Kohei Saito (斎藤 幸平, Saitō Kōhei) (born January 31, 1987)[1] is a Japanese philosopher. He is an associate professor at the University of Tokyo. Saito works on ecology and political economy from a Marxist perspective. His book, Capital in the Anthropocene, has been credited for inspiring a resurgence of interest in Marxist thought in Japan.[2][3]

Kohei Saito
斎藤 幸平
Born(1987-01-31)January 31, 1987 (age 36)
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo (withdrawal)
Wesleyan University (BA)
Free University of Berlin (MA)
Humboldt University of Berlin (PhD)
Notable workKarl Marx's Ecosocialism (2017), Capital in the Anthropocene (2020)
EraContemporary
RegionJapanese philosophy
SchoolContinental, Marxism
InstitutionsOsaka City University
University of Tokyo
ThesisNatur gegen Kapital (Nature versus Capital)
Main interests

Early life and education edit

After graduating from Shiba Junior & Senior High School (芝中学校・芝高等学校), a private school in Tokyo, Saito studied at first at the University of Tokyo (UT) for three months and voluntarily withdrew from UT to enroll in Wesleyan University, Connecticut from 2005 to 2009 as a Freeman Asian Scholarship recipient.[4][5] He later began his master's studies at the Free University of Berlin in 2009, and then completed his doctorate at the Humboldt University of Berlin.[6]

In 2016, Saito published the book Nature versus Capital: Marx's Ecology in his Unfinished Critique of Capitalism, which is based on his doctoral dissertation. In it, he performs the reconstruction of Karl Marx's ecological critique of capitalism, in which he draws on extensive manuscripts and excerpts from Marx's estate.[7]

Saito co-edited Volume 18 of Division Four of the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe, which was published in 2019. Work on this book also informed his dissertation, which he completed at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Andreas Arndt was his doctoral advisor. In 2017, the English-language version of his book was published, and in 2020 he was awarded the JSPS Prize for it by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Furthermore, in 2018 Saito won the Deutscher Memorial Prize for Marxist Research named after Isaac Deutscher,[8] holding the distinction as the first Japanese and youngest person to receive the award.[9]

Saito was subsequently a visiting scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and from 2017 to March 2022 he was an associate professor at Osaka Metropolitan University. He was made an associate professor at the University of Tokyo in April 2022.[10]

His 2020 published volume Capital in the Anthropocene became an unexpected bestseller in Japan, selling over 250,000 copies by May 2021,[11] sales of which rose to more than 500,000 by mid-2022.[12][13]

In February 2023 he published Marx in the Anthropocene: Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism.[14] An English translation of his "degrowth manifesto" has been published early the following year.[15]

Publications (selected) edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Kohei Saito [@koheisaito0131] (January 31, 2011). 誕生日だが [it's my birthday] (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-09-20 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ NEWS, KYODO. "FEATURE: More young Japanese look to Marx amid pandemic, climate crisis". Kyodo News+. Retrieved 2022-10-20. The book's success has inspired a renaissance of interest in Marxist thought.
  3. ^ McCurry, Justin (2022-09-09). "'A new way of life': the Marxist, post-capitalist, green manifesto captivating Japan". the Guardian. Retrieved 2022-10-20. . . . bookshop chains cleared space for special displays of revivalist Marxist literature.
  4. ^ 斎藤, 幸平 (2022). "私の駒場とマルクス - 教養学部報 - 教養学部報". www.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp. Retrieved 2022-10-21. 同時に、私がアメリカに留学した際、ウェズリアン大学がくれた「フリーマン奨学金」には受給条件が一つだけありました。
  5. ^ 栄陽子 (2008-01-25). 留学奨学金と節約術: アメリカ留学にかかる費用 (in Japanese). 三修社. p. 129. ISBN 978-4-384-02050-2.
  6. ^ "Kohei Saito". researchmap.jp. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  7. ^ "Kohei Saito". perlentaucher.de. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  8. ^ "'Karl Marx's Ecosocialism' wins the 2018 Deutscher Prize". Climate and Capitalism. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  9. ^ "斎藤幸平『大洪水の前に』待望の文庫化。発売即重版も決定!". プレスリリース・ニュースリリース配信シェアNo.1|PR TIMES. Retrieved 2022-10-26. 斎藤幸平さんは、この『大洪水の前に』でマルクス研究者の最高権威ドイッチャー記念賞(2018年度)を日本人初・史上最年少(当時31歳)で受賞。
  10. ^ "齋藤 幸平(サイトウ コウヘイ) - 新任教員紹介". University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 17 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "More young Japanese look to Marx amid pandemic, climate crisis". Kyodo News. 2021-09-05. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  12. ^ McCurry, Justin (9 September 2022). "'A new way of life': the Marxist, post-capitalist, green manifesto captivating Japan". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Schmelzer, Matthias; Vansintjan, Aaron (19 September 2022). "Degrowth is not austerity – it is actually just the opposite". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  14. ^ Maya Goodfellow (2023-02-28). "A greener Marx? Kohei Saito on connecting communism with the climate crisis". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2023-02-28.
  15. ^ Slow down. The degrowth manifesto, Astra publishing, ISBN 9781662602368