Conference Paper 特別講演 知の形態としての日本古典文学

クリステワ, ツベタナ

Today we use less and we use more of our mental capacity than we did in the past; and it is not exactly the same kind of mental capacity as it was either. For example, we use considerably less of our sensory perceptions.[ …] You cannot develop all the mental capacities belonging to mankind all at once. You can only use a small sector, and this sector is not the same according to the culture. That is all.Claude Levi-Strauss, Myth and Meaning(University of Toronto Press, 1978, 18‒19)Each culture possesses its own unique epistemological methodology, its particular ways of knowing. The shape knowledge takes is different depending on both cultural and historical factors. This conclusion, first articulated by the cultural anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss( 1908 ‒2009) as a means of challenging deeply entrenched Eurocentric interpretation of the world, is generally accepted today. However, in the wake of modern-day academism, knowledge has become compartmentalized into various scholastic fields, such that these separate fields, tightly circumscribed as they are, rarely permit investigations of an interdisciplinary sort. Consequently, classical Japanese literature is usually considered in the light of the role literature plays in modern society, i.e. its role in ancient and medieval Japanese society is expressed in terms of modernday intellectual trends.It goes without saying that each and every culture develops some form or other of metaphysical speculation. However, pre-modern Japan did not see the rise of such prolific philosophers as, say, Socrates, Plato, Confucius, or Laozi. Instead of philosophers, Japanese culture has left us with immortalized poets whose treatises on the art of poetics comprise the oldest form of theoretical discourse in the archipelago. What is the significance of this?In this presentation I will attempt to analyze the process whereby classical Chinese philosophical thought was adapted into a new form of poetic thought within Japan. I shall focus my attention on the Heian period ― that age wherein a unique Japanese culture was first developed ― and show through specific examples how classical Japanese poetry waka functioned as a media for the reception and deconstruction of classical Chinese philosophy. Having ascertained the role of waka poetry per se and the Heian lyrical prose based on it as a unique form of the development of intellectual thought in Japan, I shall compare some of its basic ideas with the philosophical essence of the revolutionary developments in modern natural sciences.

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