The 1st Meeting of Japanese Philosophy Network (JPN) was held on 31 October 2023. Dr. Kuwayama Yukiko (UTCP) gave a presentation on On Ueda Shizuteru’s concept of “limitless open” (限りない開け), its genesis and perspectives. According to Ueda, we know what is happening in daily experience, and this experience gives rise to a “limited world.” When we are in true experience, it will give rise to a broader and deeper world. In the most fundamental experience, we will be experiencing the world in maximum sense. In other words, when we experience the world, usually it is the case that the world is experienced by someone in a concrete surrounding, i.e. fudo. It has a milieu of sounds, lights, color, humidities. There is an overemphasis on the “I” experiencing “the world.” However, when this overemphasis is removed, the “opened” world will become infinite or unlimited. This fundamental experience, similar to Nishida Kitaro’s pure experience, can be found for example in Matsuo Basho’s haiku: Old pond, frogs jumping in, sound of water (古池や蛙飛びこむ水の音). Dr. Kuwayama suggests there is a new possibility of understanding this opening (hirake) rather than Zen Buddhism. For example, air in a room has special qualities, and air in another room has some different qualities, but the air of two rooms are interconnected. One may, using her or his imagination, breathe the air in Hawaii in Tokyo. This opening can be an important concept not only for modern Japanese philosophy, but also pedagogical theories and environmental studies.
Reported by Ching-yuen Cheung (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Photographed by Hanako Takayama (EAA Project Assistant Professor)