This article explores the contemporaneity of Japanese philosopher Nakai Masakazu (1900–1952). It starts with the reception of his work in the 1960s, a period that deeply changed not only social conventions and habits but also aesthetics. This first part is followed by an exploration of the links between Nakai and the philosophers who marked this decade, starting with Marx and the thinkers of the Frankfurt school. The author then goes back to the 1930s, concluding with an analysis of Nakai’s reflection on ki, a concept that appears in his work as a crucial clutch between theory and praxis, historical consciousness and individual action.

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