Louis Frédéric

French Indologist

Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, also known as Louis Frédéric or Louis-Frédéric (1923 – 1996), was a French scholar, art historian, writer and editor. He was a specialist in the cultures of Asia, especially India and Japan.


  • The Japanese spirit wavered from then on between the lure of the West and the need to preserve her territorial integrity. Slowly, inexorably, Western civilization covered up with its veneer this other civilization patiently built up in the course of centuries, long nurtured in suffering and in pride by generations of men and women. But this was only in semblance. The Japan of old still dwells deep in the soul of every inhabitant of her islands and manifests itself at every turn in some euphuistic subtlety or an exquisitely delicate courtesy.
    • Frédéric, L. (1984). Daily life in Japan at the time of the samurai, 1185-1603. Tokyo: Tuttle.
  • The spirit of Japan, conceived in the Nara epoch, carried in the womb of her islands throughout the Heian period, delivered in the anguish of the Middle Ages, schooled by the rod of iron of the Tokugawas, fully grown now, benefited from all her past experiences. She cannot forget them.
    • Frédéric, L. (1984). Daily life in Japan at the time of the samurai, 1185-1603. Tokyo: Tuttle.
  • Towards the end of the twelfth century, while Western Europe was still wavering between a dying Roman influence and a dawning Gothicism, preliminaries to a medieval era which would make possible the development of a world-wide humanism, Asia had already lived through her classical period and, sinking into decay, was preparing to face a long period of political and spiritual unrest. While India was beginning to suffer under the yoke of the victorious Mussulman, who had come down on her from the mountains of Afghanistan and the plains of Iran, and while the domination of the Khmers was reaching its climax at Angkor, China, under pressure from the barbarians of the north, was withdrawing to the south where the Song empire, thinking itself safe from invasions, continued to live a life of luxury.
    • Frédéric, L. (1984). Daily life in Japan at the time of the samurai, 1185-1603. Tokyo: Tuttle.
  • Mohammed Ghori had the Hindu temples of Ajmer demolished and ordered the construction of mosques and Quran schools on their ruins…He plundered Kanauj and Kashi and destroyed their temples... [While his generals] destroyed in passing the remaining Buddhist communities of Bihar and destroyed the universities of Nalanda.... Bakhtiar Khilji “established a Muslim capital in Lakhanauti (Gaur) on the Ganga and destroyed, in 1197, its basalt temples. In Odantpuri, in 1202, he massacred two thousand Buddhist monks.... [Meanwhile, back in Delhi:] “This Quwwat-ul-Islam (Might of Islam) was built in a hurry using the debris, chiefly sculpted pillars, of twenty-seven dismantled Hindu temples.” Thirty years later, “Iltutmish did not forget that he was a Muslim conqueror. He showed himself to be very pious, never forgetting to do his five devotional daily….He likewise showed himself totally intolerant vis-à-vis the Hindus who refused to convert, destroying their temples and annihilating Brahmin communities.”
    • Louis Frederic, L'Inde de l'Islam, p. 42-49, (quoted from: Decolonizing the Hindu Mind - By Koenraad Elst p. 328)

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