A Japanese View of Nature: The World of Living Things

by Kinji Imanishi

Translated by Pamela J. Asquith, Heita Kawakatsu, Shusuke Yagi & Hiroyuki Takasaki. Edited and Introduced by Pamela J. Asquith, 2002. London, and New York: Routledge Curzon.

Seibutsu no Sekai (The World of Living Things), was the seminal work of Kinji Imanishi published in 1941. It had an enormous impact in Japan, both on scholars and on the general public, but was almost unknown outside of Japan. This book makes the complete text available in English for the first time and provides an extensive introduction and notes to set the work in context. Imanishi’s first book is a philosophical biology that informs many of his later ideas on species society, species recognition, culture in the animal world, cooperation and lifestyle partitioning in nature, the “life” of nonliving things and the relationships between organisms and their environments. A German translation was published in 2002 (Imanishi Kinji Die Welt der Lebewesen). Spanish (Una exploración a la filosofía de las ciencias a través de El mundo de los entes vivientes de Kinji Imanishi) and French (Le Monde des êtres vivants par Kinji Imanishi) translations of the original book are forthcoming.