European Network of Japanese Philosophy 6th annual conference at ELTE
The 6th annual conference of the European Network of Japanese Philosophy (ENOJP) – organized by a different institution every year – was originally supposed to be held in 2020 by the Department of Japanese Studies of the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE). The event was postponed to February 2022 due to the pandemic. As the pandemic still did not make it possible to hold the conference in a physical manner, it was organized as a hybrid event, where about one third of the speakers could be present in Budapest – with strict adherence to epidemiological regulations – while the other speakers joined online. Both physical and online presentations could be followed virtually in real time.
The conference was a great success as, despite the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, about 70 presentations were held by participants representing more than 20 countries, partly in pre-organized thematic panels, partly in sections consisting of individual applications. The speakers included renowned representatives of the field, as well as graduate researchers and doctoral students.
The main topic of this year’s conference was “(Counter)influences”,
which provided an opportunity for the participants to discuss the internal system of Japanese history of thought, the Asian and European reception of Japanese philosophy, and the Japanese acceptance of non-Japanese traditions from many aspects.
In addition to the presentations within the sections, the event was highlighted by plenary presentations by three renowned international researchers: Judit Árokay (University of Heidelberg), Graham Parkes (University of Vienna), and Naoki Sakai (Cornell University), a roundtable discussion by ENOJP president Raquel Bouso (Pompeu Fabra University) along with the participation of renowned researchers, and last but not least a special program presenting the ideological side of Aikido, led by Balázs Szabó from the Department of Japanese Studies of the Faculty of Humanities of ELTE. Imre Hamar, vice-rector for international affairs and director of the Institute of East Asian Studies at ELTE, emphasized in his opening speech that the event, which had been under organization for two years, could still boast a constantly growing number of attendants in the midst of the difficulties, thus proving decisively that
international scholarly collaboration cannot be held back even by a pandemic.
The event was made possible by the support of the TOSHIBA International Foundation. The detailed program can be found on the website of the conference. A significant portion of the presentations will soon be available on YouTube.