On April 10, 1999, at the University of Tokyo Bungakubu Annexe, the first session of the study group on Liu Zhi's Tian Fang Xing Li was held. The following selections from the text were discussed.
1. Preface: Presenter and translator KISHIMOTO Mio (Professor, The University of Tokyo Graduate School)
2. The Author's Preface: Presenter and translator ANDO Junichiro (Doctoral Candidate, The University of Tokyo Graduate School)
3. Main Volume; Chapter 1, Heading 1, Paragraph 1: Presenter and translator SUZUKI Koichiro (Doctoral Candidate, The University of Tokyo Graduate School)
Firstly, in the preface, the following points concerning the structure of the main volume were confirmed:
The concepts introduced in the Main Volume are explained in the headings.
When quotations of Islamic scripture are included, Chinese translations of the title of the scripture are given at the end of the passage.
Specialized Islamic terms and concepts, with the exception of the most common, well known terms, are translated into Chinese.
Also, in the Author's Preface, Liu Zhi reconfirmed that his motivation, or purpose for writing this manuscript was to further research and make comparisons. It was pointed out that the audience for whom this manuscript was written remains unclear; this became a topic for discussion.
Passage 3 (see above) includes ideas concerning the interpretation of the Zuichuwucheng-tu which explains the origin of all living things. It was pointed out that here, while drawing on concepts from other Chinese philosophers, Liu Zhi puts forth his own original concept of the earliest beginnings. In addition, it was confirmed that Liu Zhi's concept of the emergence of life has much in common with the philosophy of emanation found in Song Study). On the other hand, the presence of contrasting concepts not found in Chinese philosophy such as zhi and neng, or ming and yi, was pointed out. Whether emanation and these contrasting concepts are found in Islamic theology or philosophy was also brought up as an issue for discussion. However, as there were no participants from Islamic Studies, this discussion was tabled until next time.
On May 22, 1999, at the University of Tokyo Bungakubu Annexe, the second session of the study group focusing on Liu Zhi's Tian Fang Xing Li was held. The following selections were discussed.
1. Heading 1, Paragraph 2: Presenter and translator SUZUKI Koichiro (Doctoral Candidate, The University of Tokyo Graduate School)
2. Heading 1, Paragraph 3: Presenter and translator MATSUSHITA Michinobu (Doctoral Candidate, The University of Tokyo Graduate School)
In 1 above, the first level (Zhengtiwuzhuo-tu) of the 6-level explanation of the Zuichuwucheng-tu was discussed. This time it was pointed out that the emanation philosophy found in Liu Zhi's works closely resembles that of the philosophy of wahda al-wujud ( the oneness of being ). And it was also pointed out that it is highly likely that the contrasting concepts of zhi and neng were translated into Chinese from the 'ilm and qudra found in Islamic philosophy.
In 2 above, the second level (Dayonghunran-tu) of the six- level explanation (Zuichuwucheng-tu) was discussed. Herein, the the stage of "the entification of essence with articulation" of Liu Zhi's philosophy of emanation is explained. Liu Zhi uses words such as quantidayong and zudong which are often associated with Song Study in his explanations. In the future, it will be necessary to carefully analyze his use of these terms throughout the Tian Fang Xing Li.