A Festschrift for Shoichi Watanabe on his 80 th Birthday
Edited By Tetsuji Oda and Hiroyuki Eto
TETSUJI ODA Shoichi Watanabe: The Philologue and Bibliophile 19
TETSUJI ODA Shoichi Watanabe: The Philologue and Bibliophile No other scholar is more multifaceted than Shoichi Watanabe, who is a re-discoverer of the Hamertonian intellectual life, history-teller of Japan and conservative critic of her civilisation as well as a philologue living in a private library. Our focus here is, however, narrowed down to his publications and activities as a philologue and bibliophile. 1. English grammatical studies It is certain that he began his career with an MA dissertation on Ben Johnson’s English Grammar in 1955. Thenceforth his primary concern as a philologue grew in his mind: how did English grammar arise? This diachronic viewpoint of his research was to define the course he would follow through his career in any fields of his concern including philology. In this attitude lies the idea of August Boeckh’s “das Erkennen des vom menschlichen Geist Producirten, d. h. des Erkann- ten” [The recognition of what was produced by the human intellect, that is, the recognised], and thus Dr. Watanabe always tries to avoid criticism of earlier thoughts from the standpoint of later years. It was a golden chance for him to make further academic pursuits under Prof. Dr. Karl Schneider at the University of Münster. The outcome of his tackling the problem to which even Otto Funke had not given a satisfactory answer is his doctoral dissertation, Studien zur Abhängigkeit der frühneuenglischen Grammatiken von den mittel- alterlichen Lateingrammatiken (1958). It is the first attempt in English philology to shed light, referring...
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