The Japanese representative philosopher Tetsurō Watsuji's ethical theory has been influenced by Hegel, as many interpreters of Watsuji's work have pointed out. It is sure that there are many resemblances between Watsuji's ethical theory and that of Hegel. However, the foundational concepts of Watsuji's ethical theory, namely, "aidagara (social relation)" and the dialectic of "kū (emptiness)," can be found in his work before his intensive study of Hegel. In this article, I aim to elucidate the key differences in terms of the foundational thoughts between Watsuji's theory of "aidagara" and Hegel's theory of "Sittlichkeit (ethical life)." I will argue that the inter-relation of subjects as "aidagara" for Watsuji is a "given" in the sense that it already and always exists, and that, in contrast to this, the inter-relation of subjects as "recognition" for Hegel needs to be achieved or restored.