In 1902, Mori O¯ gai and Anesaki Cho¯fu¯ briefl y engaged in a public debate on the importance of study abroad and Western learning in general. Cho¯fu¯ was cautionary about Japan following foolishly in the steps of Germany; O¯ gai countered with the argument that the West (and Germany in particular) offered intellectual riches as long as the Japanese student chose his subjects carefully. Neither man “won” the debate, but their arguments reveal how German philosophy infl uenced modern Japan and how variably that philosophy was interpreted.
Fessler, Susanna PhD, "The Debate on the Uselessness of Western Studies" (2011). East Asian Studies Faculty Scholarship. 4.