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9 The Interior as the Battleground of Discourse

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Chapter Summary

The psychological inside of a human being-interiority is typically paired with terms about society that describe outer public space as it is distinguished from the human private sphere. Karatani describes how interiority, which is so self-evident today, was possible in Japan for the first time only because of the creation of the new vernacular language that had been forged from the spoken and written language (genbun itchi), the institutional product of modernization and Westernization. In this chapter the author present a bird's-eye view of the ways the discourse of Marxism, which swept through the Japanese intellectual world in the 1930s, sought to sway people and the interior of the self through its emergence in discourse on the history of Japanese religion. The religious studies of UNO and others tried to re-appropriate interiority as the site open to the ambiguous and non-intellectual physical body.

Keywords: human private sphere; interiority; Japan; Marxism; outer public space; UNO



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