Who is Dr. Enryo Inoue?//井上円了とは

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The aims of philosopher Enryo Inoue:
Examining Japan and her people’s place in the world

From the closing days of the Tokugawa Shogunate into the Meiji era (1868-1912), Japan was opening up to the world and experiencing a rapid wave of Europeanism. However, against this trend, Enryo Inoue believed that the Japanese needed to return to their true nature. And he concluded that achieving this would require each individual to cultivate “methods for seeing and thinking” in his or her own heart based on philosophy. This belief led him to establish Tetsugakukan, the predecessor of Toyo University, at the young age of 29.

In his founding prospectus for Tetsugakukan, Inoue stated that the school would “open up education to people Without wealth.” In what was a precursor to modern correspondence education, he set up a nationwide“ outside students system” for people in distant regions who could not commute to Tetsugakukan. He also began“ Sunday lectures” that resembled today’s extension courses.

Looking to expand educational opportunities to even more people, Inoue took it upon himself to embark on“ lecture tours” that would take him to all corners of the country. Having discovered that Buddhist thought encompassed “Eastern philosophy” reaching back thousands of years, Inoue lived his entire life passionately working to systematize this philosophy and spread it to all of Japan’s people.

 

A philosophical awakening

Enryo Inoue was born as the eldest son in Jiko-ji Temple (Otani sect of Shinshu Buddhism) in today’s Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture. He began studying classic Chinese literature at the age of 10 and entered into Buddhist priesthood at the age of 13. From the age of 16 he was engaged in Western learning, studying such works as Parley’s Universal History, Mitchell’s A System of Modern Geography, G.P.Quackenbos History of the United States, and Malcolm’s History of Great Britain in their original English.
When he was 19 years old, he was selected from among applicants all over Japan to enter the teacher training school of Higashi Hongan-ji Temple in Kyoto as a student of English studies. The following year, he entered the Preparatory School of Tokyo Imperial University (Tokyo Yobimon) as an exchange student from Higashi Hogan-ji. There he studied for three years before entering the new Department of Philosophy of Tokyo Imperial University’s Faculty of Literature as its sole inaugural student at the age of 23.
During his time at Tokyo Imperial University, Inoue came to look at Buddhism-a subject with which he had had close familiarity since early boyhood-in the light of Western philosophy. And this led him to discover that Buddhism was brimming with “Eastern philosophy.” While pursuing his studies at the university, he published writings on his own religious and philosophical views for publication in Meikyo Shinshi, a Buddhist journal published every other day, for two years. These writings were later published in a three-part work titled Shinri Kinshin as well as in Bukkyo Katsuron Joron. Each of these books became a best seller of its day and achieved rapid recognition in circles associated with Buddhism, thought, and Christianity.
The year before graduating from Tokyo Imperial University, Inoue set up an organization called “Tetsugakukai” and began publishing a journal titled Tetsugakukai Zasshi. In it, Inoue stated, “Philosophy is study to identify the fundamental laws and phenomena of thought. Consequently, so far as ideas and things exist, there is nothing that is unrelated to philosophy.” He added that “the foundation for all study is philosophy” and “the study and diffusion of philosophy are essential to the development of national and social civilization.” He further asserted that “Eastern philosophy must be studied in addition to Western philosophy.”
Following his graduation, Inoue publicly announced his intention to establish a school that would give shape to an ideal he had long envisioned. He made this announcement as he also continued his theoretical pursuit of philosophy and Buddhism in his writings.

Founding of Tetsugakukan From Tetsugakukan Daigaku to Shiritsu Toyo Daigaku

Inoue successfully opened his school just two years after his graduation from Tokyo Imperial University. He founded this private institution, which he called “Tetsugakukan,” after borrowing facilities of what is now Rinshoin Temple, located in the Yushima district of Bunkyo Ward. The school was open to boys aged 16 years or older and had a total enrollment of 50. Its curriculum was broken down into a first year of general studies and a second year of advanced studies. Students paid a monthly tuition of one yen. Courses on philosophy, psychology, sociology, and other topics of Western learning were offered.
Six months after Tetsugakukan was founded, Inoue published Tetsugakukan Kogiroku (a transcript of lectures at Tetsugakukan). He used this publication as a textbook to start the “outside students system,” a program that allowed students to study in their homes. Tetsugakukan received outside student applications from all parts of Japan, and the number of applicants climbed to 1,831 the following year. Today’s correspondence education program carries on what was started by the outside students system.
Inoue made three long-term overseas trips during his lifetime. The first was in 1888, the year following Tetsugakukan’s birth, when he left to tour the United States and Europe. During his more than one year abroad, Inoue sought to find the unique place that Japan and the Japanese occupy in the world. Then, after returning home, he announced that he would transform Tetsugakukan into a university.
Katsu Kaishu heard of Inoue’s plan, and he provided his continual support to this young educator-who was 36 years his junior-until he died at the age of 77.
During its early days, Tetsugakukan suffered a series of unfortunate events, including the destruction of a new school building that was under construction in a violent storm and then, later, the complete loss of its building in a spreading fire. The result was that Tetsugakukan was rebuilt at the site of the current Toyo University Hakusan Campus just two years after its founding. In 1904, Tetsugakukan was re-launched as “Shiritsu Tetsugakukan Daigaku” under the government’s University Ordinance. Two years later, it was renamed “Shiritsu Toyo Daigaku.” The name Toyo, meaning “the Orient” in English, reflected Inoue’s strong desire to build a unique university of philosophy in the Orient.

Taking on the challenges of social education The national lecture tours At the time that Tetsugakukan was renamed Shiritsu

Toyo Daigaku in 1906, Inoue had established a university, middle school, and kindergarten. However, this same year Inoue suddenly ended his association with all of these schools to embark on his third national lecture tour. Nineteen years had passed since he founded Tetsugakukan. He was 48 years old.
He was inspired to take this national lecture tour by the university education and social learning he had seen in the United Kingdom during his second overseas tour. Built around three main themes-“freedom of speech,” “respect for the individual,” and “social morality”-Inoue’s aim was to spread the ideas of social education and lifelong learning throughout the nation.
His typical daily schedule during the tour was very grueling. He traveled during the morning, gave lectures in the afternoon, and spent the evening writing. His lecture meetings were organized by people associated with Buddhism, government, or education, and usually took place in a temple or primary school.
The Meiji era was a time when government bureaucrats were respected and ordinary citizens were denigrated. Against this backdrop, Inoue called study to lift the Japanese spirit and explain philosophy to people having no special rank or title dengaku (田学; rice field study). He continued touring to encourage ordinary citizens to engage in philosophic thought by associating dengaku (田学) with dengaku (田楽; ritual music and dancing in shrines and temples that was enjoyed by people of all ages and status) until his death in Dalian, China (then known as Manchuria).
His lectures covered some 40 topics, including Imperial speech, morals, philosophy, religion, education, business, superstition, the mysterious, conditions in the Western world, and recent circumstances in overseas immigration. Over 1.3 million people came into contact with Inoue’s philosophy-based “methods for seeing and thinking” during the 5,291 occasions that he spoke throughout Japan.

Enryo's Travel Bag

"Dengaku": Originated by Enryo Inoue, a philosopher for ordinary people

Enryo Inoue began a national lecture tour of Japan in 1890 to talk about Japanese “methods for seeing and thinking” based on “philosophy.” Then, in 1906, he stepped away from all of the schools he had founded to devote himself to another national lecture tour. This tour continued until he died while speaking in Dalian, China (in the region formerly known as Manchuria), at the age of 61. By this time he had spoken on 5,291 occasions at a 2,831 locations in Japan alone, including 60 cities and 2,198 towns and villages. This photo shows the travel bag that Inoue carried with him on his travels until his death. It contained only those personal effects he absolutely needed, including a booklet for keeping notes, writing brushes, an inkstone, and a water flask. Looking at these items, one can still get a sense of the passion Inoue had for his work as he traveled around Japan. When Inoue died, news of his passing was spread throughout the world by the Associated Press of the United States. Even the New York Times carried an article noting his passing. Reporting that “Dr. Enryo Inouye, a widely known scholar in Buddhistic philosophy, is dead at Dalian.” the newspaper presented him to readers by saying, “He was President of a school of philosophy in Tokyo.” The article shows us how Inoue’s lifelong devotion to his message had attracted even international attention.

井上円了の鞄

哲学者・井上円了が目指したもの。世界の中の日本と日本人を見つめて。

幕末から明治にかけて、日本が「世界」と出会い、急速な欧化主義に流されていく中で、井上円了は、日本人のよりどころを取り戻すには「哲学」による「ものの見方・考え方」を、人々の中に育てていくことが不可欠であると考え、29歳の若さで東洋大学の前身となる「哲学館」を創立します。
その創立趣意書には「余資なく優暇なき者に教育を開放する」とあり、哲学館に通えない遠隔地の人々のために「館外員制度」を設けて今日の通信教育の形で全国にその門戸を広げ、さらに現在の公開講座にあたる「日曜講座」も実施しています。
さらに多くの人々への教育の場を求めて、地方のすみずみにまで自ら出向いて講義をする「全国巡講」の旅に出ます。仏教思想の中に数千年の歴史をもつ「東洋の哲学」があることを発見した井上円了は、それを体系化し、すべての日本人に伝えることに情熱を注ぎ続けた生涯を送ります。

 

哲学への目覚め

井上円了は現在の新潟県長岡市で真宗大谷派慈光寺の長男として生まれました。10歳で漢学を学び、13歳で得度、16歳から洋学を学び、英語の原書でパーレーの万国史、ミッチェルの大地理書、クワケンスの米国史、マルカムの英国史などを学んでいます。
19歳で、全国から選抜された英学科生として京都東本願寺の教師学校に入学。翌年、東本願寺の留学生として東京大学予備門に入学。3年間の在籍の後、23歳で東京大学文学部哲学科にただ一人の1期生として入学しました。
東京大学では、幼少の頃から身近にあった「仏教」を西洋哲学の目で見直し、そこに「東洋の哲学」が脈々と流れていることを発見しました。東大在学中から独自の宗教論、哲学論を隔日刊の『明教新誌』に2年間連載。これを『真理金針』3分冊、『仏教活論序論』として刊行。いずれも当時のベストセラーとなり、仏教界、思想界、キリスト教界などで一躍その名を知られるようになりました。
また東大卒業の前年に自ら「哲学会」を組織し、『哲学会雑誌』を創刊。その中で「哲学は思想の法則・事物の原理を究明する学である。そのため、思想の及ぶところ、事物の存するところ、一つとして哲学に関係しないものはない」「諸学の基礎は哲学にあり」とし、「哲学の研究・普及が国家・社会の文明を発展させるために不可欠」であること、さらに「西洋哲学の研究に加えて、東洋哲学の研究が必要」であることを主張しています。
東大卒業後は、かねてより考えていた理想の学校を開設することを公言し、一方、著作活動にも入り哲学・仏教の理論追究を続けます。

哲学館の創立
哲学館大学から私立東洋大学へ

公言していた学校開設を東大卒業後わずか2年で実現します。私立「哲学館」は現在の文京区湯島にある麟祥院の施設を借りて創立されました。16歳以上の男子を対象に普通科1年、高等科2年、定員50名、授業料月額1円で哲学、心理学、社会学など西洋の諸学の科目を開講しています。
創立半年後に『哲学館講義録』を出版。これをテキストとして自宅で学習できる「館外員制度」に着手。館外員は全国各地から応募があり、翌年には1831名にのぼりました。現在の通信教育は、この制度を継承しています。
井上円了は生涯で3度の長期海外視察に出ています。その第1回目が「哲学館」創立の翌、明治21年(1888)欧米諸国の視察に出発します。1年を超える海外視察の中で、日本人、日本国としての独自の位置を探り、帰国後「哲学館を大学に発展させる」計画を表明しています。
この計画を知った勝海舟は、36歳差の若き教育者を77歳で亡くなるまで支援し続けました。
そして「哲学館」創立から2年後、建設中の新校舎が暴風雨で倒壊、さらに後年、類焼により校舎全焼と、度重なる災難を越えて、現在の東洋大学白山キャンパスの地に校舎を再建し移転しました。明治3 7 年
(1904)、専門学校令による「私立哲学館大学」として再出発。2年後に「私立東洋大学」と名称変更します。この名称には「東洋」に独自の哲学の大学を作ろうとした井上円了の強い意志が表れています。

社会教育への挑戦
「全国巡講」の旅へ

「私立東洋大学」に名称変更した明治39年(1906)、井上円了が設立した学校は、大学・中学・幼稚園と発展していましたが、突然すべての学校から一切身を引いてしまいます。そして3度目の全国巡回講演の旅に出ます。「哲学館」創立から19年、井上円了48歳の時でした。
この「全国巡講」は、2回目の海外視察で訪れたイギリス各地の大学教育、社会教育に触発され、「言論の自由」「人格の尊重」「社会道徳」を軸に組み立てられたもので、社会教育や生涯学習の広範な普及を目指したものでした。
この巡講では、午前中に移動、午後に講演、そして夜は揮毫と過酷な毎日で、講演会は仏教関係者や行政・教育関係者が主催し、寺院や小学校で行われました。
明治の官尊民卑の時代に、日本人の精神の向上を目指し、無位無官で人々に哲学を説く学問のあり方を、井上円了は自ら「田学」と称しています。生活の中での学問「田学」があらゆる人々が好む「田楽」に通じることを一般民衆に説くこの旅は、大連(旧満州)で客死するまで続きます。
演題は40題におよび、勅語、修身、哲学、宗教、教育、実業、迷信、妖怪、西洋の実情、海外移民の近況など多岐にわたり、全国5291回の講演で130万人以上の人々が井上円了の哲学を基礎に置いた「ものの見方・考え方」に触れています。.

円了の鞄

市井の哲人 井上円了の「田学」

井上円了は明治23年(1890)、「哲学」による日本人の「ものの見方・考え方」を全国各地で講演する「全国巡講」を始めました。そして明治39年(1906)、自ら創立したすべての学校から身を引いて、また「全国巡講」の旅に身を投じます。その旅は大連(旧満州)で講演中に倒れ、61歳で永眠するまで、国内だけで全国60市2198町村2831か所5291回にのぼっています。この写真は、井上円了が逝去するまで巡講をともにした愛用の鞄です。この中に記録用の冊子、筆と硯、水筒など身のまわりの最小限の品々を入れて全国をまわった、井上円了の熱い思いを今に伝えています。井上円了の訃報は米国のAP通信によって世界に配信され、ニューヨークタイムズは井上円了の逝去を悼む記事を掲載しています。そこには「井上円了博士 著名な日本の心理学者 満州(大連)に死す」とあり、「仏教哲学者である円了は、東京の哲学館の創立者」として紹介されています。この記事は井上円了が生涯をかけて訴えたものに世界も注目していたことを教えてくれています。

井上円了の鞄