Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2011


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.


Publisher Acknowledgment

This is the publisher's PDF of the following article made available by the Society for Japanese Studies and housed at the University of Washington: FESSLER, SUSANNA. "The Debate on the Uselessness of Western Studies." The Journal of Japanese Studies 37, no. 1 (2011): 61-90.

The publication policies for the Journal of Japanese Studies meet the requirements for Open Access.



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