Denken innerhalb der Zeitschrift Risō während der dreißiger Jahre ‒ Ein Kommentar zu Entwicklungen und Tendenzen der Philosophie Japans
Philosophy is often associated with two antithetic prejudices. One is the opinion that it describes the eternal structures of the world and is therefore not connected with reality. The other is the belief that philosophy is a dangerous tool that manipulates people subversively. In the latter case, it is too connected with reality. There is undoubtedly some truth in these concepts. If we look at Japan’s entry into the Second World War, the question of the role of philosophy within this development becomes immediately apparent. This paper tries to answer this question by focusing on articles published in the journal Risō based on the assumption that this is one of the best methods for obtaining an overview of the tendencies prevalent during the 1930s, as the journal is necessarily strongly bound to the time in which it was published.The paper is divided into three main parts. The first will provide an interpretation of the term “dark valley”, the second – after summarizing the developments within philosophical writings during the 1930s in general and Risō in particular – discusses four authors who published articles in this journal: Honda Kenzō, Ōshima Masanori, Miyamoto Shōson and Takashina Junji. The third part connects the first two and argues that the 1930s can give us an idea of how philosophy in a Japan approaching the Second World War increasingly developed into a way of reasoning within the frame of Japanese thinking. On the one hand, a shift to defend the Japanese culture can be observed. On the other, it will become clear that Japanese philosophy – as revealed in Risō – was much more autonomous than one would expect.