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1st Unit : First Study Group Session

1st Unit : First Study Group Session

Historiography of Studies on Inoue Enryo

1st Unit : First Study Group Session

The first study group session for the first unit was held at a meeting room at the Undergraduate School of Literature at Toyo University on July 28, 2011. Setsuo Miura, a researcher and Professor in the Department of Human Environment Design of the Undergraduate School of Human Life Design at Toyo University, was invited to present his study on the “Historiography of Studies on Inoue Enryo.”

In the presentation, he reported a brief summary of preceding studies and how Enryo has been studied at Toyo University. Preceding studies by Saburo Ienaga and Kyuichi Yoshida, both of which have been particularly influential, examined Enryo within the framework of nationalism and ultra-nationalism. Enryo advocated Gokoku Airi, or, protecting the nation and loving the truth, but such studies have only focused on Gokoku. Only recently have studies by Koyu Tamuwa and Fumihiko Sueki began paying attention to the role played by Enryo in the “modernization of Buddhism.” The Inoue Enryo Study Group was established at Toyo University in 1978 and started studies on Inoue Enryo in three subgroups. In particular, the third subgroup, primarily comprised of scholars in philosophy and sociology, has collected basic materials and conducted field research as well as activated discussions to explore the whole picture of Enryo’s thought. The results were published as Inoue Enryo no Shiso to Kodo [TheThought and Behavior of Inoue Enryo] and Inoue Enryo no Kyoiku Rinen [The Educational Philosophy of Enryo Inoue]. Studies on Enryo have also been advanced through the publication of journals, such as Inoue Enryo Kenkyu [Studies on Enryo Inoue], the quarterly Satya, and The Annual Report of Inoue Enryo Senta Nenpo [the Inoue Enryo Center]. The presentation concluded on the fact that these studies have been advanced further today so that we would be able to depict the thought of Enryo in a different way from Inoue Enryo no Kyoiku Rinen.

A question and answer session followed, and members discussed unexplored issues in studies on Enryo. Specifically, it is highlighted as an important challenge that, given the current situation wherein only Gokoku has been studied out of the phrase Gokoku Airi, more studies need to be centered on Airi in order to reveal the entire picture of Enryo’s thinking. The concept of Airi was the common backgrounds across his activities aside from philosophy, such as spectrology for conquering superstitions and lecture tours around the country, and the discussion suggested the expectation that the entire picture of Enryo’s thought could be described as a series of activities for seeking the truth and making it take root broadly around the nation. Members also confirmed that there exists the issue of how to succeed and embody the mission of Toyo University centered on Gokoku Airi. In addition, some argued that the studies might be advanced further by examining materials not published in the anthology, as well as through newly discovered sources.

1st Unit : First Study Group Session

Professor Kohei Yoshida took the floor and proposed new directions for future studies, specifically, one that reads Enryo’s writings from the perspective of Chinese classics studies, as well as one that attempts to depict Enryo’s thought from the perspective of the influence he had on his contemporaries, rather than focusing only on the depth and modernity of his thought. Professor Yoshida indicated that writing an intellectual history required not only treating very deep thinkers who could not attract many readers but also having to deal with other thinkers, such as Enryo, who gained broad popularity and had significant influence on their coevals. For Chinese classics studies, for example, Professor Yoshida mentioned such topics as an exchange of letters with Tadanori Ishiguro, the influence of yangmingism (陽明学:the teaching of Wang Yangming) on the “temple of moral training” movement, and other similar topics.

Periodization in Enryo’s life was also an issue. One person proposed that the period until his time at University of Tokyo would be treated as the early period, the time from the graduation from University of Tokyo to the retirement from Tetsugakukan—including Gedo Tetsugaku][Unorthodox Philosophy]and Bukkyo Tetsugaku Keito Ron [Studies on the Tradition of Buddhist Philosophy]—as the middle period, and the time he spent touring around the country as the late period. Some maintained, however, that attention should also be paid to significant influence of the Imperial Rescript on Education, the Tetsugakukan incident, the Russo-Japanese War, as well as other events, on the turning point of Enryo’s thought. In particular, it was indicated that the Imperial Rescript on Education mainly triggered Enryo’s deep involvement into the public.

Directions to the future was also discussed, including the project of building a database of materials primarily related to Enryo. The session was satisfactory, with enthusiastic discussion on the approach to the entire picture of Enryo, including the future of the first unit.