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    The Construct of "Iki"

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    Licensing Information

    All Rights Available
    Printed in January 2022

    Selling Points
    ・The book that analyzes Japanese culture for Japan enthusiasts.
    ・Invites readers to think about an aesthetic idea that even Japanese people have trouble articulating.

    When asked, “what is “iki?” 90% of Japanese people will intuitively understand the concept, but most will be at a loss to explain what, exactly, “iki” is, beyond explaining it as a certain sense of style and savoir faire. In this book, the author, well-versed in both Western academia and the spirit of pleasure district pursuits from both Edo (ancient Tokyo) and Kamigata (ancient Kyoto), uses Western philosophical methodology to offers a more complete answer by examining “iki” as an aesthetic and philosophical construct. After reading this book, readers will gain an understanding of this unique Japanese aesthetic introduced through images showing moments of that difficult-to-articulate construct of “iki.”

    • Size:160×128mm
    • Pages:256Pages(Full Color)
    • Binding:Softbound
    • Publisher:PIE International
    • Language:Japanese
    • ISBN:978-4-7562-5585-3 C0070
    • Author:Shūzō Kuki
    • Photographer: Yasuhiro Okawa

    For more information, please contact the distributor/bookstore who covers your country.


    Shūzō Kuki (1888 – 1941) was a Japanese philosopher and professor at Kyoto Imperial University (present-day Kyoto University) who developed a new existential philosophy and who analyzed mental constructs and aesthetics thought to be unique to Japan. In 1921, Kuki went to Europe to study abroad for eight years. In Germany, he studied under neo-Kantian philosopher Heinrich Rickert. In France, he interacted with Henri Bergson. Kuki’s French tutor was Jean-Paul Sartre, who was then still a student. Returning to Germany, he studied phenomenology under Martin Heidegger. Along with Kiyoshi Miki and Tetsurō Watsuji, Kuki was among the first generation of philosophers to accept Heidegger’s philosophy in Japan.



    Yasuhiro Okawa (1944-) is a photographer who was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan whose work has appeared in many well-known magazines such as Fujin Gahō, Utsukushii Kimono, Waraku and others. He is a member of the Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association.


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