Aizawa Seishisai ( 会沢 正志斎 ?, July 5, 1781 – August 27, 1863), born Aizawa Yasushi ( 会沢 安 ?), was a Japanese nationalist thinker of the Mito school during the late shogunate period.In 1799 he became involved in the compilation of the Dai Nihon-shi (Great History of Japan) being undertaken by the Mito school.In 1825 he wrote his Shinron ("New Theses"), a collection of essays that mainly dealt with the concept of kokutai ("national polity"), a term which Aizawa popularised. The Shinron warned of the threat of foreign ships and later became an important work for the sonnō jōi movement.In 1840 Aizawa became the first head of professors of the Mito school's Kōdōkan but was forced to resign in 1844 when Tokugawa Nariaki resigned as domain leader. He later returned to the Kōdōkan.
Hiroki Azuma (東 浩紀 Azuma Hiroki) (born May 9, 1971) is a Japanese cultural critic. is one of the most influential young literary critics in Japan, focusing on literature and on the idea of individual liberty in an age of ubiquitous information.He began writing inspired by the work of Koji Karatani and Akira Asada. He is an associate of Takashi Murakami and the Superflat movement. His publishing debut was "Solzhenitsyn Essay" in 1993. Azuma handed the work directly to Karatani during his lecture series at Hosei University which Azuma was auditing.Masao Abe (阿部 正雄 Abe Masao,1915 – September 10, 2006) was a Japanese Buddhistand professor in religious studies, who became well known for his work in Buddhist-Christianinterfaith dialogue. was a Japanese academic in comparative religion (concluding as emeritus professor at Nara University), and a Buddhist philosopher. His mature views were developed within the Kyoto School of philosophy founded by Kitaro Nishida. Hence his interest in, and ability to compare and contrast, Buddhism and Christianity. "Since the death of D. T. Suzuki in 1966, Masao Abe has served as the main representative of Zen Buddhism in Europe and North America."TrainingAbe's father was a medical doctor, his mother a practitioner of Pure Land Shin Buddhism, from whom his early faith in Amida Buddha. Born in Osaka, Abe was the third of six children. His higher education began at Osaka Municipal University, where he studied Economics and Law. For four years during the late 1930s he worked in a business office at a private trading company in neighboring Kobe. Yet Abe was seriously troubled by an ongoing personal crisis, which stemmed from the perceived conflict: rationality versus faith in the Amida of Pure Land Buddhism. This conflict he thought he could conclusively resolve in favor of faith through the study of philosophy, by which he could overcome objections posed by reason
Hajime Nakamura (中村 元 Nakamura Hajime?, November 28, 1912 - October 10, 1999) was a Japanese academic of Vedic, Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. Nakamura was an expert on Sanskrit and Pali, and among his many writings are commentaries on Buddhist scriptures. He is most known in Japan as the first to translate the entire Pali Tripitaka into Japanese. This work is still considered as the definitive translation to date against which later translations are measured. The footnotes in his Pali translation often refer to other previous translations in German, English, French as well as the ancient Chinese translations of Sanskrit scriptures. Because of his meticulous approach to translation he had a dominating and lasting influence in the study of Indic Philosophy in Japan at a time when it was establishing itself throughout the major Japanese universities. He also indirectly influenced the secular scholastic study of Buddhism throughout Eastern and Southern Asia especially Taiwan and Korea. Japan, Korea, Taiwan and recently China is the only area in which all major scriptural languages of Buddhism (Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit and Pali) are taught and studied by academics of Indic Philosophy.
Saneatsu Mushanokōji ( 武者小路 実篤 ( 實篤 ) Mushanokōji Saneatsu, 12 May 1885– 9 April 1976) was the pen name of a Japanese novelist, playwright, poet, artist, and philosopher active during the late Taishō and Shōwa periods of Japan. He was also sometimes known asMushakōji Saneatsu, Musha, and Futo-o.Born in Tokyo as the eighth son of Viscount Mushanokōji Sanezane, who died when the child was 2. Raised mostly by his mother. Saneatsu was a frail and sickly youth, unable to compete in the physical activities at the Peers’ School. To compensate, he developed his debating skills and developed an interest in literature. During his time at this school he became friends withShiga Naoya, and was introduced by his uncle to the Bible and the works of Tolstoy. He enrolled in the philosophy department of Tokyo Imperial University, but left without graduating in 1907 to form a literary group with Kinoshita Rigen, Shiga Naoya, Arishima Takeo, and Ogimachi Kinzaku. They named the group Jūkokakai (The Fortnight Club). This group evolved into theShirakaba (White Birch) literary coterie, and began publishing its Shirakaba literary magazine in 1910.
Hagiwara Hiromichi was born on 2.19.1815 in the province of Bizen (what is now the city of Okayama), Japan. He died on 12.3.1863 in Osaka, Japan. (Both dates are according to the lunar calendar used in premodern Japan.) Hiromichi’s father, Fujiwara Eizaburõ, was a retainer in service to the Okayama feudal lord (daimyo). Hiromichi’s name at birth was Fujiwara Keizō 藤原鹿蔵 . He adopted the name Hagiwara Hiromichi after relinquishing his status as a samurai and moving to the city of Osaka to pursue a career as a poet and scholar of literature in 1845. He also published works under the literary name (gō)of Nirazono (garlic garden).Hiromichi’s social status was nominally that of a samurai, but his childhood did not afford the comforts or stability associated with noble birth. Hiromichi’s father, who received only a meager stipend as a retainer, was plagued by ill health. According to his autobiography, Hiromichi was raised largely in the care of his mother and her family and earned the reputation of being a child prodigy by memorizing the entire Ogura Hyakunin isshu (Collection of 100 poems by 100 poets) at the age of 2. Following the death of his mother in 1821 he returned to live with his father who had taken to supporting himself as a teacher of Confucian classics.Hiromichi’s childhood fascination with the Hyakunin isshu developed into a lifelong interest in poetry and poetic criticism. At the age of thirteen he was introduced to Hiraga Motoyoshi (1800-1865) an established poet and avid student of nativist studies. Hiromichi submitted 450 of his own waka poems to Motoyoshi, asking for corrections and advice. This led to an ongoing exchange concerning both poetry and ideology between the two. Hiromichi’s extant poems are not similar to the classical Man'yōshū style poems associated with Motoyoshi, but like Motoyoshi, he expressed deep admiration for the work of the leading nativist scholars of his age such as Ka Mabuchi and Motoori