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The Structure of Detachment: The Aesthetic Vision of Kuki Shuzo

The Structure of Detachment: The Aesthetic Vision of Kuki Shuzo Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Published in 1930, when Japan was struggling to define and assert its national and cultural identity, The Structure of Iki (Iki no kozo) re-introduced the Japanese to a sophisticated tradition of urbane and spirited stylishness (iki) that was forged in the Edo period. Upon his return from Europe, Kuki Shuzo (1888-1941) made use of the new theoretical frameworks based on Western Continental methodology to redefine iki's significance in Japanese society and culture. By applying Heidegger's hermeneutics to this cultural phenomenon, he attempted to recast traditional understanding in the context of Western aesthetic theory and reestablish the centrality of a purely Japanese sense of "taste." The three critical essays that accompany this new translation of The Structure of Iki look at various aspects of Kuki, his work, and the historical context that influenced his thinking. Hiroshi Nara first traces Kuki's interest in a philosophy of life through his exposure to Husserl, Heidegger, and Bergson. In the second essay, J. Thomas Rimer compels readers to reexamine The Structure of Iki as a work in the celebrated tradition of zuihitsu (stream-of-consciousness writings) and takes into account French literary influences on Kuki. The philosopher's controversial link with Heidegger is explored by Jon Mark Mikkelsen in the final essay.

Book News Annotation:

Soon Kuki (1888-1941) returned to Japan after studying philosophy in Europe for several years, he wrote Iki no kozo to explore the native tradition of urban dandyism in terms of the aesthetics he had learned on the continent. Nara (Japanese language and linguistics, U. of Pittsburgh) translates the work and comments on it along with fellow western scholars.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

University of Hawaii Press
Nara, Hiroshi
Eastern - General
Kuki, Shuzo
Philosophy : General
Publication Date:
9.28x5.96x.72 in. 1.02 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » Japan » Ancient and Tokugawa to 1868
Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General

The Structure of Detachment: The Aesthetic Vision of Kuki Shuzo
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Product details 256 pages University of Hawaii Press - English 9780824827359 Reviews:
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