Japanese philosophy

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G100-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved February 01, 2023, from

References and further reading

  • Maruyama Masao (1952) Nihon seiji shisō shi kenkyū, trans. Mikiso Hane, Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan, Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1974.

    (English translation of Maruyama’s classic study of the relation between Tokugawa thought and politics, including good summaries of the basic philosophical positions.)

  • Matsunaga Daigan and Matsunaga, A. (1974–6) Foundation of Japanese Buddhism, Los Angeles, CA: Buddhist Books International, 2 vols.

    (A technical, detailed exposition of the Buddhist philosophical systems of Nara, Heian and Kamakura Japan.)

  • Moore, C.A. (1967) The Japanese Mind: Essentials of Japanese Philosophy and Culture, Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

    (A provocative, but somewhat uneven, collection of fifteen essays by Japanese philosophers who participated in East–West Philosophers’ Conferences during 1939–64.)

  • Nakamura Hajime (1969) A History of the Development of Japanese Thought, Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (Japan Cultural Society), 2 vols, 2nd edn.

    (Not an integrated book but a set of seven excellent essays on different periods of Japanese philosophy. Out-of-print, but still one of the most insightful discussions available in English.)

  • Nishida Kitarō (1911) Zen no kenkyū, trans. Masao Abe and C. Ives, An Inquiry into the Good, New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 1990.

    (Translation of Nishida’s first major work; probably the most famous philosophical work of modern Japan.)

  • Piovesana, G.K. (1969) Contemporary Japanese Philosophical Thought, New York: St John’s University Press.

    (Good survey of major Japanese philosophers 1862–1962. Includes a good, but dated, bibliography.)

  • Tanabe Hajime (1946) Zangedō to shite no tetsugaku, trans. Takeuchi Yoshinori et al., Philosophy as Metanoetics, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1987.

    (Translation of Tanabe’s dense but profound reflection on the nature of philosophy.)

  • Tsunoda, R., de Bary, W.T. and Keene, D. (1964) Sources of Japanese Traditions, New York: Columbia University Press, 2 vols.

    (Extensive collection of short excepts from philosophical texts in translation, including brief but useful introductions to each writer.)

  • Watsuji Tetsurō (1937–49) Rinrigaku (Ethics), Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 3 vols.

    (Watsuji’s fully developed ethical system with critiques of other systems, East and West. The best available edition is in vols 10–11 of Watsuji Tetsurō zenshū (Watsuji’s Collected Works), Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1961–3, 20 vols.)

  • Watsuji Tetsurō (1934) Ningen no gaku toshite no rinrigaku (Ethics as the Study of Human Being), Tokyo: Iwanami shoten.

    (The best source is vol. 9 of Watsuji Tetsurō zenshū (Watsuji’s Collected Works), Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1961–3, 20 vols. About half of this work has been translated by S. Yamamoto and R.E. Carter, Watsuji Tetsuro’s Rinrigaku: Ethics in Japan, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996.)

Citing this article:
Kasulis, Thomas P.. Bibliography. Japanese philosophy, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G100-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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