Boyan Manchev with Yasuo Kobayashi
Photography: Boris Delchev

At the invitation of Boyan Manchev and the Department of Art Studies and History of Culture of New Bulgarian University, the Japanese philosopher Yasuo Kobayashi visited Bulgaria for the second time to deliver a lecture on The Coming Philosophy. Return to Sophia [La philosophie à venir. Retour à Sophia]. The lecture took place on February 12, 2018, Monday, from 2 pm to 4 hours at the UniArt Gallery, NBU.

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The lecture was also the first event of the series related to the 10th anniversary and the premiere of the new editions of Metheor.

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Prof. Yasuo Kobayashi is one of the most influential contemporary Japanese philosophers, founder and long-time director of University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP). He is the author of numerous books in the fields of philosophy of art and political philosophy, cultural theory and the history of modernity. Among his latest works are La cœur / la mort : De l’ana-chronisme de l’être (2007)Odyssey of Knowledge (2009)Deconstruction of History (2010)The Aporia of the Heart: Between Happiness and Death (2013)The World of Miquel Barceló: Form as Life / Matter and Violence (2013). He is one of the leading intermediaries between European and, in particular, contemporary French philosophy and Japanese culture.

The co-operation of Yasuo Kobayashi with Boyan Manchev

The collaboration of philosophers Yasuo Kobayashi and Boyan Manchev began 10 years ago in Paris during Manchev’s direction of program and vice-presidency of the International College of Philosophy (CIPh). The first joint lecture and public talk of Manchev and Kobayashi took place in Tokyo in 2010 at the invitation of Yuji Nishiyama, at the Komaba campus of the University of Tokyo. Their first meeting in Sofia, in the framework of the forum Metamorphosis and Catastrophe (2013), conceived and organised by Kobayashi and Manchev, was carried out with the cooperation of Darin Tenev. Kobayashi is particularly well-known among the Bulgarian cultural and academic community as a spontaneous inspiration for the student movement in 2013 after his address to the General Assembly of the Students’ Occupation of the Sofia University in November 2013.

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The first Japanese-Bulgarian philosophical forum gave impetus to a series of seven forums held in Sofia and Tokyo, including co-organized by younger Bulgarian and Japanese philosophers and literary scholars, most of whom former students of Kobayashi and Manchev, including Fuchoshi Hoshino, Koichiro Kokubun, Yuji Nishiyama, Darin Tenev, Kamelia Spassova, Dimitar Bojkov, Bozhana Filipova and Vassil Markov. The last two forums The Imagination of Philosophy and The Philosophy and Its Other were organized by Futushi Hoshino and Boyan Manchev in partnership with Metheor and NBU at the New Bulgarian University and Theatre College Liuben Groys.

At the same time, Kobayashi and Manchev’s direct co-operation takes place in other contexts, such as the gathering in the Cultural Center La Tourette in France, organised by Kobayashi dedicated to the question of the Sense of the World (2014). The two philosophers exchanged a series of texts, and Kobayashi’s poem “Cloud Night” is included in the stage performance of Manchev’s book Clouds. Philosophy of the Free Body in Sofia and Plovdiv, with the participation of the young Japanese philosopher, a central figure of the Bulgarian-Japanese philosophical exchange, Futoshi Hoshino and the actors of Metheor under the direction of Ani Vaseva.

After their next meeting in Tokyo in the Spring of 2017, Kobayashi organised in November 2017 Boyan Manchev’s lecture Light, Clouds. Philosophical Piracy and the Invention of Apeiron at the University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (2017).

(Press Release of NBU and Meteor)