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The Youth of ThingsLife and Death in the Age of Kajii Motojiro$
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Stephen Dodd

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838409

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838409.001.0001

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The Subject of Change

The Subject of Change

Chapter:
(p.111) 4 The Subject of Change
Source:
The Youth of Things
Author(s):

Stephen Dodd

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824838409.003.0004

This chapter examines how Kajii Motojirō's anxiety concerning personal mortality pushed him to imagine forms of identity that took into account shifting and unstable subjectivities. It considers the fluidity of Kajii's changing perspectives related to self and subjectivity in order to shed light on the personal impulses that drove Kajii to try to give shape to his own place in the world. It shows that Kajii's voices articulate subjectivity based on an acute awareness of the physical body, its process of degeneration through illness, and the prospect of its future annihilation. It argues that Kajii sought to address the issues of life and death by imagining an alternative space beyond divided subjectivities and subject–object distinctions, a space that might be called a third position. The chapter concludes by discussing some of the general principles of Nishida Kitarō's philosophy that contributed to the cultural milieu in which Kajii operated.

Keywords:   death, Kajii Motojirō, mortality, self, subjectivity, physical body, illness, life, Nishida Kitarō

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