Sunday, June 20, 2010

Question from reader re: Watsuji Tetsurō entry

This just in from C. Johnson, Ph.D. student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa:
Dear Beholdmyswarthyface,

I would like to contribute your encyclopedia entry for Watsuji Tetsurō. As it stands now, the entry is missing the English publication of part of his Ethics in 1996, which is a pretty big oversight. So you could just fix that part. On the other hand, how detailed of an entry are you looking to have? I could write a couple thousand word article on his life, major works, and philosophical evolution relatively easily, but would that be out of keeping with the scale of the encyclopedia entries? Let me know how I can best contribute.

-- C. Johnson
Ph.D, student, Philosophy Department
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
And Sally Suzuki's response:
Carl Johnson,

Thank you for the mail and for your interest in our BMSF Encyclopedia of Modern Japan project.

Since in this case a fairly decent entry already exists (courtesy of Encyclopædia Britannica), I don't think there's any need to rewrite the whole thing, especially with so many other entries that remain to be written. If you'd like to add a sentence or two about his Ethics, I could perhaps weave that somewhere into the existing entry. As the entry is already quite long, I don't think we should add much more.

What we do need, however, are people to help with the yet unwritten/unedited/unpolished entries. It would be great if you or your colleagues could help out with some of these.
 

Regards,
Sally Suzuki, BMSF Media Director

1 comment:

C. Johnson said...

In that case, change the sentence “Only one of Watsuji’s works is
available in English translation: A Climate: A Philosophical Study,
translated by Geoffrey Bownas (1961, reprinted as Climate and Culture,
1988).” to “A few of Watsuji’s works are available in English
translation: A Climate: A Philosophical Study, translated by Geoffrey
Bownas (1961, reprinted as Climate and Culture, 1988) and Watsuji
Tetsurō’s Rinrigaku: Ethics in Japan, translated by Yamamoto Seisaku
and Robert Carter (1996). In addition, some short writings appear in
the Sourcebook for Modern Japanese Philosophy (1998).”

I don’t have enough expertise to contribute too much to your other
entries, but for your Tosaka Jun you have "Prewar Marxist philosopher;
resisted, died (?).” He was imprisoned during the Pacific War for his
prior Marxist activities and died in prison, I believe of
malnutrition, if I recall correctly. He’s in the Sourcebook for Modern
Japanese Philosophy if you want to find out more.