Seiji Koga (1745-1844) was a Japanese scholar and student of translation, rhetoric, Buddhism, poetry and floral botany. He Lived in Fukuoka, Japan. Though obscure, his writings have influenced Friedrich Nietzsche, T.S. Eliot, Yashuma Neiboku, and Jorge Luis Borges. Many of his early writings on translation, and his interest in Western conceptions of God, were partialy derivative from the work of the count Florian Von Banier, author of The Art of Writing Translations.



The Letters of Seiji Koga (noded as collected & digitized)

* Letter from Seiji Koga to a supposed son of Florian Von Banier, dated 1840. The addressee, Hrsgy Valksas, was at the time probably living somewhere in Magyarorszag. That Von Banier is his authentic parentage is not confirmable, but Seiji Koga's letter is itself excellent evidence. Von Banier had no legitimate children, except an adopted son. He is said to have sired many children on his voyages--loving all, knowing few.

* Letter from Seiji Koga to Florian Von Banier, dated 1843. Seiji Koga wrote this letter to Florian Von Banier only months before his death. The letter is not a communication, Von Banier had long sinced died. It is, if anything else, simply beautiful. Some of the reasoning behind Koga's writing of the Letter to Florian Von Banier's son, dated 1840 is explained in his ghostly address. The letter is addressed to "The Esteemed Father who is a Flower". It was never posted, and was found amongst some of the volumes of Seiji Koga's Haiku which were printed only after his death.

* Letter from Seiji Koga to Kazuo Kubota, dated 1806. This letter was written six years after Koga's return to his native city of Fukuoka. Koga left his native home in 1763. In 1790 he enrolled as a student of languages and translations at Keio. In the interim, he appears to have spent some time in China, as suggested in the letter below by his referring to his stay in the inland city Qi Xian, and possibly also in Europe. The letter exemplifies Koga's lifelong passions for translation, Buddhism, and flowers.

* Letters from Seiji Koga to Yashuma Neiboku, dated 1810, i.e., The Spinoza Correspondence. Yashuma Neiboku, was apparently a student in the city of Keio with Seiji Koga in the years just before the turn of the century. Beginning in the year 1809, the two initiated another of their magnificent correspondences. The one reproduced here serves as a fine record of their scholarly abilities and dedication. In this correspondence, we have an example of Koga's infinite longing to understand God, or what might be given that name. At Keio he apparently read the works of the Jewish philosopher Baruch de Spinoza, who lived and wrote from Amsterdam. Koga may have first learned of Spinoza through the writings of Florian Von Banier who mentions him briefly in his The Art of Writing Translations. The first part of Spinoza's book is De Deo (On God). It is this section of the work that Koga considers in the following letter, the first extant record of this correspondence with Neiboku.


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