Journal of Japanese Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013

Shaoyang Lin
Pages 111-135

Japanese Postmodern Philosophy’s Turn to Historicity

In this paper, I will outline and categorize the history of postmodern­ism in the Japanese context. I will also critically analyze its changes from the perspective of postwar Japanese intellectual history as well as the postwar history of Japanese political philosophy. I will position this new intellectual and philosophical tendency, which has been around for nearly forty years since the late 1970s, in a global context, and I will especially position it within an East Asian perspective, which from my point of view, has been neglected. It also means that I will not only see Japanese postmodernism as the outcome of imported theory, rather, I will attempt to see it in its own historical context. And by outlining the shift of Japanese postmodernism over these forty years, I will also attempt to see the differences and continuities between Japanese modernism and postmodernism, thus attempting to over­come the opposing dichotomy of “modernism versus postmodernism” in the postwar Japanese intellectual context. As my conclusion, I regard the shifts in the history of postmodern philosophy over the past forty years, as a process of its turn to achieve historicity, and I also see it as a kind of localization of new Western thoughts in a modern Japanese context.