Kojin Karatani was born in 1941 in Amagasaki city, located between Osaka and Kobe. He received his B.A. in economics and M.A. in English literature, both from Tokyo University. Awarded the Gunzo Literary Prize for an essay on Natsume Soseki in 1969, he began working actively as a literary critic, while teaching at Hosei University in Tokyo. In 1975 he was invited to Yale University to teach Japanese literature as a visiting professor, where he became acquainted with Yale critics such as Paul de Man and Fredric Jameson. After publishing "Origins of Modern Japanese Literature" in 1980, Karatani proceeded from literary criticism to more theoretical studies ranging from "Architecture as Metaphor: language, number, money" to "Transcritique: on Kant and Marx. At the same time, he made a political commitment to editing the quarterly journal 'Critical Space' with Akira Asada. "Critical Space" was the most influential intellectual media in Japan until it folded in 2002. In 2000, Karatani also organized New Associationist Movement (NAM). Since 1990 he has taught regularly at Columbia University as a visiting professor of comparative literature. He has also taught as a visiting professor at Cornell and UCLA. He was a regular member of ANY, the international architects' conference which was held annually for the last decade of the 20th century. In 2006, Karatani retired from teaching in Japan to devote himself full-time to his lifework.


Major books:



Origins of Modern Japanese Literature, Duke University Press,1993
Architecture as Metaphor; Language, Number, Money, MIT Press,1995
Transcritique: On Kant and Marx, MIT Press, 2003




Man in Awe, Tojusha, 1972
Meaning as Illness, Kawadeshobo, 1975
Marx: The Center of Possibilities, Kodansha, 1978
Origins of Modern Japanese literature, Kodansha, 1980
Architecture as Metaphor, Kodansha, 1983
Introspection and Retrospection, Kodansha,1984
Postmodernism and Criticism, Fukutake, 1985
Philosophical Inquiry 1, Kodansha, 1986
Language and Tragedy, Daisanbunmeisha, 1989
Philosophical Inquiry 2, Kodansha,1989
On the 'End', Fukutake, 1990
Collected Essays on Soseki, Daisanbumeisha, 1992
Materialism as Humor, Chikumashobo, 1993
Thoughts before the war, Bungeishunjusha, 1994
Sakaguchi Ango and Nakagami Kenji, Ohta Press, 1996
Ethics 21, Heibonsha, 2000
Transcritique: On Kant and Marx, Hihyokukansha, 2001