A Book Worm

日本の思想 - 丸山眞男
岩波書店 岩波新書







  • No.012
  • “Nihon No Shisou” Masao Maruyama
    Iwanami Shoten, Iwanami Shinsho
  • TUESDAY, 17th SEPTEMBER, 2013 by Yoshiyuki Morioka

Masao Maryuama is known as a scholar who was the most intellectual person postwar working as a professor in the law school at Tokyo University. His book, “Nihon No Shisou”is often assigned as the summer reading assignment, so it could be said to be his most widely read work. I also read it when I was a student to write a report on it.
I can’t compare and analyze this with his other works because I’ve only read this book of his and I can’t speak of reading about Japanese intellectual history. However, I sometimes recall the existence of the character Masao Maruyama.

On the Chuo line to Takao after leaving Nishi-Ogikubo station, the Tokyo Women’s University tower can be seen on the right side. The form, designed by Antonin Raymond and completed in 1938, is beautiful even now. Just viewing it from the train car calms me. Ever since a graduate told me that it’s the organ of the whole building, I’ve been able to imagine even its resounding timber.
Another thing a used bookstore shop owner like me imagines when he sees its tower is Masao Maruyama. The University inherited and stored the library that supported the postwar intellectual. The profession of used bookstore owner is one of sensitivity to the whereabouts of libraries.
This past July 22nd when I passed through Nishi-Ogikubo, I recalled Masao Maruyama. “Nihon No Shisou”also came to mind. Precisely, his recorded lecture “what we are and what we do”in the book. The general meaning of “what we are and what we do”is that ‘in democracy, rights aren’t what we’re given but what we do’.

The Nuclear Plant and the constitution. We will soon be confronted by problems that we will have to solve. On the other hand, the voting rate for the coming election of the House of Councillors has been low until now. Now, more than fifty years since its publication, the book hasn’t stopped serving its purpose, or rather, we are increasingly needing it.