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This review highlights The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Philosophy’s focus on “departures from nothingness.” These departures are seen in four themes: the definition of tetsugaku (philosophy), interpersonal relationships, culture, and the socio-political sphere. In the first theme, I examine the dialogical character of nothingness (formlessness) and how it might relate with being (form). In the second, I show how this engagement with being connects to how we relate with the Thou, and examine its particulars in a unique spiritual form of Japanese feminism. In the third, I examine how this relational nothingness connects to society, social imaginaries, and aesthetics. And in the fourth, I delve into the complex interrelationship of nothingness and politics. I end with a note on the philosophical relevance of Yusa’s ordering of these chapters, and the potential of both departing from and returning to nothingness.
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