The Pacific War and the Kyoto School
La salle 5.28
I.N.A.L.C.O. - Pôle des Langues et Civilisations 65, rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris Métro 14 et RER C : Bibliothèque François Mitterrand Sortie : rue des Grands Moulins.
Seventy years have passed since the Pacific War as a part of the Second World War came to an end on August 15th 1945. Since this end of the war, the philosophers of the Kyoto-School were accused of their collaboration with the military regime in reference to some of their publications and opinions that they had expressed during the war. Since then, for more than half a century, the attack against the Kyoto-School is still continued part by the so-called “liberals,” that is in fact, left-orientated intellectuals. It is generally forgotten that during the war these philosophers were also attacked severely by the “ultra-right” nationalists because of their attitudes against the colonial- and invasion war as well as against nationalism.
In November 2000, a voluminous document was discovered in the house of Ōshima Yasumasa 大島康正 (1917–89) who was once an assistant at the Philosophical Seminar of the Faculty of Letters in Kyoto Imperial University. It was a memorandum of Ōshima who was asked to organize secret meetings of the philosophers and scholars of the Faculty regularly, which was approved by Nishida Kitarō and supported by the secret agency of the Japanese Navy. The agency had regarded the war against the US as being reckless and was against declaring the war, and after the war had begun, they tried to end it as soon as possible. The Navy assigned an analysit to survey the world situation in collaboration with the Kyoto-School philosophers. The secret meetings were continuously held till short before the end of the WWII, and the philosophers saw the defeat of their nation as an unavoidable consequence. They, therefore, discussed how Japan’s postwar rehabilitation could be planed.
The document testifies what and how the Pacific War was for the philosophers of the Kyoto-School. Ohashi Ryosuke, the author and the editor of the book “The Kyoto-School and the Japanese Navy – On the New Material ‘Ōshima-Memorandums’” (2001) will give a talk on the historical context and the philosophical implications of the very document.
Voir le PDF.