Study Meeting

Study Meeting and Field Work for Multicultural Coexistence in Iran

5-1   The 3Rdunit of the Ircpconducted a trip to Iran from October 29 to November 6 for the overseas research trip, "Study Meeting and Field Work for Multicultural Coexistence in Iran." There were five participants from Ircp: Miyamoto Hisayoshi (Ircp Researcher and 3Rdunit Leader), Nagai Shin (Ircp Researcher), Ono Junichi (Ircp Visiting Researcher), Horiuchi Toshio (Ircp Research Associate), and Bahman Zakipour (Graduate School, Toyo University). 

   On October 31, we met Dr. Dariush Shayegan in Tehran, the Iranian capital. Primarily, Nagai talked with Dr. Shayegan about Japanese culture and comparative philosophy. He also gave us a ready consent to our invitation to him to visit Ircp in Japan at the end of May next year for a conference in which we would like him to give a talkandseveral researchers will giveresponses.

  On November 1, we traveled from Tehran to Shiraz. We mainly visited Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rustam, where the tomb of Darius I and a Zoroaster temple are located. On November 2, we visited the tomb of Cyrus the Great. We then took several hours to travel to Yazd, a Zoroastrian sanctuary. We were able to interview a Zoroastrian priest and ask about changes in people's attitude to Zoroastrianism before and after the Iranian Revolution. On November 3, we visited Narin Qal'eh, ancient ruins (B.C. 5000) in Meybod. We also visited the house where former President Khatami was born. We then took six hours to travel to Isfahan by car. It is a city which was once called "half of the world" at the height of its prosperity. We visited Naqsh-e Jahan Square and Jameh Mosque (8th century). On November 4, we visited Vank Cathedral, an Armenian Christian cathedral, in Isfahan. It felt odd to look at a cross, Bibles, and a picture of the Last Supper in Iran. A copy of the Quran translated into Armenian was also displayed in the same exhibition room.

5-2   On the morning of November 5, the last day of our stay in Iran, we held a Study Meeting at the Academy of Sciences of Iriran in Tehran. Dr. Damad, an Ayatollah, chaired the meeting. After a brief description of the recent situation of philosophical research in Iran by Dr. Reza Davari Ardakani, the president of the Academy, Researcher Miyamoto briefly introduced Toyo University and Ircp. Mr. Zakipour translated Persian into Japanese. Dr. Gholamreza Avani gave a talk titled, "Rethinking Philosophy in an Oriental Way." Nagai gave a talk under the title, "Nishida Kitaro and Modern Japanese Philosophy: What Is "Eastern Philosophy?" Horiuchi talked under the title of "Wisdom for Coexistence Learned from Early Buddhist Scriptures." Dr. Abdolrahim Gavahi gave a talk, "Cultural Coexistence: A Product of Cultural Understanding." Although we did not have enough time for questions and answers, we did have solid responses at the meeting. There were eight participants from the Iranian side in total including the dean of the Faculty of Literature of the University of Tehran. Dr. Damad told us that he would like to establish a close relationship with Ircp in the future.

   We visited Encyclopedia Islamica in the afternoon. We met Dr. Bojnurdi, the director, and Dr. Fato’llah Mujtabai. Dr. Bojnurdi explained about their project, and we asked some questions.

 In this overseas research trip, we were able to have extremely informative conversations which we cannot have unless we go to Iran and acquire a significant point of view for multicultural coexistence. The trip also gave us a prospect for continued exchanges with Iranian philosophers in the future.