The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

SUSANNA FESSLER
The Debate on the Uselessness of Western Studies
 

In 1902, Mori Ōgai and Anesaki Chōfū briefly engaged in a public debate on the importance of study abroad and Western learning in general. Chōfū was cautionary about Japan following foolishly in the steps of Germany; Ōgai countered with the argument that the West (and Germany in particular) offered intellectual riches as long as the Japanese student chose his subjects carefully. Neither man “won” the debate, but their arguments reveal how German philosophy influenced modern Japan and how variably that philosophy was interpreted.

Volume 37, Number 1 (Winter 2011)
© 2011 Society for Japanese Studies


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