Inspirational Kitaro Nishida Quotes

Kitaro Nishida (May 19, 1870 – June 7, 1945) was a prominent Japanese philosopher. This post features some Inspirational Kitaro Nishida Quotes.

He was the founder of what has been called the Kyoto School of philosophy.

He graduated from the University of Tokyo during the Meiji period in 1894 with a degree in philosophy.

He was named professor of the Fourth Higher School in Ishikawa Prefecture in 1899 and later became professor of philosophy at Kyoto University.

Nishida retired in 1927. In 1940, he was awarded the Order of Culture . He participated in establishing the Chiba Institute of Technology from 1940. Nishida Kitarō died at the age of 75 of a renal infection.

His grave is at Reiun’in, a temple in the Myōshin-ji compound in Kyoto.

The Kyoto School is the name given to the Japanese philosophical movement centered at Kyoto University that assimilated western philosophy and religious ideas and used them to reformulate religious and moral insights unique to the East Asian cultural tradition.

However, it is also used to describe postwar scholars who have taught at the same university, been influenced by the foundational thinkers of Kyoto school philosophy, and who have developed distinctive theories of Japanese uniqueness.

To disambiguate the term, therefore, thinkers and writers covered by this second sense appear under The Kyoto University Research Centre for the Cultural Sciences.

Beginning roughly in 1913 with Nishida Kitaro, it survived the serious controversy it garnered after World War II to develop into a well-known and active movement.

However, it is not a “school” of philosophy in the traditional sense of the phrase, such as with the Frankfurt School or Plato’s Academy. Instead, the group of academics gathered around Kyoto University as a de facto meeting place. Its founder, Nishida, steadfastly encouraged independent thinking.

Kitaro Nishida Quotes
Kitaro Nishida Quotes

Kitaro Nishida Quotes

“Like any organic entity, a system of consciousness manifests itself through the orderly, differentiated development of a certain unifying reality.”
Kitaro Nishida

“Thinking has its own laws. It functions of its own accord and does not follow our will. To merge with the object of thought – that is, to direct one’s attention to it is voluntary, but I think perception is the same in this respect: we are able to see what we want to see by freely turning our attention to it.”
― Kitaro Nishida

“If my heart can become pure and simple like that of a child, I think there probably can be no greater happiness than this.”
― Kitaro Nishida


    1. He’s new to me, too. As a mother of a child, I fully agree with that last quote. It speaks to me. The simple joy of children is so powerful.


  1. wonderful post! you’ve given me someone interesting to look into, I’m visiting Kyoto in a few weeks and have been trying to learn about historical Japanese figures. totally awesome to find your posting!


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