« An old man and me and life | Go to Blog Top | Ashley X, comments and criticisms »

The fate of a Japanese painter


The other day, I went to The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama, Kanagawa, and saw a series of paintings drawn by modern Japanese oil painters. Japanese painters started learning European oil painting techniques more than 100 years ago. They tried hard to study the techniques of painters who were on the cutting edge of the European art scene at that time.

One of the most curious painters featured at the exhibition was Tetsugoro Yorozu, whose works includes the famous Nude Beauty and Nude Woman with a Parasol. This was my first time to see Yorozu's original paintings. An interesting thing is that his painting style drastically changes year by year, for example, one year it was like Matisse, but after several years it became something like Picasso or Braque (see this painting). This clearly shows that while he tried to import trendy painting styles one after another, he himself did not succeed to establish his own painting style. I love his Nude Woman with a Parasol and his other lovely works, but I am not sure whether these are based on his truly original ideas. Yorozu died in 1927 at the age of 42.

A similar thing could be said about Japanese philosophy and ethics. While Japanese philosophers have tried (and even now trying) to import trendy European philosophies, most of them have failed to create their own original philosophy. Recently, they began importing American bioethics and publishing bioethics papers in Japanese. But aren't they repeating the same thing as did Yorozu a hundred years ago?

I want to refuse to be an importer of philosophy or bioethics. I want to create my own philosophy of life or life studies here and now, and want to communicate with people around the world who are interested in my works. This is the basic motive I run this website and blog in the English language.

Photo: Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto

  -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

About this Blog

This is the official blog of