Takeshi Umehara

Philosopher, Author

1925 –

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Who is Takeshi Umehara?

Takeshi Umehara was born in Miyagi Prefecture in Tōhoku and graduated from the philosophical faculty of Kyoto University in 1948. He taught philosophy at Ritsumeikan University and was subsequently appointed president of the Kyoto City University of Arts. Noted for his prolific essays on Japanese culture, in which he endeavoured to refound the discipline of Japanese studies along more Japanocentric lines, notably in his programmatic book, in collaboration with Shunpei Ueyama, Nihongaku kotohajime 1972. Aside from his voluminous academic essays on numerous aspects of Japanese culture he has also composed theatrical works on figures as varied as Yamato Takeru and Gilgamesh.

He was appointed in 1987 to head the controversial International Research Center for Japanese Studies, otherwise known by the abbreviation of Nichibunken, established by Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone to function as both a centralized academic intelligence body collecting and classifying all available information about Japanese culture, both within Japan and abroad, and as a center for the creative theorization of the alleged Japanese "uniqueness". He retired as head administrator of Nichibunken in 1995.

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Mar 20, 1925
  • Buddhism
  • Japan
  • Kyoto University

on July 23, 2013


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