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The 33rd Stone
: A Philosophy for a Wounded Age (2009)

Masahiro Morioka

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.

On April 16, 2007, a college student shot 32 people dead and killed himself at Virginia Tech University. The following week, 33 stones were placed around the campus to commemorate the 33 dead victims, including the murderer. The 33rd stone was placed by a college student, and although someone then took it away it was soon replaced. What does this phenomenon - the appearance and disappearance of the 33rd stone - mean for us? This is the central question underlying what is addressed in this book.

This text marked a new stage in the development of life studies. It is perhaps the best collection of Morioka's short essays published to date.

Part 1

What is Remission?


The 33rd Stone

A Pill that Erases Fear

Happiness and the Brain

"Humane" War

The Life of Children

Human and Nature

A Robot that Opens Pandora's Box

Discrimination and Prejudice

English Language Imperialism


Part 2

Surveillance Cameras

"Kimigayo" and Standing for the National Anthem

Masculinity and Femininity

Fashion and Makeup


Is Immortality Happy?


The Essence of the Metropolis

I, as an Alien

Assailant and Victim

What is Philosophy?

Afterword - The 33rd Stone, Again

Publication Information

Shunjusha, Tokyo, February 20 ,2009, 196 pages, 1500 yen, written in Japanese.

Japanese website for this book