Dr. Hōseki Shinichi Hisamatsu

Dr. Hōseki Shinichi Hisamatsu

Dr. Hōseki Shinichi Hisamatsu (1889 - 1980) was a Zen Buddhist scholar, philosopher, and Japanese tea ceremony master. He was also a professor at Kyoto University and honorary professor at Harvard University.

He was born in a Buddhist family in Gifu Prefecture. He attended Kyoto Imperial University, in present-day Kyoto University, and studied philosophy under Dr. Kitarō Nishida, who was one the foremost philosopher in Japan and the author of a book, "Zen Inquiry into the Good". With Dr. Nishida's recommendation, Shinichi Hisamatsu joined the Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery at Myōshinji Temple in Kyoto in 1915 and studied Zen Buddhism under Zen Master Shōsan Ikegami. After his monastic life at Myōshinji Temple, he established his original philosophical view, which consists of both Eastern and Western philosophies. Shortly after that, Shinichi Hisamatsu received the doctorate degree from Kyoto University.

Between 1943 and 1949, he had taught philosophy and religious study at Kyoto University. While he was in Kyoto, Dr. Hisamatsu frequently discussed Zen Buddhism and philosophy with D.T. Suzuki at Shunkōin Temple, in where Dr. Hisamatsu lived.

He traveled to Europe and the United States in 1957 and 1958. During his trip, Dr. Hisamatsu met and held talks with other prominent philosophers and psychologists of the 20th centuries, Martin Buber, Rudolf Karl Bultmann, Martin Heidegger, Carl Gustav Jung, Gabriel Marcel, and Paul Johannes Tillich.

Dr. Hisamatsu's Room and Garden

Dr. Hōseki Shinichi Hisamatsu was also a founder of the FAS Society. The FAS Society's origin, Gakudo Dojo, was established by students of Kyoto University under the guidance of Dr. Hisamatsu. In 1960, Gakudo Dojo was renamed the FAS Society for their international activities.The acronym "FAS" refers to the three inseparable dimensions of our existence: self, world and history. "F" is for "formless self, "A" is for taking the standpoint of "all humankind, and "S" is for creating "suprahistorical history. The purpose of this society is to spread the standpoint of the fundamental of self-awakening of all mankind.

Dr. Hōseki S. Hisamatsu's Books
  1. Critical Sermons of the Zen Tradition: Hisamatsu's Talks on Linji

  2. Die Fülle des Nichts. Vom Wesen des Zen. Eine systematische Erläuterung



Philosophers and Psychologists in the 20th Century

  • Paul Johannes Tillich, American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher

  • Martin Buber, Jewish philosopher

  • Rudolf Karl Bultmann, German existentialist theologian

  • Martine Heidegger, German philosopher

  • Gabriel Marcel, French philosopher, dramatist, and critic

  • Carl Gustave Jung, Swiss psychiatrist & analytical psychologist. Oedipus complex and extraversion and introversion

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