1st Unit : Study Meeting

The International Association for Inoue Enryo Research, 1st Unit Study Meeting in Hungary


 On April 24–25, 2014, the International Association for Inoue Enryo Research in conjunction with Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University convened a Study Meeting in Hungary. Eleven scholars offered presentations covering diverse themes at the meeting. Eötvös Loránd supplied three of the presenters, including event co-planner Professor Umemura Yuko from the university's Faculty of Humanities. The other eight presenters were six scholars including Takemura Makio (Ircp Researcher, President of Toyo University) from Toyo University, and one scholar each from Hungary's Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church and Germany's University of Tübingen. As a foray into multiple presentation languages, the morning sessions were given in Japanese and those in the afternoon in Hungarian. On April 24, Takemura delivered a keynote address titled, “Buddhism and the Religious Life of Japanese.” This event was particularly well attended by students, reflecting the popularity of Japanese studies at this 379-year-old university.

   The study meeting proper took place the following day, with the subject of “Inoue Enryo and Meiji Japan: Philosophy, Religion, and Education.” Following opening comments from the Vice-Dean of the Eötvös Loránd Humanities Faculty Dr. Koloman Brenner, Miura Setsuo (Ircp Researcher) touched on the founding of Toyo University and Enryo's scholarly achievements in a presentation titled, “The Life of Inoue Enryo.” Takemura followed with a paper titled “The World of Meiji Buddhism and Inoue Enryo,” in which he spoke of the enormous influence that Enryo had on the Buddhist world in Japan and the role that he played. Iwai Shogo(Ircp Researcher)then discussed Enryo's stance and motivations with respect totheImperial Rescript on Educationin a talk on “Inoue Enryo’s Opinions on Education and Religion.” Following a short recess, Frédéric Girard (Ircp Visiting Researcher, École française d'Extrême-Orient) resumed the discussions with a paper titled, “Philosophy and Religious Studies in the Meiji Period: Inoue Enryo and his Contemporaries” in which he discussed how Enryo saw Buddhism as including both philosophy and religion. Rainer Schulzer (Ircp Visiting Researcher) then drew from a variety of perspectives to discuss the subject of his presentation, “The Late Inoue Enryo's Theory of Conscience.” Asakura Koichi (Ircp Researcher) then offered a discussion of the work taken up by the Morality Church project of Enryo's twilight years in his talk titled “Inoue Enryo's Late Period Thought and his Morality Church Activities”.2

   The afternoon's presentations were delivered in Hungarian. Umemura Yuko led off this session with a recapitulation of Enryo's work in a paper titled, “Inoue Enryo's View of Christianity in Seikyo Nikki.” Through this presentation, she introduced Enryo's perspective on Christianity in Europe.  Viktoria Eschbach-Szabo from the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Tübingen then presented a paper titled “Ueda Kazutoshi's 'National Language' and the Present-Day Japanese Language,” which outlined the varied activities and accomplishments of Ueda, who left his mark during the Meiji Period in the field of linguistics. Professor Ildikó Farkasfrom the Humanities Faculty of Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church followed with his paper, “Inventing or Reviving Tradition? Some Questions of Modern Japanese Nation Building and Culture,” in which he introduced some of the new interpretations and evaluations of the Meiji Restoration that have been put forth in Japanese studies in the West. Professor Balázs Szabó of the meeting's host institution delivered a discussion titled “Western Philosophy in Meiji Era Japan,” which built on the thought of such figures as Nishi Amane. Finally, Takó Ferenc, a graduate student at Eötvös Loránd, brought the afternoon session to a close with his paper on “What was 'New' about the Meiji Restoration for Maruyama Masao?” Ferenc addressed Maruyama's assessment of the Meiji Restoration and touched on influences which Maruyama received from Hegel, as well as late Edo thought. All of the presentations demonstrated the high standards for Japanese studies performed in Hungary and Germany. The presentations were followed by a question and answer session in Hungarian, Japanese, and English. This symposium stood as a meaningful occasion, providing an opportunity both to introduce Inoue Enryo to Hungary, where he is largely unknown, and to bring together Hungarian scholars of Japanese studies and scholars from Toyo University for anintellectually stimulating event.