Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013
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.