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辻村公一 Tsujimura Kōichi (1922-2010)

京都学派 Kyōto-gakuha / The Kyoto School / Kiotói-iskola


PDF: Martin Heidegger's Thinking and Japanese Philosophy by Kōichi Tsujimura
An Address in Celebration, September 26, 1969
Koichi Tsujimura: Martin Heideggers Denken und die japanische Philosophie
Translation from German to English by Richard Capobianco & Marie Göbel
published in: Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 12 (2008)


Tsujimura Kōichi (1922–2010)
1982 「西洋と東洋における〈一即一切〉の相違について」 [Differences between the eastern and western ideas of “all-in-one-”], in 『一即一切――日独哲学コロ クィウム論文集』 [All-in-one: Discussions between Japanese and German philosophy] (Tokyo: Sōbunsha, 1986), 391–406.
Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook
Tsujimura Kōichi: All-in-One East and West, pp. 758-764.

Tsujimura Kōichi


Tsujimura Kōichi studied philosophy at Kyoto University under Tanabe

Hajime, and went on to assume his teacher’s chair from 1948 until retiring in 1982.

More formative for his thinking, however, was the Zen he practiced with Hisamatsu

Shin’ichi, coupled with the thought of Martin Heidegger, whom he knew person-

ally from travels in Germany. His translations and essays often elucidated Zen texts

and Heidegger’s thought in the light of one another to introduce novel interpreta-

tions of both. For example, Tsujimura translated Heidegger’s term Gelassenheit, and

the book based on it, using a Buddhist term for liberation. In addition to transla-

tions of Heidegger and two books on him, as well as Various Thoughts on German

Idealism (1993), he published several influential articles in German that explore the

relationships between Zen thinking and European philosophy. His work has turned

the attention of many German philosophy professors to East Asian Buddhist texts.

One may mention in particular the Oxherding Pictures, which he co-translated with

Hartmut Buchner. “In Absolute Nothingness and the Question of Being” (1977),

Tsujimura offered an interpretation of awakening aimed at uncovering connec-

tions and differences with Heidegger’s questioning and the Kyoto School’s notion

of nothingnessž.

The following selection draws on Heidegger’s interpretation of modern technol-

ogy as the form of truth or unconcealment that pretends nothing remains hidden

and unavailable to human control and manipulation. But Tsujimura puts this view

into the context of longstanding notions of everything—all things taken together—

found in both western and Chinese Buddhist philosophy. The title of his essay uses

an expression from the famous poem, “Faith in Mind,” attributed to Sengcan, the

Third Patriarch of Zen, and also functions to translate an expression found in Hera-

clitus. The essay ends with a suggestion that would deepen Heidegger’s thinking

about technology and find a positive place for it.


Tsujimura Kōichi 1982, 391–404

My immediate aim in studying the notion of “all-in-one” ( All-Einheit)

is to seek out the points at which East and West differ in their understanding.

But my long-term goal is to find some way to alter the dominating control of

modern technology ( Machenschaft). In the sense in which the human work of

creating and producing controls all things, including human beings themselves,

Machenschaft means that “everything is made and anything can be manipu-

lated.” This I see as a form of the all-in-one in today’s technological age. On the

way to changing this mode of thought, our reflections are inevitably drawn to

the ancient modes of all-in-one in the East and in the West. Perhaps the germ

of some new form of the all-in-one in the light of which Machenschaft may be

transformed is contained within those old forms which have been forgotten in

our times because of that very Machenschaft.…


Differences East and West

In the West, the idea of all-in-one—all:one, one:all—has to do with

the connection of all things to a single principle. In its primary sense, the one

occupies the position of a principle, whether it be “being itself,” “a unity of

all opposites,” a “harmony within contradiction,” or “a oneness of being and

nonbeing.”16 All four of these explanations have been offered as interpretations

of the Heraclitean fragment, “All is one” (ἓν πάντα ε‘ναι, fragment 50). There

the singularity of individually existing things is inserted into the “all.”… The is

(ε‘ναι) refers to the relation by which all things are grounded—in the widest

possible sense—in the one. This grounding implies gathering together, distribut-

ing, emanating, creating, conditions for enabling, animating and reanimating,

causal efficacy, absolute mediation, and so forth. For Heraclitus, human beings

belong to the “all is one” by “correspondence” (ὁμολογε‘ν).

The primary meaning of the “one” as a single principle is expressed by Ploti-

nus in extremely clear language: “It is because of the one that all beings are

beings, those whose existence is primal as well as those who in any sense are

included among beings.” The one is the “origin of all things” (ἀρχὴ τwν πάντων)

and the “cause of all things” (τὸ πάντων αἴτιον). At times Plotinus calls the one

“that thing” (τὸ ἐκείνος) or “God” (θεόϚ), but all of these expressions, including

“the one,” are merely unavoidable ways of speaking, since fundamentally there

is no “name” (ὄνομα) that suits it. In contrast, individual beings are spoken of as

“one in part” (κατὰ μέρος ἔν).17 As the principle of all things, the one can only

come to human experience in ecstasy. Such would seem to be the fundamental

form of the all-in-one in the West.

In the East, the idea of all-in-one has no relation to a single principle for all

things. In its primary sense, it means that each and every individual existing

thing is connected to all things, that is, to the world….

16. Martin Heidegger, “Heraklit,” Gesamtausgabe (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1975) 55: 292ff;
Karl Reinhardt, Parmenides und die Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie (Frankfurt: Klos-
termann, 1977), 201, 206; Uvo Hölscher, Anfängliches Fragen (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, 1968), 172.

17. Enneads, 6.9.1.

Near the end of the aphoristic verses of the third Zen patriarch Sengcan’s

(d. 606) Verses on Faith in Mind we read:

All-in-one, one-in-all
Be capable of that
And you will not fret over how things turn out.

I like to think that there are two ways of understanding the “one” spoken

of here: as a “principle of oneness” and as referring to any individual whatso-

ever. This latter sense became clear to me through the original Chinese of the

źHuayanŻ Sutra.… For instance, this cup in front of me is “all,” it is the world. At

first glance, this all sounds rather puzzling.

Concerning the sense of the principle of all things that exist, Sengcan’s text

has this to say in another place:

One is the source of two beings,
But do not hold on to the one.

Although we tend to get attached to a principle of oneness, it is precisely this

principle about which we must not remain inflexible, any more than we should

cling to ecstatic states.

In East Asian Buddhism, human beings belong to the all- in-one. Just what is

the human being who is capable of saying something like “all-in-one, one-in-

all”? It is a buddha, an awakened one, or perhaps a bodhisattvaž who aspires

to be a buddha and at any moment can instantaneously become a buddha, but

who willingly sets aside becoming a buddha for the sake of sentient beings.

The relationship known as dependent originationž is sovereign in the gen-

eral Buddhist view of the world. Following my colleague, the Buddhist scholar

Saigusa Mitsuyoshi, who describes it as Relationalität, I would like provisionally

to describe it as a zusammengehöriges Geschehen, a kind of “shared event.” The

sense is that no individual entity is ever born or dies by itself, but is always co-

joined with and codependent on everything else. In this way nothing that exists

individually has, in reality, a substance of its own; each and every thing that

exists is connected from the start with everything else. This is an indispensable

condition for the reflections that follow.


Cusanus and Fazang

To clarify the differences between the all-in-one in the East and the

West in terms of the two forms indicated above, we need examples that best

typify them. I suggest comparing the all-in-one of Nicholas of Cusa and the

thought of the third patriarch of the Huayan tradition in China, Fazang….18

18. [Fazang (643–712), perhaps the greatest systematic thinker in Huayan Buddhism, drew
on a vast range of Chinese religious and philosophical sources for his numerous commentar-
ies and is particularly remembered for his interpretations of interdependent causality.]

Individuals. For both, “one” means something “individual” like a coin,

a pearl, the sun, or the moon; and “all” refers to the world or the cosmos.

Cusanus, however, understands the individual as a creature, thus implying a

creator God. In contrast, for Fazang the individual, whether subjective or objec-

tive, is something “other-dependent.” It is “being-like” but without an individu-

ating substance of its own, which ultimately implies tathatā, the suchnessž of

things just as they are. Because tathatā is without form, it is unchanging and


Here, individual creatures in Cusanus are seen as the occurrence of particular

contractions of the universe. For Fazang, individuals are seen to contain within

themselves all other things as “conjoined, empty, and hidden.” Thus we might

say, the two views of the all-in-one are oriented in opposite directions. This is the

first point of difference.

That said, for Cusanus, the cosmos is not the sun and the moon, or anything

individual. It is rather the negation of individuals. No individual, such as it is,

constitutes the world. In Fazang, if a particular individual within the interrela-

tionship of individuals occupies the position of a “manifestation” as “subject”

or “existent (thing),” other individuals are positioned opposite it as “conjoined,

empty, and hidden,” but this relationship is always reversible. This is the second

point of difference.

The world. For Cusanus, the world or cosmos is the sole and maximum con-

traction and as such is the “likeness” of God, though always “infinitely lower

than what is absolute” ( De docta ignorantia 113–14). This leaves no doubt that

Cusanus conceived of the world from the standpoint of God, as a contraction of

the divine. In line with tradition, he conceived of the all in the formula “all-in-

one, one-in-all” as the world or cosmos that proceeds from the absolute, unify-

ing principle, which is God.

What of Fazang’s view of relationships within the realm of cosmic law? We

need to consider what he calls the “mutually influencing six traits” of things,

namely, totality, particularity, commonality, distinctiveness, constructiveness,

and destructiveness. He likens the world to a house in which totality is the

house as a whole: particularity, the beams, pillars, stones, roof tiles, and so

forth; commonality, the way in which the former elements do not oppose each

other but collaborate to build up the whole; distinctiveness, the individuating

characteristics of each of the elements; constructiveness, the way in which the

elements come together to make the house as a whole; and destructiveness, the

way in which the various elements fail to blend together should any of them

cling to its uniqueness as what it is. The first three traits form one group that is

set in opposition to the last three. The two sides do not clash with one another

but collaborate to influence one another. This is made possible by the fact that

any one of the six traits contains the other five in a “conjoined, empty, and

hidden” manner. In this way, the world and the things that make it up become

possible. For Fazang, the world does not become a world in virtue of a divine

contraction but through a fusion of the whole and the parts. This is the third

point of difference.

The absolute. For Cusanus, God is the “absolute principle” within things. How

so? Cusanus compares God to the infinite oneness of a single point from which

lines and forms develop: “Therefore, God is all-enfolding, since all things are in

God; and God is all-unfolding, since God is in all things” (107). As omnia com-

plicans, God is the sole, incomparable principle of the one-in-all. As enfolding,

God is liberated from all comparison and relationship—that is, God is absolute.

This is the aspect of divine transcendence vis-à-vis all created things. As omnia

explicans, God is within all things that exist, so that we may speak of the divine

unfolding in individual things as a “contraction.” As he explains, “Contrac-

tion implies something being contracted to in order to become one thing or

another” (117). Thus, contraction means that the absolute contracts itself so that

this or that can come into being. Here we have Cusanus’ unique approach to


In contrast, Fazang speaks of the two meanings of tathatā. First, it is

“unchanging” because it is empty and without form. Second, it is “conditioned.”

Absent these two qualities, it would be one-sided and cease to be both absolute

and concrete. Fazang relates these two aspects of tathatā through the meta-

phor of a bright mirror. Whatever changing forms of reality happen to stand

before the mirror (that is, the unchanging tathatā), be they clean or defiled, are

reflected there. This ability to reflect changing reality within itself means that

the tathatā does not exist on its own but adjusts to the dependent origination of

all sorts of realities. Nevertheless, or rather precisely for this reason, the mirror

does not lose its brightness and the tathatā does not cease to be unchanging.

The greater the variety of things the mirror reflects within itself, the more it

bears witness to its own brightness and unchanging nature. In this way, the two

meanings of the tathatā are internally unified.

Put in these simple terms, the models of Fazang and Cusanus appear to cor-

respond. But this is only a highly formal correspondence of principles involved in

the western and eastern modes of the all-in-one. The differences between the

principles are also evident. Unlike Cusanus’ view of creation in terms of unfold-

ing and contraction, Fazang has no conception of creation. As obvious as this

is, it touches on a profound and ultimate difference between the two that affects

everything said above.

Let us pause a moment longer at the metaphor of the bright mirror. Ordinar-

ily we see an image of something or other reflected on the surface of the mirror,

which means that we distinguish between the reflected image and the reflected

thing to keep the two distinct. However, if we unite the two, we are no longer

standing outside and looking on; we become the mirror itself. The mirror as

such disappears in becoming completely one with the image reflected in it. In

so doing, we return to the original nature of the mirror itself, empty and with-

out form. We see the dependent origination of individual things as the starting

point for the arising—or, to use a Heideggerian term, the Ereignis—of empty,

formless tathatā.

The ground of the differences. Ultimately, the differences between the two

thinkers are based on their characterization of the notion of the absolute itself

and on the way they conceive the world of reality to come into being. For

Cusanus, reality comes about as a “contraction of God,” which is his way of

understanding it as a divine creation. In contrast, for Fazang and East Asian

Buddhism, reality is seen as a harmony of individual things—each of them,

however, without an individuating substance—that are absolutely and mutually

related to one another.

In the West, the absolute, seen as the unifying principle behind the relation-

ship of all-in-one and one-in-all, is God. It is God who grounds all things in the

broadest sense. In the East, the absolute that serves as the principle of all-in-one

and one-in-all is tathatā. Tathatā is empty and without form, but for that very

reason is capable of assuming the forms of individual things as the need arises

as well as the form of the totality of things.

If we favor Fazang’s standpoint, we would probably conclude that if God takes

the position of the “manifest Lord of being,” the Buddhist tathatā would stand

opposed as “conjoined, empty, and hidden,” like the nothingnessž of creation ex

nihilo. If the formless tathatā were to take over the position of the manifest Lord

of being, God would become conjoined, empty, and hidden after the manner of

a personality without form. More than this, I cannot say.



To describe the dominating control of Machenschaft by the formula

“everything is made and anything can be manipulated” implies, first of all,

that we understand it as a thesis about the being of things that are—that is,

from an ontological point of view. For the fact is, things that have not been

made, even today, continue to exist from an ontic point of view. For example,

the eggs and vegetables, meat and fish that we eat every day came to be and

grew over time. But today all these things are being bred and raised artificially;

they are the results of manufacturing technology. To be sure, we can speak of

them as belonging to things that grow, but if we look deeper, we see that they

have been manufactured. The sun, the moon, and the daily weather are not, of

course, manufactured products. But through astronomical and meteorological

research these non-manufactured things are being taken into the domain of

Machenschaft. Test-tube babies live among us today. In this way manufacturing

has arrived at the point of bringing into being things that are born and grow,

as well as non-living natural phenomena, drawing them more and more under

the control of the forces at work in the background as an ontological power. But

Machenschaft is far from omnipotent. The fact that our capacity to think about

it is not itself part of the Machenschaft tells us as much.

From somewhere deeper in the background, manufactured things exercise

a radical control over things that are born and grow. Just what is pulling the

strings back there behind the manufacturing itself? Machenschaft is forever

blind to what it is that gives predominance to human making and manipulat-

ing. Its rule is a simple chain of making and more making. Should the chain

be broken, its reign would end; there would be no more Machenschaft. What

keeps this chain going is the connectedness of all things that exist with all other

things—that is, in the one-in-all. The chain of making and more making is

already grounded in the one-in-all. In the West, it is creation and the creatio

continua that lie at the root of Machenschaft and, therefore, also of the things

that are made and manipulated, so that we can no longer speak of human

production. In the East, it is the cosmic realm of dependent origination keeping

all things inexhaustibly connected to one another that lies at the root of Machen-

schaft and makes it impossible any longer for dependent origination to give

form to the formless.

The heart of the matter for the West, as I see it, is to ask whether and how

there can be a transformation of Machenschaft that will satisfy the sense of

continuing creation; but this would require some kind of new mode of creat-

ing. In the East, the crucial question is whether and how Machenschaft can be

transformed so as to find its place within the realm of cosmic law that connects

all things to each other. This will probably require that making and creating be

situated within Fazang’s all-in-one.

In either case, we need to relocate Machenschaft within the kind of deeper,

larger, and broader relationship indicated by the ancient idea of all-in-one, to

bring order on this relationship, and to impose limits on it.




German version by Tsujimura Koichi and Hartmut Buchner with commentary by Otsu Rekido
Der Ochs und sein Hirte: eine altchinesische Zen-Geschichte, erläutert von Meister Daizohkutsu Rekidoh Ohtsu (大象窟 大津 櫪堂 Daizōkutsu Ōtsu Rekidō, 1897-1976]; übers. von Kôichi Tsujimura ( 辻村 公一 Tsujimura Kōichi, 1922-2010] und Hartmut Buchner [1927-2004], Pfullingen: Neske, 1958, 132 S.

PDF: Cudzsimura Kóicsi: Heidegger és a tea