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3rd Unit:Research on Basis of Thought for the Society of Multicultural Harmonious Coexistence

3rd Unit

Research on Basis of Thought for the Society of Multicultural Harmonious Coexistence

Shin Nagai
Project Leader
Third Unit

The themes of this research unit are to reconsider problems in contemporary society using philosophical and religious perspectives. These perspectives are brought about by cultural and religious diversity and they explore the foundation of thought for kyosei (harmonious coexistence), which enables coexistence, or in other words, enables all persons to live together happily. In recent years, the word “kyosei” has frequently been used in connection with various social problems. Although there is still not a consensus on the definition or concept of kyosei, we believe that the word is used to mean striving for “a society where everyone can achieve self-fulfillment within a framework allowing for both independence and cooperation” (Kyosei no katachi [Shape of harmonious coexistence], edited by Makio Takemura et al. and Seishin Shobo, 2006) and one that goes beyond oppression and discrimination, conflict and injustice, unilateral rule and infringement. For people or societies to live together in harmony, they must embody a worldview that puts happiness first, which is in direct opposition to the pursuit of profit. If we consider whose happiness this is for, however, a number of dilemmas arise.

In contemporary society, which has encountered the rationalist and one-dimensional values rooted in the West, as well as the globalization of the market economy, reflecting on kyosei, which calls into question humanity’s fundamental way of life, is an urgent issue and needs to be examined at once. By focusing on the key word “kyosei” in this research, we also take up themes including human rights, public philosophy, and democracy.
Specific research perspectives include:

  1. investigation of the problems of individual and group identity awareness or sense of belonging in multicultural societies
  2. problems of kyosei among different ethnic groups
  3. problems of kyosei among different religions
  4. problems of interaction among the constituent members of multilingual nations and regions
  5. the kyosei of humans with nature and the environment

The problems above straddle diverse fields, including history, geography, and culture, and though an investigation and exploration from multiple perspectives by researchers in Japan and overseas, we will work together to examine a vision of the future world.