A commemorative lecture was held to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi

On June 7, 2021, the Ikeda Research Institute for Soka Education (IRISE) organized a lecture to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi.

Theme: Approaches to Kant’s philosophy
Speaker: Mr. Shigeru Fukutani (Professor of Soka University, Graduate School of Letters; Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University)

To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (June 6), the progenitor of value-creating (Soka) pedagogy, Professor Shigeru Fukutani delivered a lecture on Kant, a German philosopher to whom Mr. Makiguchi was also committed to.

Professor Fukutani is known as a leading scholar of Kant, a member of the editorial board of the Kant Encyclopedia (Kobundo), and the former president of the Japan Kant Society.
In his lecture, based on Professor Fukutani’s research on Kant, he referred to the historical fact that Mr. Makiguchi continued his research on the German philosopher Kant even in prison, and discussed Kant’s idea of turning the geographical disadvantage of being born in a remote part of Europe into a scholarly advantage. A lively Q&A session was held with many questions from the participants.

Feedback from the participants
〇I felt that there is a reason why Kant's philosophy is read by intellectuals in adversity, and as I approached Kant's philosophy from the factors and origins of its composition, I felt that there was a reason why I was attracted to his attitude of questioning, researching and opening up what had been completed. (1st year undergraduate student)

〇I have only learnt about Kant from ethics textbooks. The lecture was very interesting and educational as I had never studied about him from the perspective of the strengths brought about by his birth in frontier region of Königsberg, his critique of traditional philosophical approaches and his relationship with the 17th century Western philosophers. Thank you very much. (2nd year undergraduate student)

〇I knew about Kant’s philosophy because I had taken the exam on World History, but I did not know the content of Kant’s philosophy. With that, the idea of criticizing reason seemed to be at the cutting edge, and I became interested in it. I may not be able to become a researcher like Professor Fukutani, but as I aim to become a global citizen, I want to learn more to be able to talk about this with others. (1st year undergraduate student)

〇I am really happy to be able to hear about Kant’s philosophy from Professor Fukutani, a leading Kantian scholar, while attending the Soka Education class. I myself am studying metaphysics, and I would like to take Kant’s criticism of the metaphysical way of thinking and use it as a source for future research. (1st year master’s student)