Education in and through Ikiru: From Mu to MacIntyre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter considers some ethical and educational questions opened up by Kurosawa’s Ikiru. Initially key events in the film are recounted. Thereafter the chapter discusses two accounts of how the experiences of Watanabe, the principal character in the film, may be construed as educative. The possibility that Watanabe may have undergone a process of aesthetic-human-transformation broadly in line with the Kyoto School of philosophy are first thought through. However, it is argued that given the narrative events presented in the film, there are good reasons for understanding the education of Watanabe in more MacIntyrean terms. It is claimed that the education of Watanabe entails a transformation of his desires. With his desires transformed he becomes able to do what he previously could not - pursue his own good and that of his local community. I conclude by discussing two ways in which viewers of Ikiru may be educated through watching the movie. I maintain Ikiru opens up possibilities for reflection on (1) a primary ethical question - how one should live in knowledge of one’s imminent death and (2) the nature of education and human transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEast Asian Pedagogies
Subtitle of host publicationEducation as Formation and Transformation Across Cultures and Borders
EditorsDavid Lewin, Karsten Kenklies
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030456733
ISBN (Print)9783030456726
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameContemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)2214-9759


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