Philology of Japanese Civilization


Jean-Noël Robert

The Chair in Philology of Japanese Civilization is developing a twofold project:

- First, to elucidate the process by which Japanese culture developed in parallel – perhaps even in opposition – to the Chinese world through a constant, century-long system of remodeling Chinese sources and complementing them with ancient and supposedly indigenous representations. The process finds its doctrinal justification in Buddhism, as the model consisting in layering Sino-Indian Buddhas and Japanese deities provides an ideology for the relationship between the Chinese and Japanese languages.
- And second, this Japanese model potentially allows for better understanding of similar linguistic phenomena which are found in various forms, not only in the Far East, but also in other cultural areas (Arabo-Persian, Indo-Tibetan, Greco-Latin, etc.) in a relationship which we have chosen to call “hieroglossia”.