2001 年 31 巻 p. 169-185
Both H.D.Thoreau(1817-62)and Kenji Miyazawa(1896-1933)were devotedly pursuing philosophical idealism---a harmonious coexistence of human beings with wildlife in Nature. The two writers shared a sensitivity to and a close observation of Nature. Of particular note from an ecological perspective are three sets of beliefs they entertained toward nature. The first is biocentricism: Human beings are not the predominant rulers of Nature but as part of Nature where all living things are equal. The second is an organic view of nature: All living creatures are organically interrelated with each other in Nature. The third is their advocacy of nature conservation as a caveat against environmental disruption. Underlying their strong empathy with Nature is the natural landscape of their respective homelands. Both Concord and Iwate Prefecture abound in deciduous broad-leaved forests, which ensure the repetition of ecological cycles. Both writers evoke "a sense of place" toward their birthplaces, a practice much in accord with recent Nature Writing. However, their philosophical foundations differed. Thoreau was influenced by Romanticism, Emerson′s Transcendentalism, Oriental Classics and close contact with Native Americans. Miyazawa was strongly influenced by Buddhist teachings---the transmigration of souls, the abhorrence of merciless killing of animals, and vegetarianism. However, he, too, was inspired by the philosophy of Emerson. As a warning against unrestrained environmental degradation, it is high time that we appraised the pioneering works of these two foresighted literary figures, who helped shape the thoughts of current environmentalism.