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Research Trip Report, 3rd Unit:“Collaborative Research with Iran and a Multicultural Co-existence Field Study”

Research Trip Report, 3rd Unit:“Collaborative Research with Iran and a Multicultural Co-existence Field Study”

 

Members of the 3rd Unit of the IRCP made a research trip to Iran from September 11 to September 18 for a joint symposium with the Academy of Sciences of Iran and to perform a field study on multicultural co-existence. The participants were NAGAI Shin (IRCP Researcher), MIYAMOTO Hisayoshi (Visiting Researcher), ONO Junichi (Visiting Researcher), HORIUCHI Toshio (Research Associate), and Bahman ZAKIPOUR (Toyo University graduate student), who provided interpreting and other services for the group.

On September 13, the Academy of Sciences of Iran and the IRCP jointly held a symposium in Tehran. There were around 15 Iranian attendees including Director Davari and Dr. Abdolrahim GAVAHI. Director Davari spoke about the current state of philosophy in Iran. From the Japan side, Visiting Researcher MIYAMOTO gave a presentation with slides entitled “The Acceptance and Transformation of Buddhism in the Japanese Original Religion (Shintoism) and Culture.” Visiting Researcher ONO’s presentation entitled “IZUTSU’s Linguistic Theory: Issues and Possibilities” argued from an analytic philosophical perspective that IZUTSU Toshihiko’s linguistic theory was not linguistic relativism. After both presentations was an active discussion from the Iranian side, resulting in an especially productive symposium.

On Monday September 14, we visited the Encyclopaedia Islamika Foundation. This library compiles an encyclopedia specializing in Islam, for which books and other materials are being collected worldwide. Meetings were held to exchange information between seven people, including the director of the foundation and researcher Hassan SAYEDARAB. On September 15, we travelled to Mashhad as part of the multicultural co-existence field study and visited the graves of one of Iran’s three (or four) greatest poets, Ferdowsi, and the tomb of the eighth Shia Imam, Imam Reza. On September 16, we travelled to Ahwaz to visit the seat in Iran of Mandaean Sabians. We held research meetings with around 15 people, including the leaders of the religious communities, lay priests, and monks. One high priest of a community explained in Persian the religion’s view of the origin of the world, its theology, and the content and structure of their holy scriptures. In response to our questions, he provided detailed explanations about their rites, symbolic meanings, etc. We visited Tchoga Zanbil, Susa, and the tombstone of the Old Testament prophet Daniel. Afterward, we had discussions around Japanese and Iranian philosophy, mainly with researchers of Iranian Islamic philosophy and IZUTSU Toshihiko. Iranians clearly attached great importance to the relationship between tradition and modernity.

The collaborative research project with Iran has reached its fourth year. The repeated opportunities for profound discussions enabled us to exchange ideas with Iran in the inimitable way. Some results of this research have been published in the Journal of International Philosophy, Extra Issue 7.

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