In order to inform readers about philosophy in Japan, I treat three topics in this letter. Firstly, I talk about the Japanese word “tetsugaku” which means “philosophy”. It is one of many words that were created especially for the translation of Western concepts into Japanese in the latter half of the 19th century when Western culture had been rapidly introduced into Japan. Interestingly enough, Japanese have used this word for thought only since the encounter with the Western world and not before. In fact, what philosophy is, remains quite a complicated question in Japan. Secondly, I mention the dialogue between the Buddhist tradition and the Western philosophy in Japan. I am sure that the dialogue has produced and is still producing rich fruit in the world of philosophy. Finally, I describe how philosophy is received in Japanese society nowadays, especially at university.
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