1st Unit : Study Meeting

The International Association of Inoue Enryo Research : Study Meeting in USA "Inoue Enryo and Intercultural Philosophy"

1   The International Association of Inoue Enryo Research organized a workshop was held on May 24 to 26, 2013, at the US-American Luther College in Decorah (Iowa). The conference was possible through the efforts of Prof. Gereon Kopf and the generous cooperation of Luther College. The participants were Yusa Michiko from Western Washington University, Leah Kalmanson from Drake University (Iowa), Agustín Jacinto Z. from the Mexican El Colegio de Michoacán, Gereon Kopf and Scott Hurley from the host, Luther College, and Sagara Tsutomu (Ircp Resercher), Miura Setsuo (Ircp Resercher), and Rainer Schulzer (Ircp Visiting Researcher) from Toyo University. Upon arriving in Rochester (Minnesota) on May 23, the participants were welcomed by cherry blossoms in front of the regional airport. Prof. Kopf and his assistant took the arrivals by car from Rochester to Decorah, a small Midwestern town in the neighboring state of Iowa, where Luther College is located.

   On Friday the 24th, the morning was reserved for an intensive brainstorming session about the prospects of translating Inoue Enryo's works into European languages. Clinton Godart from the University of Southern California joined the conference via internet. Prof. Godart, a member of the Iair and an experienced translator of Enryo's works, contributed many valuable suggestions to our initial consultation about an English translation project. The concrete plans for translating Enryo's works into Spanish, which were presented by Prof. Jacinto, sparked great expectations on all sides.

   For the afternoon, a round table discussion about the question "What is Intercultural Philosophy?" was scheduled. The session was joined by several researches from the Philosophy Department of Luther College. The discussion was initiated by two short presentations. Prof. Kopf spoke about intercultural philosophy in a theoretical respect, whereas Schulzer added some reflections about intercultural philosophy in the field of ethics. Enryo's Four Sages (Socrates, Confucius, Buddha, and Kant), which were introduced by Schulzer as a framework for comparative studies in philosophy, were received with great interest. A lively and inspired exchange of opinions developed amongst the approximately fifteen participants. The guests coming from Japan were impressed by the US-American culture of discussion, which, albeit outspoken and forward, was kind and perfectly respectful in tone. 2

  The Saturday was reserved for the conference, "The Philosophy of Inoue Enryo." First, Sagara gave the very stimulating keynote address "Welcome to Enryo's World!" In the course of the day, seven presentations were given. "Inoue Enryō's Mystery Studies" by Miura Setsuo, "The Ghost in the Gate of Philosophical Reason" by Gereon Kopf, "Comparative Ethics of Conscience in the Early Inoue Enryō" by Rainer Schulzer, "Re-educating the Nation: A Sketch of the Educational Ideals in Inoue Enryō and Nishida Kitarō" by Agustín Jacinto Z., "Philosophy, The Philosophy Society, The Philosophy Academy – Inoue Enryō's Contribution to Modernizing Japanese Mentality from Within" by Yusa Michiko, "The Temple of the Absolute: Inoue and the Ethics of Practicing the Impracticable" by Leah Kalmanson, and "Tathāgatagarbha: Doctrine or Philosophy – A Conversation between Yinshun and Inoue" by Scott Hurley.

 It was a very successful workshop with a lot of valuable feedback given to the interesting presentations. All participants showed motivation to deepen their research about Inoue Enryo. Hopefully, several of the presented papers will be published as research articles in the future. On Sunday, the workshop participants relaxed during a cultural tour around the vicinity of Decorah (Iowa). In the morning the group took part in a meditation ceremony in a local Zen monastery. After lunch two cars took everybody to the lush green Mississippi valley where ancient tombs of native Americans could be visited. The return flights were scheduled for Monday, the 27th.