[Report]9th EAA Philosophy and Folklore Studies Workshop

The 9th EAA Philosophy and Folklore Studies Workshop was held on 29 July 2022. Prof. Gereon Kopf (Luther College) presented his recent paper titled “Envisioning Multi-Cultural and Multi-Disciplinary Engagement: Lessons from the Twelve Wolf Encounter Pictures.”

As Prof. Kopf explained, we are all facing the refusal and reluctance to coexist, but there is no clue on how to accept the other. Borrowing insights from the “Ten Ox Herding Pictures,” Prof. Kopf proposed that we can understand an innovative way of interacting with the other with his own “Twelve Wolf Encounter Pictures.” The pictures can be summarized as follows: One day, a monkey, who is the king of trees, leaves the trees and meets a wolf, who is the king of land. The ferocious wolf chases the monkey, and the monkey escapes into the trees. Later, a wolf cub plays near a river that suddenly becomes a torrent. The monkey comes to rescue the wolf cub. Finally, the monkey and the wolf form a symbiosis, and they begin to travel together. They do not only break their own identities, but also the relationship develops into the coexistence of all beings.

Dr. Hishikawa Akiko (Aichi University), an expert on the folklore studies of wolves, suggested there is an important nature about wolves, namely, giving back to those who saved them. Wolves, in the sense, should not be regarded as ferocious animals; rather, they are animals who respect the other.

Thanks to the excellent talk and comment, we have a better understanding of philosophy from a folkloric perspective. This is the purpose of the EAA Philosophy and Folklore Studies Workshop Series: To go beyond the border of academic disciplines, and to develop new knowledge.


Report by Cheung Ching-yuen (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Photo by Sakihama Sana(EAA Project Assistant Professor)