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The Science of Symbiosis and Linguistic Democracy in Early Twentieth-century Japan

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  • Sho Konishi

    () (St. Antony's College, University of Oxford)

Abstract

Focusing on the early twentieth-century Japanese Esperantist and popular celebrity writer Miyazawa Kenji as an embodiment of a larger intellectual phenomenon of early twentieth century Japan, the essay delineates the scientific world view behind the Esperanto movement and corresponding internal logic that developed in the language movement's foundational years. It argues that Esperantism in Japan in its early years was not an isolated linguistic movement among a small number of leftist intellectuals, but part of a much larger intellectual, cultural, and social movement that reflected the particular scientific worldview of what I call 'anarchist science'. This worldview defied the conceptual bifurcations of 'modern vs. tradition' and 'nature vs. culture' in modern history. A history of its vision offers a fresh perspective on modern history, future visions of the past, and the historical meanings of Esperantism.

Suggested Citation

  • Sho Konishi, 2015. "The Science of Symbiosis and Linguistic Democracy in Early Twentieth-century Japan," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 13(2), pages 299-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:13:y:2015:i:2:p:299-317
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    Keywords

    natural science; Miyazawa Kenji; symbiosis; Esperanto; linguistic democracy; childhood; anarchism;

    JEL classification:

    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O35 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Social Innovation

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