Faculty Profile


Born in 1967.

Professor, Shizuoka University

Organization for Designing Future Society (main charge / deputy director)

Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate School of Science and Technology (deputy charge)

Specialties: Philosophy, Ethics, and death studies.

My father died shortly after entering the Faculty of Science (Mathematics) at Tohoku University. Struggling with the death of my father and how to deal with my own death, I began volunteering at the “Arinomama-sya” home for the severely disabled (now “Sendai Arinomama-sya”). Since then, I have been friends with the late Yasushi Abe (died in 2008) for about 20 years.

After graduating from the Department of Mathematics in the Faculty of Science, I was attracted to the word “death practice” and entered the Faculty of Letters in the Department of Philosophy as a bachelor’s degree. Under the guidance of Professor Yasuo Iwata, I went on to his master’s and doctoral programs while struggling with Heidegger’s philosophy. In 1996-7, I studied abroad at Humboldt University at public expense. In July 2002, I was awarded a Ph.D. (Literature) from the Graduate School of Letters, Tohoku University (Doctoral Thesis “Heidegger Philosophy and Christian: A Clue to Early Religious Phenomenology Research”).

In the fall of 2002, I met the late Dr. Takeshi Okabe (died in 2012) at a study group led by Professor Tetsuro Shimizu, and started the Tanatology Study Group together from the following spring. At the same time, I entered the field of care and embarked on the life and death studies.

Since then, I visited the patient’s home with home palliative care staff (doctors, nurses, helpers) and began to interact with the patient and family. In particular, through encounters with old farmers, I was led to the relevance of problems about “life,” “death,” “land,” and “nature.”

Faced with the challenge of putting “life” and “death” in “land” and even in “nature”, I decided to visit rural areas and the Shirakami Mountains (Meya Matagi). In April 2006, I was appointed as an associate professor at Shizuoka University (concurrently serving as an associate professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Graduate School of Science and Technology), and have been a professor since April 2010.

I was given a son with Down’s disease in 2008 and had been studying abroad in Sweden for a year from April 2011 (Visiting Professor, University of Borås, Sweden). During the stay in Sweden, I was fascinated by the society of dialogue. After returning to Japan then, I established the Philosophy Cafe (2013), Café Mortal(2015), the Political Cafe (2018), and the School for Philosophy and Dialogue(2019).

Since January 2019, I have been participating as a collaborative researcher in the UK-Japan International Collaborative Research (MITORI PPROJECT Principal Investigator, David Clark, University of Glasgow) dealing with issues at the end of life term.


Edited Book

“How to live and how to die: Death and life studies from the field” (edited by Takeshi Okabe and Hirobumi Takenouchi, Kyusen Shoin, 2009), “Proof of Life: 20 Years of Independent Life” (Yasutsugu Abe, edited by Hirobumi Takenouchi, Shinkyo Publishing Co., 2010), “Living with Loss: Dialogue of Death and Life Studies” (edited by Hirobumi Takenouchi and Satoko Asahara, edited by Polano Publishing, 2016), “New Ethics of Agriculture and Food” (Motoki Akitsu, Yoichiro Sato, Hirobumi Takenouchi, Showa-do, 2018), “Learn to live with death: Philosophy of mortal” (Hirobumi Takenouchi, 2019).

★ “Learn to live with death: Philosophy of mortal” (Hirobumi Takenouchi, Polano Publishing, 2019) A reading party (Tamoto no Kai) was held in Kobe with this book as a text. You can read the book club report of each chapter in NOTE. https://note.com/chuco/m/m534a0f0ea030

★★ For this book, the Kansai Bioethics Study Group organized a joint review meeting. The exchange of book reviews can be read in the following magazines.

“Attempt for Interactive Inquiry by Dying Things: Reply to Criticism” (Hirobumi Takenouchi, “Toyota Technological Institute Discussion Paper” No. 22, Special Feature “Learn to Live with Death”, Toyota Technological Institute Humanities Research, July 2021, pp. 23-54)



Major Co-Authored Books

“Philosophy Problems: Thinking Again” (edited by Hiroyuki Aso and Atsushi Kido, Nakanishiya Publishing, 2006: “Death,” “Love,” and “Happiness”), “Living in an Aging Society: Old People / Nursing System ”(edited by Tetsuro Shimizu, Humanities and Social Sciences Series that Opens the Future, Toshindo, 2007: Chapter 4 Toward the Reconstruction of“ Nursing Culture ”- Giving a gaze at “ Ma ”),“ Iwanami Lecture Philosophy 08 “Philosophy of Life / Environment” (edited by Tetsuro Shimizu, Iwanami Shoten, 2009: Perspective from the text), “Easy Death Problem and Clinical Ethics” (supervised by the Japan Society for Clinical Death and Life, edited by Kunihiko Ishitani, Aomisha, 2009) : Why Pariative Philosophy), “Creating Human Ecology: Thinking about the Future of People and the Environment” (edited by Keiichiro Nogami, Kyoritsu Publishing, 2010: Chapter 5 Human Ecology as a Question: Environment and Ethics (On), “Series Life Ethics, Volume 4, Terminal Medicine” (Yasunori Ando, ​​Miyako Takahashi, ed., Maruzen Publishing, 2012: Chapter 8 Dismantling the Discourse “Natural Death” -The Meaning of the Decisive to Die (In search of), “Unearthing the philosophical foundation of Scandinavian care” (edited by Shinji Hamauzu, Osaka University Press, 2018: Chapter 4 “Home” as a base for human life-home care Routledge Handbook of Well-being, edited by Kathleen T. Galvin, Routledge, 2018; Chapter 4. Dwelling in the World with Others as Mortal Beings, “Well-being” in post-disaster Japanese society.


Major Academic Activities

The International Research Society of the Sapporo Conference for Palliative and Supportive Care in Cancer; Director

The Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Researches in Medicine, Research Committee Member

Japan End of Life Care Society Full-time Reviewer

Director of Shizuoka Philosophy Society


Award History

October 25, 2019 Special Award of the Association for Regional Agricultural and Forestry Economics(Award-winning work: Co-edited “New Ethics of Agriculture and Food” Showa-do)

October 17, 2020 The Japanese Association for Philosophical and Ethical Researches in Medicine Award (Award-winning work: Single work “Learn to live with death: Philosophy of mortal” published by Polano)