Buildings 2013, 3(3), 588-597; doi:10.3390/buildings3030588
Article

Fudo: An East Asian Notion of Climate and Sustainability

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Received: 15 July 2013; in revised form: 21 August 2013 / Accepted: 2 September 2013 / Published: 9 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Conscious Architecture)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: My paper discusses an East Asian notion of climate and its significance for sustainability. A particular reference is the environmental philosophy of Tetsuro Watsuji (1889–1960), a Japanese philosopher who reflected upon the meaning of climate, or “fudo” in the Sino-Japanese linguistic tradition. Watsuji sees fudo not merely as a collection of natural features—climatic, scenic, and topographical—of a given land, but also as the metaphor of subjectivity, or “who I am”. Furthermore, this self-discovery through fudo is never private but collective. By referring to a phenomenological notion of “ek-sistere”, or “to be out among other ‘I’s”, Watsuji demonstrates the pervasiveness of a climatic phenomenon and the ensuing inter-personal joining of different individuals to shape a collective sustainable measure in response to the phenomenon. My paper lastly concretizes the significance of fudo and its inter-personal ethical basis for sustainability by dwelling upon cross-ventilation in Japanese vernacular residential architecture. Cross-ventilation emerges only through what Watsuji calls “selfless openness” between different rooms predicated upon the joining of different ‘I’s soaked in hotness and humidity. Watsuji’s fudo thus offers a lesson that without considering the collective humane characteristic of a natural climatic phenomenon, any sustainable act is flawed and inefficient.
Keywords: Tetsuro Watsuji; fudo; climate; the inter-personal; sustainability; cross-ventilation; japanese residential architecture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baek, J. Fudo: An East Asian Notion of Climate and Sustainability. Buildings 2013, 3, 588-597.

AMA Style

Baek J. Fudo: An East Asian Notion of Climate and Sustainability. Buildings. 2013; 3(3):588-597.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baek, Jin. 2013. "Fudo: An East Asian Notion of Climate and Sustainability." Buildings 3, no. 3: 588-597.

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