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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 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
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.
ALL-IN-ONE EAST AND WEST
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 εναι, fragment 50). There
the singularity of individually existing things is inserted into the “all.”… The is
(εναι) 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” (ὁμολογεν).
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:
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 bodhisattva 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 origination 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 suchness 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,
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 nothingness 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