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Kuki Shūzō

(1888-1941). Philosopher. Born in Tokyo. After graduation from the philosophy department of Tokyo University in 1912, Kuki went to Europe in 1922 to study with Heinrich Rickert, Henri Bergson, and Martin Heidegger. Returning to Japan in 1929, he taught the history of philosophy at Kyoto University. He engaged in a phenomenological, hermeneutic study of iki, a key concept in Japanese aesthetics. He also studied the notion of the "accidental," which he considered to be a concept essential to existentialist philosophy and which was little developed in Western existentialism. Kuki's works include Iki no kōzō (1930, The Structure of Iki) and Gūzensei no mondai (1935, The Problem of the Accidental). (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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