Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why aren't there any great Japanese thinkers?

I was talking with my host parents last night, and I don't really remember why, but we started talking about famous people. Then it occured to me that there aren't great thinkers in the history of this country.
Task for my readers: go back 200 years in Japanese history, and try to find a great thinker.
They haven't really had a civil war in over 1000 years, and even during the Seinan Sensou (Satsuma Rebellion) all that emerger were fighters. No really thinkers.

I think I will email Mr. Curry and see what he thinks.



At 12:32 PM, Blogger yr ma said...

Dear Peter,

I am sure that you are overlooking many great thinkers in Japanese history. The first novel ever written was by Murasaki, a Japanese woman. And I loved The Remains of the Day by modern day writer Ishiguro- a very thoughtful, innovative style of writing. Think of Toyota, and how they blew past the American auto industry designers because they took time to think about the problem. Or Japanese clothing designers, or Hiroshige, or the fabulous ceramics that no one else produced. Keep your eyes and ears open.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Dashiell said...

If I recall there were sever particularly remarkable Japanese Westernists (if such a word exists) during the late Edo period. There's also the early Meiji educators like Fukuzawa Yukichi. Hiroshige and Hokusai are considered cannon artists, and Miyamoto Musashi was awesome (also a painter and writer, besides a ronin). -D

At 2:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The political scientist Fuyukama, or for the author Kawabata, or Kurosawa.

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 Japanese have won the Nobel Prize, in all fields: chem, physics, peace, medicine and literature. Not too shabby. And as they are not Europeans, where the prizes are awarded, that's extra good.

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the political scientist is Francis Fukuyama, but he's American born and educated.

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