- Director of the Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures
- Research Fields
- Eastern Christian Mysticism
- Wagenkan, Fukakusa Campus, 67 Tsukamoto-chō, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8577
The Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures consists of the following three research divisions.
This research division develops the doctrinal, historical, and cultural studies of Buddhism, and the studies of manuscripts and old documents in various areas which include the rare texts in the Ryukoku University.
One of our aims is to organize and manage the rich and vast researches that were conducted on Shinran since the pre-modern era. These studies of Shinran were conducted from historical, philosophical, and literary viewpoints. This division will advance the studies of rare texts archived in the Omiya Library not only from a philological and philosophical standpoint, but it will also explore Shinran’s thought in terms of its truth and universality from a broad spectrum of perspectives.
Continuing the research achievements of the “Central Asian Cultures Research Group” founded in 1953, this division will focus its explorations on the Buddhist materials of Central Asia collected by the Otani Expeditions as well as relevant materials archived throughout Japan and overseas. In addition to studies that are indirectly related to the Otani Expedition, the division will also examine Buddhist art works of the Silk Road and historical sites of Buddhist temples.
This group will proceed with research on rare classical canons and the Buddhist canon known as the Tripitaka, which are archived at Ryukoku University’s rare books collection department known as the “Shaji Dai Bunko” as well as other known locations. In addition, through comprehensive studies about Buddhist doctrine, rituals, and history based on these documents, the division will clarify what exactly Buddhist “academic knowledge” is and has been up until now and the methodology for its continued development.
The group will examine and research various issues related to the history of Japanese Buddhism and Shin Buddhism. The division is divided into the “pre-modern” and “modern” groups. The pre-modern group will examine the precepts for priests and nuns and their development established by the nation under the Ritsuryo code. The modern group will examine the historical significance of Buddhist journals published during the Meiji period.
Based on the teachings of Buddhism, the Applicable Research Division intends to address the various social issues of the modern world. Such issues include areas in education, medical care, Vihara activities, grief-counseling, human rights protection, non-violence and world peace movements, bioethics, and environmental protection.
We will provide the Center for Humanities, Science and Religion (CHSR) as one of our research groups. CHSR aims to become the leader in innovating new research projects that can respond to the critical needs of modern society while continuing to develop our past achievements that promote the idea of “Transcending Life and Death: Cross-disciplinary Research of Buddhism and Various Sciences.” In doing so, the division will aim at obtaining large-scale research funding from an outside source as its new project. Furthermore, the center will support experimental research that is not limited by traditional academic boundaries by implementing a program framework of “emerging research, open recruitment” within its division.
This division will be responsible for sharing information about the overall activities of the center to the international community while continuing the project of translating and publishing Buddhist canons and texts that were originally carried out by the Research Institute for Buddhist Culture. In addition to the publication of E-journal and website management, the division will promote exchanges with overseas scholars, other Buddhists, and religious specialists through the Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The division will encourage collaboration with universities and research institutes in different parts of the world and engage in the sponsorship of international symposiums that will invite scholars from overseas.
As religion becomes more global and multi-dimensional in contemporary society, there has been a growing awareness of the need for inter-religious dialogue. The division will encourage these conversations and interactions by collaborating with various religious research institutions abroad. With the theme of “inter-faith education” the division will carryout research at institutions of higher education.
In the international context of inter-religious dialogue this division will explore how Japanese Buddhist ideology is viewed in the eyes of the outside world as well as what Japanese Buddhism can further contribute to inter-religious education. Through these activities, the division will work as its core focus to not only develop young scholars to understand the importance of having an international mindset but also to promote global interactions of scholars.