done across different languages and cultures is often faced with the problem of untranslatability. This article further demonstrates, following Hisayama Yuho’s work, how phenomenology can present a ground for such philosophy: Instead of discussing qi through its mistranslations into English, I approach the phenomenon by discussing the similarity of phenomenological accounts of qi from Japanese philosophy with my own account of the phenomenology of weather. Both phenomenological accounts mutually elucidate each other. A phenomenological analysis of weather and qi thus both illustrates a largely unthematized facet of human experience in phenomenology, namely, the immersion in media of perception and experience, and demonstrates the philosophical productivity of intercultural philosophy. (shrink)
This introductory chapter on concepts of Japanese philosophy and the concomitant approaches to this subject contains 1) a brief critical overview of the term's history and its impact on the definition of the field and 2) a short presentation of the ensuing chapters, which create a sustained dialogue on how to understand Japanese philosophy and how to delineate its his history.
This article provides a critical introduction to, and the first English translation of, the dialogue held between Nishida Kitarō and Miki Kiyoshi in October 1935. The topic of their discussion was the question of the particular character of Japanese culture and philosophy. In the introductory sections of this article, I will reflect on some of the main points that Nishida proposes in response to Miki’s questions, and clarify what these insights mean for a culture or a historical framework of thought, (...) including Japanese culture and philosophy. In light of this expository reflection on Nishida’s take on the nature of Japanese culture and philosophy, I will reflect on the significance of scholarly work in the field of Japanese studies and Japanese philosophy beyond the Japanese cultural milieu. The text concludes with a translation of the Miki-Nishida dialogue. (shrink)
The author takes a quick look back at his philosophical education and academic interests through the lens of »comparative philosophy« and uncovers a progression of cross-cultural and cross-historical patterns at work, many of them unfolding tacitly beneath the surface. He concludes with a brief listing of five such patterns, culminating in an appeal for a recovery of unified world views shaped within particular traditions but set against the universal backdrop of a common care for the earth.
Although modern civilization has brought about great technical achievement, mankind face various problems today. It seems that humans are endlessly pursuing economic development, and they often neglect the preservation of the environment. Japan is not free from this world-wide problem. However, Japanese civilization would be able to offer an important paradigm for the future course of mankind. In particular, animism and tolerance towards religious differences seem to be vital elements for the betterment of this world.
This essay critically develops Watsuji’s nondual ontology of the self. Watsuji shows that the self is constituted by its relational contact with others and by its immersion in a wider geo-cultural environment. Yet Watsuji himself had difficulty in smoothly bringing together and integrating these notions. By showing how these domains work together to constitute the self, I bring into view the unity at the ground of Watsuji’s thought and the implications of this account for key ideas in Heidegger’s philosophy and (...) for environmental ethics. (shrink)
Japanese Frames of Mind addresses two main questions in light of a collection of research conducted by both Japanese and American researchers at Harvard University: What challenge does Japanese psychology offer to Western psychology? Will the presumed universals of human nature discovered by Western psychology be reduced to a set of 'local psychology' among many in a world of unpredicted variations? The chapters provide a wealth of new data and perspectives related to aspects of Japanese child development, moral reasoning and (...) narratives, schooling and family socialization, and adolescent experiences. By placing the Japanese evidence within the context of Western psychological theory and research, the book calls for a systematic reexamination of Western psychology as one psychology among many other ethnopsychologies. Written in mostly non-technical language, this book will appeal to developmental and cultural psychologists, anthropologists interested in psychological anthropology, educators, and anyone interested in Japanese and Asian studies. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article discusses some common narratives found in discourses on national identity in Russia and Japan, and their temporal transformations reflecting the needs of a nation as it becomes a colonial empire. National identity discourse is examined from the viewpoint of national antagonism arising from an external threat. Russian and Japanese intellectuals, with their vastly different historical and cultural heritage, have dwelled upon similar issues pertaining to modernization of the state and adoption or rejection of foreign ideas and ways of (...) life. There are several themes in Russian and Japanese discourses on national identity that share a significant overlap, particularly themes of national uniqueness and a ‘special path’, deterministic worldviews, imperial cosmopolitanism/messianism and criticism of ‘Western’ philosophical systems and concepts. This article elucidates the shared aspects of these narratives and philosophical inquiries in Russia and Japan and puts them into a historical context. (shrink)
Zen and Japanese Culture is one of the twentieth century's leading works on Zen, and a valuable source for those wishing to understand its concepts in the context of Japanese life and art. In simple, often poetic, language, Daisetz Suzuki describes his conception of Zen and its historical evolution. He connects Zen to the philosophy of the samurai, and subtly portrays the relationship between Zen and swordsmanship, haiku, tea ceremonies, and the Japanese love of nature. Suzuki's contemplative work is enhanced (...) by anecdotes, poetry, and illustrations showing silk screens, calligraphy, and examples of architecture. Since its original publication in 1938, this important work has played a major role in shaping conceptions of Zen's influence on Japanese traditional arts. Richard Jaffe's introduction acquaints a new generation of readers with Suzuki's life and career in both Japan and America. Jaffe discusses how Zen and Japanese Culture was received upon its first publication and analyzes the book in light of contemporary criticism, especially by scholars of Japanese Buddhism. (shrink)