The Theory of Beauty in the Classical Aesthetics of Japan

  • Authors
  • Toshihiko Izutsu
  • Toyo Izutsu

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Preliminary Essays

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Toshihiko Izutsu, Toyo Izutsu
      Pages 3-25
    3. Toshihiko Izutsu, Toyo Izutsu
      Pages 26-45
    4. Toshihiko Izutsu, Toyo Izutsu
      Pages 46-61
    5. Toshihiko Izutsu, Toyo Izutsu
      Pages 62-76
  3. Texts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 77-77
    2. Fujiwara Teika
      Pages 79-96
    3. Zeami Motokiyo
      Pages 97-100
    4. Zeami Motokiyo
      Pages 115-134
    5. Nanbō Sōkei
      Pages 135-158
    6. Dohō Hattori
      Pages 159-167

About this book


The Japanese sense of beauty as actualized in innumerable works of art, both linguistic and non-linguistic, has often been spoken of as something strange to, and remote from, the Western taste. It is, in fact, so radically different from what in the West is ordinarily associated with aesthetic experience that it even tends to give an impression of being mysterious, enigmatic or esoteric. This state of affairs comes from the fact that there is a peculiar kind of metaphysics, based on a realization of the simultaneous semantic articulation of consciousness and the external reality, dominating the whole functional domain of the Japanese sense of beauty, without an understanding of which the so-called 'mystery' of Japanese aesthetics would remain incomprehensible. The present work primarily purports to clarify the keynotes of the artistic experiences that are typical of Japanese culture, in terms of a special philosophical structure underlying them. It consists of two main parts: (1) Preliminary Essays, in which the major philosophical ideas relating to beauty will be given a theoretical elucidation, and (2) a selection of Classical Texts representative of Japanese aesthetics in widely divergent fields of linguistic and extra-linguistic art such as the theories of waka-poetry, Noh play, the art of tea, and haiku. The second part is related to the first by way of a concrete illustration, providing as it does philological materials on which are based the philosophical considerations of the first part.


Japanese aesthetics art culture event experience metaphysics physics poetry present semantic structure will works of art

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1981
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-8261-9
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-3481-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site