chapter  2
10 Pages

The ‘Conversation’

This text has, of course, been translated into Japanese, by the renowned Japanese Germanist Tezuka Tomio. Tezuka not only appended a long explanatory afterword to his translation, but also provided a detailed account (in Japanese) of his conversation with the author under the title ‘An Hour with Heidegger’. This account is extremely valuable in helping us to understand and interpret the content of the ‘Conversation’, and moreover it also provides a number of reference points that illuminate possible contexts for the genesis of the text. Since it is probably unknown to the majority of Heidegger scholars in the West, a translation of Tezuka’s report has been provided in Chapter 7.32

2.1 According to Tezuka’s report, Heidegger’s interest in Japan was stimulated by his association with the Japanese philosopher Kuki Shûzô,33 he had Tezuka explicate a haiku by Bash for him, and he was also interested in Zen

31According to Petzet, this text is among those that were important to Heidegger himself (P 166/175). 32A dual-language version of the translation has been available since October 1988: Tomio Tezuka, ‘An Hour with Heidegger’, Japanese/German, translated from the Japanese and with an afterword by Reinhard May.