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Tomonubu Imamichi (今道友信 Imamichi Tomonobu ?, born Tokyo, (also Tomonobu Imamichi) November 19, 1922) is a Japanese philosopher, who studied Chinese philosophy and has taught in Europe (Paris and Germany) as well as in Japan (he is also emeritus professor of the University of Palermo). Since 1979 he has been president of the Centre International pour l'Étude Comparée de Philosophie et d'Esthétique and since 1997 of the International Institute of Philosophy. In 1976 he founded the journal Aesthetics.

He translated Aristotle's Poetics into Japanese (in 1972) and has written numerous books in Japanese. Imamichi is a supporter of communication between cultures. He has characterized Western philosophy as an attempt to achieve a God's eye view (das in-dem-Gott-sein; to be in the being of God) and Eastern philosophy as an attempt to be in the world (das In-der-Welt-sein). Imamichi sees in both stances two incomplete and complementary humanisms, and observes that since the publication of The Book of Tea, some Western philosophers have adopted a more Eastern stance while other Eastern philosophers have attempted to reach the Absolute or the Eternal.

According to him, Heidegger's concept of the Dasein, formulated in Sein und Zeit, was inspired — although Heidegger remains silent on this — by Okakura Kakuzo's concept of das In-der-Welt-sein (to be in the being of the world) expressed in The Book of Tea in an attempt to describe Zhuangzi's philosophy for Westerners. Imamichi's teacher had offered the German translation of The Book of Tea to Heidegger in 1919, after having followed lessons with him the year before [1]. In 1968, Imamichi was invited by Hans-Georg Gadamer, a student of Heidegger, for lectures at Heidelberg, but their relationship became very cool after Imamichi pointed out that Heidegger had not given the source of his concept of the Dasein. Imamichi and Gadamer renewed contact four years later during an international congress [1].

Tomonubu Imamichi is also the father of Japanese guitarist and songwriter, Tomotaka Imamichi.


  1. ^ a b Tomonobu Imamichi, In Search of Wisdom. One Philosopher's Journey, Tokyo, International House of Japan, 2004 (quoted by Anne Fagot-Largeau at her lesson at the College of France of 7 December 2006)


  • In Search of Wisdom. One Philosopher's Journey, Tokyo, International House of Japan, 2004
  • 'Restrospectiva et Prospectiva Eco-ethics' in Acta Institutionis Philosophiae et Aestheticae, 2004, 22:1-10 (an article written in English, Latin, German, French, Chinese, etc.)
  • Betrachtungen über das Eine, Institute of Aesthetics of Tokyo, 1968
  • Aspects of Beautiful and Art, 1968
  • Self-Development of the Identity, 1970
  • The Localisation and the orientation of Interpretation, 1972
  • Essay on beauty, 1973
  • Studia Comparata de esthetica, 1976
  • Aristotle, 1980
  • Aesthetics in the Orient, 1980
  • Philosophy in the East and in the West, 1981
  • Contemporary Philosophy, 1984
  • The History of the Western Philosophy, 1986
  • Eco-Ethica, 1990
  • Le texte comme distance de la Divinité, in "Archivio di filosofia" anno LX, 1992, 1-3
  • Introduzione alla filosofia naturale, 1993.

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