Lifestudies.org

Philosophical study of life, death, and nature

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Books (some chapters are available in English)

 

Introductory books

The 33rd Stone: A Philosophy for a wounded age (2009)

A collection of essays on suicide, restorative justice, religion, nationalism, sexuality, and other topics. Together these works address pain and hope in our wounded society. The title comes from the chapter on the incident which occurred at Virginia Tech in 2007. This collection serves as a good introduction to Morioka's thought.


Reconsidering the View of Life: From Ecology to Brain Death (1994)

An introductory book on life studies, particularly environmental philosophy and brain death. (This page is under construction)


An Intellectual Method of Facing Oneself (1997, 2001, 2006 )

A collection of essays published in newspapers, magazines, and journals. Topics discussed include freedom, sexuality, death, aging, education, love affairs, history, etc. (This page is under construction)


Life Studies for Beginners: A Philosophy for Facing Oneself (2005)

This book contains introductory lectures on spiritual care for terminally ill patients, the relationship between parents and children, conditional love, a painless civilization, feminism, eugenic thought, disability, and other topics.


Brain Dead Person: Human-relationship-oriented Analysis of Brain-death (1989, 2000)
Translation is available

A very influential text in Japanese bioethics. This is a book that helped shift the Japanese discussion on brain death from "brain-centered analysis" to "human relationship oriented analysis." Brain death is redefined in terms of the human relationships between a comatose patient and the people surrounding him/her.


 

Best-known works

Painless Civilization: A Philosophical Critique of Desire (2003)
Translation is in progress

Morioka's most controversial book to date. The endless tendency to eliminate pain and suffering makes us totally lose sight of the meaning of life that is indispensable to human beings. How are we to battle against this painless civilization?


How to Live in a Post-religious Age (1996)

This is a book that proposed a third way between religion and science. It was written in response to the Aum Shinrikyo cult's 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway systems, an attack made in the name of their pursuit of "truth" and "awakening."


Confessions of a Frigid Man: Miniskirts, Lolicon, and Male Sexuality(2005)
Translation is finished

A fascinating book on male sexuality, especially men's sexual frigidity, their rejection of their own bodies, and their attraction to young girls in their early teens and school uniforms. This book has provoked a variety of emotional reactions from readers, scholars, and the mass media. One of the most important books in Japanese men's studies.


Consciousness Communication: The Birth of a Dream Navigator (1993, 2002)

A pioneering work, published in 1993 before the advent of the commercial Internet and portable phones, that anticipated today's chaotic cyber-society, employing such terms as "community of anonymity," "consciousness interaction field," "consciousness communication," and "dream navigator." (Winner of the Telecom Social Science Award)


 

Academic books

Life Studies Approaches to Bioethics: A New Perspective on Brain Death, Feminism, and Disability (2001)

This book describes a new way of thinking about bioethical issues: a life studies approach. Original concepts such as "the fundamental sense of security","the reality of a deeply shaken self", "men's bioethics," and "the advent of an absent being" are introduced and discussed.


An Invitation to the Study of Life: Beyond Bioethics (1988

Morioka's first book. I argued that environmental issues and medical issues are closely connected with each other and hence should be discussed simultaneously. (This page is under construction)


A Study of Interdependence (1994)

The report of an interdisciplinary joint research study on the coming "aging society." A book Morioka co-authored with other study participants. (This page is under construction)


Life Torn Apart (1995-1998, 2001)

An analysis of "the nature of connectedness (with all living things)", "the nature of self-interest", and "the nature of mutual support", which are deeply engraved onto human life. (This page is under construction)


 

Light essays, dialogues, book reviews, etc.

Lessons in Love for Herbivore Men (2008)

A how-to book on love for gentle, inexperienced young men. The term "herbivore men" became a buzzword in the Japanese mass media and was reported worldwide. This book also serves as a practical introduction to gender studies for young people.


Herbivore Men will Bring Your Last Love (2009)

A how-to guide for women who want to go out with herbivore men. Chapter 2, which features four dialogues between the author and actual herbivore men, is particularly noteworthy. A sociological analysis of this phenomenon is also included.


Brain and Life: A dialogue (1995, 2003)

A dialogue with anatomist Takeshi Yoro. Professor Yoro is a well known scholar whose book, The Wall of Fools, has sold more than 3 million copies. (This page is under construction. Publisher's page)


How Does Contemporary Civilization Transform Human Life? (1999)

A collection of dialogues with five distinguished scholars and teachers. Original dialogues were aired on NHK Educational TV. (This page is under construction)


Can Men Save the World? (1995)

A dialogue with Shoichi Inoue, historian. We talked about feminism, men's studies, and sexuality. (This page is under construction)


Cyber Social Welfare (1994)

A collection of dialogues with five young scholars. The topic was cyber-space technology and social welfare. (This page is under construction)


Book Reviews as a Pleasurable Experience (2002)

A collection of book reviews published in newspapers and magazines from 1986 to 2001. (This page is under construction)


 

List of Books on the Japanese Website
You can read more detailed information about Morioka's books in Japanese.