Director of the Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures
Ryukoku University endeavors to educate people who will “seek truth, live in truth, and reveal truth,” being based on its Founding Spirit, the “spirit of the true teaching of Pure Land Buddhism (Jōdo shinshū)” which is no other than the “vow of Amida Buddha aspiring to awake all living beings from ignorance to enlightenment,” and learning from the way of life of Shinran Shōnin who lived in the vow of Amida and followed the path of truth.
The Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures was established mainly in order to embody this unique Founding Spirit of Ryukoku University in terms of research.
Reflecting back on our history, Ryukoku University which started as a Faculty of Letters and a Junior College, began its path to become a general university with the establishment of its new campus at Fukakusa in 1961. At that time, the Research Institute for Buddhist Culture was established with the aim to become a unique cultural research center in Japan by conducting “integrated researches of Buddhist cultures” and promoting “international exchange” through interactions with scholars abroad. Over half a century has passed since the outset of our goal to accomplish the initial objectives. We have since been able to publish our research results on various rare books that cover topics in Buddhism, history, and literature, and are archived at the Omiya Library. We also published a series of texts discussing our findings on the archeological materials brought back from the Silk Road via the Otani Expeditions. Furthermore, we have completed a number of translations on various Buddhist canons. Finally, we have sponsored many public lectures and conferences by inviting renowned scholars from both within and outside of our university, all with the hopes of fulfilling our goal of being a unique research institute.
Today, the Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures is taking a new step. During this transitional period, the Research Institue for Buddhist Culture will continue to fulfill its past responsibilities but it is also in the process of being integrated into the Center for World Buddhist Cultures. The new center, while retaining and continuing the tradition of its predecessors, will further seek to promote international research exchange. The new center will also develop research that will focus on providing solutions to problems facing our modern society.
As today’s world becomes increasingly globalized with a wide diversity of values, it is becoming difficult to identify what truth is. We are committed to fulfilling our mission of building an internationally renowned Buddhist research facility that meets the needs of this global era.
Director of the Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures
Mission of the Center
The Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures was established at Ryukoku University on April 1 2015 with the aim of being the International center for Buddhist Studies which would respond to various urgent problems in the present world. The Research Center will play a significant role in the achievement of the important mission for an institution for higher education, that is, the contribution to society on the basis of the “spirit of the true teaching of Pure Land Buddhism (Jōdo shinshū).”
Specifically, It will proceed with research for the purpose of achieving the following objectives.
1. Comprehensive Academic Research of Buddhism.
Our objective is to contribute to the advancement of academic research on Buddhist philosophy, history, and culture and other relevant fields while searching for ways to respond to the problems facing our modern world. By using effective and appropriate research methodologies, we aim to explore Buddhist topics that meet the needs and concerns of our modern world.
2. Interdisciplinary Research That Combines the Three Fields of “Humanity, Science, and Religion” and the Creation of a New Wisdom.
By combining the three fields of “humanity, science, and religion” we will explore the prospects of creating a new wisdom for the 21st century. We will aim at becoming a global research hub where scholars both from Japan and abroad can converse and interact in order to provide guidelines that can help address social issues and global crises from the standpoint of Buddhism.
3. Building a Global Platform for Buddhist Studies
By collaborating with universities and research institutions in Asia, America, and Europe, we will carryout projects with overseas scholars, Buddhist priests, and academics of religion. We will then publish our research results through our website and publications and provide them in English and other languages. Also, by using the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), we will connect ourselves with overseas universities and research institutions in real time in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. In addition, we will build a system that can quickly respond to requests from overseas research institutions who may ask for information about local historical sites by employing various views from across the university.
4. Benefitting the Undergraduate and Graduate Schools’ Education with the Research Result
By collaborating with the curriculum for each academic area, we will aim at building an integrated program that spans across the departments. We will also promote participation in educational collaboration programs not only within our university but with other educational institutions as well. We will recruit limited-term research fellows from the graduate and post-graduate programs in and outside of our university, providing research grants (scholarships) and publishing their findings online or on print.
History of the Center
The Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures takes a new step inheriting the tradition of the Research Institute for Buddhist Culture (RIBC) which has a long history at the Ryukoku University.