Language as Thought: New book by Nakajima Takahiro

A new and very interesting book by Nakajima Takahiro of the University of Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia has just come out from Iwanami. It deals with philosophy of language in Japan from Kūkai (774–835) to Izutsu Toshihiko (1914-1993). I look forward to reading it when it arrives in the post.

As the announcement from IASA says, “From Kukai to Izutsu Toshihiko, this book runs through the philosophy of language with reference to Japan in a single volume. It sheds light on its subject matter by drawing on Chinese and Western philosophy of language.”

The table of contents, in my translation, looks as follows:

Part 1: Language as thought in Japan
Chapter 1 Kūkai’s philosophy of language
Chapter 2 The “Anthology of ancient and modern Japanese poetry” (Kokin Waka) and the language of the master/s
Chapter 3 The difference between Motoori Norinaga and Natsume Sōseki

Part 2: Language as thought in modern times (1)
Chapter 4 What it takes to draw a line in time
Chapter 5 Japanese Christianity and universality

Part 3: Language as thought in modern times (2)
Chapter 6 Local spirituality and modernity
Chapter 7 On mystery


Further details can be obtained from the publisher’s website (in Japanese).

For those interested in Izutsu, Jean Connell Hoff’s translation of Wakamatsu Eisuki’s Toshihiko Izutsu and the Philosophy of Word: In Search of the Spiritual Orient was published by International House of Japan in 2014.