» Table of Contents
» Preface
» Part I: A Brief History of Buddhism in Japan
» Part II: The Japanese and Buddhism
» Part III: Toward the Future

Part IV: Appendixes

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Part IV: Appendixes

1. Introducing the Japan Buddhist Federation (JBF)

According to recent national census conducted in 2003, there are approximately 96 million Buddhists belonging to over 77,000 temples and associations. The Japan Buddhist Federation (JBF) is the only federation of traditional Buddhist denominations in Japan. It consists of all the major denominations and sects (including the 58 main denominations), prefectural Buddhist associations, and promotional Buddhist organizations. The members of our affiliated 103 denominations and associations account for more than 90 percent of all Buddhist organizations in Japan.

Our federation has its origins in the Buddhist Interfaith Organization, founded in 1900 to oppose the control of religion by the Japanese government. The Japanese Buddhist Federation was created in 1957 out of the Greater Japan Buddhist Association and the Japan Buddhist Confederation.

The organization of our federation consists of a board of directors, an executive board, and a board of trustees, which are responsible for the administration of the federation. The General Secretariat is responsible for running daily activities, and there are special committees to review specific tasks. These functions support various activities for the entire Japanese Buddhist community.

Our activities can be divided into two parts: 1) daily activities for liaison and information, exchange and study, and promotion of mutual friendship; and 2) assisting people in local communities in the event of disasters. Furthermore, we have joined with Shinto, Christian, and New Religions federations to form the Japanese Religious League, maintaining contact with the representative denominations of the Buddhist community and participating in negotiations with government offices and official institutes. In addition, we serve as the Japanese representative to the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB), working as a liaison for international activities and exchange with Buddhists from other countries.

The Japan Buddhist Federation has been focusing its activities on the following projects:

a) Endorsing “Freedom of Religion” and “Separation of Religion and State”

In order to endorse the principles of “Freedom of Religion” and “Separation of Religion and State” as guaranteed by the Japanese Constitution, the federation is actively engaged in lobbying the Japanese government and political parties in regard to such issues as the revision of the Religious Corporation Law, the establishment of the Information Disclosure Law, and the maintenance of the non-tax principle for religious corporations.

b) Addressing Contemporary Issues

Contemporary issues that society demands to be addressed by the Buddhist community include the effects of the expanding multimedia, the medical ethics of transplanting organs from the clinically brain-dead, and the meaning of the funeral in modern society. The Japan Buddhist Federation provides various opinions and viewpoints on these issues through seminars, the federation’s monthly journal called the Zenbutsu, and on the federation’s website to increase the knowledge and awareness of the general public.

c) Campaigning to Eliminate “Buraku Discrimination” & Promote Human Rights

The Japan Buddhist Federation is pursuing the elimination of “Buraku Discrimination” and the promotion of human rights by exchanging information on progressive actions with other affiliated associations and organizing meetings to heighten awareness on these issues. The federation is also continuing its investigations to make explicit the connection between the Buddhist doctrine and discrimination.

d) Restoring the Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini

Ten years have passed since the plans were first laid to restore the Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Siddhartha. Now finally the project has arrived at its final phase. The archeologists dispatched from Japan have finished their appraisal of the site and the coordination with Nepal under the auspices of UNESCO is underway for beginning the reconstruction.

e) World Fellowship of Buddhists

The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) was established in 1950 to promote international exchange and friendly relations in the Buddhist community, to spread Buddhism, and to contribute to World peace. The headquarters is located at Bangkok in Thailand and its affiliate members include 135 regional centers in 38 countries throughout the world.

The General Conference, the most important venue for decisionmaking within the WFB, has been held in every two or three years since the establishment of WFB. Its organizations and activities are reviewed and the agendas and schedules of future activities are decided at the General Conference. JBF has hosted the WFB General Conference twice, once in 1952 and again in 1978.

Japan Buddhist Federation

Meisho Kaikan Hall 2F, 474, Shiba-koen, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 105-0011, Japan

Phone: +81334379275
Fax: +81334373260

E-mail: info@jbf.ne.jp
URL: http://www.jbf.ne.jp

Access: Ten-minute walk from the Onarimon or Shiba-Koen stations on the subway Toei-Mita line. Five-minute walk from the Akabane-bashi station on the subway Toei-Oedo line. Fifteen-minute walk from the Daimon station on the subway Toei-Asakusa line. Twenty-minute walk from the Hamamatsucho station on the JR Line.

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2. JBF-Affiliated Organizations

Buddhist Denominations and Sects

(a) Tendai Denomination


Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship

Myoken Shu

Nenpo Shinkyo

The Tendai Buddhist Administration Headquarters

Tendai Jimon Shu

Tendai Shinsei Shu

Shitennoji Temple (Wa-shu)

Shokannon Shu

(b) Shingon Denomination

The Buzan Denomination of Shingon Buddhism

Koyasan Shingon Mission

Shigisan Shingon Shu

Shingi Shingon Shu

Shingon Sanpo Shu

Shingon Shu Chizan-ha

Shingon Shu Daigo-ha

Shingon Shu Daikakuji-ha

Shingon Shu Inunaki-ha

Shingon Shu Kokubunji-ha

Shingon Shu Nakayamadera-ha

Shingon Shu Omuro-ha

Shingon-Shu Sennyuji-ha

Shingon Shu Yamashina-ha

Shingon Shu Zentsuji Sect

The Sumadera school of the Shingon sect of Buddhism

Toji Shingon Shu

(c) Jodo Denominations

Jodo Shu

Jodo Shu Seizan-Zenrinji-ha

The Seizan Fukakusa Branch of Jodo-sect

Seizan Jodo Shu

Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha

Shinshu Bukkoji-ha

Shinshu Kibe-ha

Shinshu Kosho-ha

Shinshu Otani-ha

Shinshu Takada-ha

Jishu (JI-sect)


(d) Zen Denominations

Administrative Headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism

Obaku Shu

Rinzai Shu Engakuji-ha

Rinzai Shu Kenchoji-ha

Rinzai Shu Myoshinji-ha

Rinzai Shu Nanzenji-ha

Rinzai Shu Shokokuji-ha

Rinzai Shu Tofukuji-ha

(e) Nichiren Denomination

Hokke Shu Honmon-ryu

Hokke Shu Jinmon-ryu

Hokke Shu Shinmon-ryu

Honmon Butsuryu Shu

Honmon Hokke Shu

Kenpon Hokke Shu

Nichiren Shu

(f) Denominations of the “Six Schools” of Nara Buddhism

Hosso Sect

Kegon Shu

Ritsu Shu

Shingon Ritsu Shu

Shotoku Shu

Other Affiliated Organizations

Prefectural Buddhist Associations (listed north to south)

Hokkaido Bukkyokai Renmei

Aomori-ken Bukkyokai

Iwate-ken Bukkyokai (Iwate Buddhist Society)

Fukushima-ken Bukkyokai

Gunma-ken Bukkyo Rengokai

Tochigi-ken Bukkyokai

Ibaraki-ken Bukkyokai

Saitama-ken Bukkyokai

Chiba-ken Bukkyokai

Tokyo-to Bukkyo Rengokai

Kanagawa-ken Bukkyokai

Niigata-ken Bukkyokai

Ishikawa-ken Bukkyokai

Fukui-ken Bukkyokai

Yamanashi-ken Bukkyokai

Nagano-ken Bukkyokai

Gifu-ken Bukkyokai

Shizuoka-ken Bukkyokai

Aichi-ken Bukkyokai

Shiga-ken Bukkyokai

Kyoto Bukkyokai (Kyoto Buddhist Association)

Kyoto-fu Bukkyo Rengokai

Osaka-fu Bukkyokai

Hyogo-ken Bukkyokai

Wakayama-ken Bukkyokai

Shimane-ken Bukkyokai

Okayama-ken Bukkyokai

Tottori-ken Bukkyo Rengokai

Kagawa-ken Bukkyokai

Tokushima-ken Bukkyo Rengokai

Ehime-ken Bukkyokai

Kochi-ken Bukkyokai

Fukuoka-ken Bukkyo Rengokai

Nagasaki Bukkyo Rengokai

Miyazaki-ken Bukkyo Rengokai

Okinawa-ken Bukkyokai

Independent Buddhist Organizations

All Japan Buddhist Women’s Association

All Japan Young Buddhist Association (JYBA)

Buddhist Association of Information and Mercy

Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai

(Society for the Promotion of Buddhism)

Bukkyo Shinko Zaidan

International Buddhist Brotherhood Association

Japan Buddhist Nursery and Kindergarten Association

Nihon Bukkyo Sangokai

Tokyo Buddhist Club

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3. Buddhist Universities, Societies, Institutes

Universities and Colleges (listed alphabetically)

Aichi Gakuin University

12, Araike, Iwasaki-cho, Nisshin, Aichi Pref. 4700195, Japan

Phone: +81561731111
Fax: +81561728422
E-mail: kohoka@dpc.aichi-gakuin.ac.jp

Ashikaga Institute of Technology

2681, Omae-cho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Pref. 3268558, Japan

Phone: +81284620605
Fax: +81284620976
E-mail: aithome@ashitech.ac.jp

Bukkyo University

96, Kitahananobo-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 6038301, Japan

Phone: +81754912141
E-mail: mmc-info@bukkyo-u.ac.jp

Bunkyo University

3217, Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-0064, Japan

Phone: +81337835511
Fax: +81337838300
E-mail: interex@hatanodai.bunkyo.ac.jp

Chikushi Jogakuen University

2121, Ishizaka, Dazaifu, Fukuoka Pref. 8180118, Japan

Phone: +81929253511

Doho University

71, Inabaji-cho, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Pref. 4538540, Japan

Phone: +81524111113
Fax: +81524110333

Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University

2078, Takakuwa, Yanaizu-cho, Hashima-gun, Gifu Pref. 501-6122, Japan

Phone: +81582790804

Hanazono University

81, Tubonouchi-cho, Nishinokyo, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 6048456, Japan

Phone: +81758115181
E-mail: soumu@hanazono.ac.jp

International Buddhist University

321, Gakuenmae, Habikino, Osaka Pref. 5838501, Japan

Phone: +81729563181
E-mail: kouhou@shitennoji.ac.jp

Komazawa University

123–1, Komazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154–8525, Japan

Phone: +81–3–3702–9730
E-mail: kokusaicenter@komazawa-u.ac.jp

Koyasan University

Koyasan, Koysan-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Pref. 648–0211, Japan

Phone: +81–7365–6–2921
E-mail: shomu@koyasan-u.ac.jp

Kurashiki Sakuyo University

3515, Nagao, Tamashima, Kurashiki, Okayama Pref. 710–0292, Japan

Phone: +81–86–523–0888
Fax: +81–86–523–0811
E-mail: webmaster@ksu.ac.jp

Kyoto Koka Women’s University

39, Noda-cho, Nishikyogoku, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 615-0861, Japan

Phone: +81–75–325–5221
Fax: +81–75–322–0336
E-mail: hkk@mail.koka.ac.jp

Kyoto Women’s University

35, Kitahiyoshi-cho, Imakumano, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 605–0926, Japan

Phone: +81–75–531–7054
E-mail: webmaster@kyoto-wu.ac.jp

Musashino University

1–1–20, Shin-machi, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 202–0023, Japan

Phone: +81–424–68–3111
E-mail: soEugou@musashino-u.ac.jp

Nagoya College of Music

7–1, Inabaji-cho, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Pref. 453–8540, Japan

Phone: +81–52–411–1115
E-mail: meion@doho.ac.jp

Nagoya Zokei University Art and Design

6004, Nenjozaka, Okusaaza, Oaza, Komaki, Aichi Pref. 485–8553, Japan

Phone: +81–568–79–1111
Fax: +81–568–79–1070
E-mail: nzu_web@doho.ac.jp

Nihon Fukushi University

Okuda, Mihama-cho, Chita, Aichi Pref. 470–3295, Japan

Phone: +81–569–87–2212
Fax: +81–569–87–5849
E-mail: webmaster@ml.n-fukushi.ac.jp

Ohtani Women’s University

3–11–1, Nishikiorikita, Tondabayashi, Osaka Pref. 584–8540, Japan

Phone: +81–721–24–0381
Fax: +81–721–24–5741
E-mail: webadmin@ohtani-w.ac.jp

Otani University

Koyama, Kamifusa-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 603–8143, Japan

Phone: +81–75–432–3131
E-mail: webmaster@otani.ac.jp

Rissho University

4–2–16, Osaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141–8602, Japan

Phone: +81–3–3492–0377
E-mail: bst@ris.ac.jp

Ryukoku University

67, Tsukamoto-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 612–8577, Japan

Phone: +81–75–642–1111
Fax: +81–75–642–8867
E-mail: webmaster@fks.ryukoku.ac.jp

Saitama Institute of Technology

1690, Fusaiji, Okabemachi, Osato, Saitama Pref. 369–0293, Japan

Phone: +81–48–585–2521
Fax: +81–48–585–2523
E-mail: webmaster@sit.ac.jp

Shuchiin University

70, Mukaijima, Nishijouke, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 612 8156, Japan

Phone: +81–75–604–5600
Fax: +81–75–604–5610
E-mail: officel@shuchiin.ac.jp

Shukutoku University

200, Daiganji-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba, Chiba Pref. 260–8701, Japan

Phone: +81–43–265–7331

Soai University

4–4–1, Nankoh, Naka, Suminoe-ku, Osaka, Osaka Pref. 559–0033, Japan

Phone: +81–6–6612–5900
E-mail: webmas@soai.ac.jp

Taisho University

3–20–1, Nishisugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170–8470, Japan

Phone: +81–3–3918–7311
Fax: +81–3–5394–3037
E-mail: info@mail.tais.ac.jp

Tohoku Fukushi University

1–8–1, Kunimi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Pref. 981–8522, Japan

Phone: +81–22–233–3111
E-mail: wmaster@tfu-mail.tfu.ac.jp

Tsurumi University

2–1–3, Tsurumi, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Pref. 2308501, Japan

Phone: +81–45–581–1001
Fax: +81–45–584–4588

Academic Societies and Institutes (listed alphabetically)

Association of Buddhist Philosophy

1–20–1, Akabane-nishi, Kita-ku, Tokyo 115–0055, Japan

Phone: +81–3–3907–3126
Fax: +81–3– 5993–3344

Buddhist Folklore Society

Taisho University

3–20–1, Nishisugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170–8470, Japan

Phone: +81–3–3918–7311
Fax: +81–3–5394–3037

The Institute of Eastern Culture

2–4–1, Nishi-kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101–0065, Japan

Phone: +81–3–3262–7221
Fax: +81–3–3262–7227
E-mail: tohogakkai@mc.nextlink.ne.jp

Japanese Association for Buddhist Social Welfare Studies

Shukutoku University
200, Daiganji-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba, Chiba Pref. 260–8701, Japan

Phone: +81–43–265–7331
Fax: +81–43–265–8310

Japanese Association for Religious Studies

Ruman-hongo 2–205, 1–29–7, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

Phone: +81–3–5684–5473
Fax: +81–3–5684–5474
E-mail: ja-religion@mub.biglobe.ne.jp

Japanese Association of Esoteric Buddhist Study

3–20–1, Nishi-sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170–8470, Japan

Phone: +81–3–3918–7311

Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies

Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo
7–3–1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113–0033, Japan

Phone: +81–3–5841–3754
Fax: +81–3–5841–3754
E-mail: intetsu@l.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Nihon Kindai Bukkyoshi Kenkyukai

Faculty of Buddhist Studies, Rissho University
4–2–16, Osaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141–8602, Japan

Phone: +81–3–5487–3266
Fax: +81–3–5487–3267

The Nippon Buddhist Education Research Association

Faculty of Education, Bukkyo University
96, Kitahananobo-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 603–8301, Japan

Phone: +81–75–491–2141
Fax: +81–75–493–9031
E-mail: takeuchi@bukkyo-u.ac.jp

The Nippon Buddhist Research Association

Bukkyo University
96, Kitahananobo-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Pref. 603–8301, Japan

Phone: +81–75–491–2141
Fax: +81–75–493–9040

Research Society of Buddhism and Cultural Heritage

The Institute for Comprehensive Studies of Buddhism, Taisho University
3–20–1, Nishi-sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170–8470, Japan

Phone: +81–3–5394–3036
Fax: +81–3–5394–3036

Society for the Study of Pali and Buddhist Culture

Faculty of Letters, Aichi Gakuin University
12, Araike, Iwasaki-cho, Nissin, Aichi Pref. 470–0195, Japan

Phone: +81–5617–3–1111
Fax: +81–5617–3–8179

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4. Bibliography on Buddhism

Today, an increasing number of people have become interested in Japanese Buddhism and inquire about English books on Japanese Buddhism suitable for the general reader. The following is a list of books available at bookstores or libraries throughout the world. The reader may begin with any of the books on this list but I suggest you start with the introductory books starred * in each section.

Books on Buddhism in General

* Conze, Edward, et al., ed. Buddhist Texts through the Ages. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1995.

Anthology of excerpts and analysis of the canonical texts from the Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantric traditions of Buddhism.

* De Bary, W. M. Theodore. The Buddhist Tradition in India, China & Japan. New York: Vintage Books, 1972.

A truly excellent survey of Buddhism with excerpts from scriptural sources.

Harvey, Peter. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

A general survey of Buddhism and its beliefs, including chapters on devotion, ethics, monastic practices, and meditation.

Huston, Smith and Philip Novak. Buddhism: A Concise Introduction. New York: Harper San Francisco, 2003.

A concise introduction to Buddhism, including Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, and others.

Kasahara, Kazuo, et al. A History of Japanese Religion. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Co., 2001.

The English translation of Kasahara’s book on the history of Japanese religion.

* Kashiwahara, Yusen and Koyu Sonoda, ed. Shapers of Japanese Buddhism. Trans. Gaynor Sekimori. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Co., 1994.

Twenty main biographies and 75 brief sketches of distinguished Japanese Buddhist priests are presented in this book.

*LaFleur, William R. Buddhism: A Cultural Perspective. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1988.

A review of the culture of Buddhism from India through China, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Japan, and the West.

*Lopez, Donald S. Jr., ed. Buddhism in Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

Presents Buddhism in practice through a selection of texts including hagiographies, monastic rules, pilgrimage songs, apocryphal sutras, and didactic tales from India, China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar.

Matsunaga, Daigan and Alicia Matsunaga. Foundation of Japanese Buddhism. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1978.

A two-volume series on the systematic study of historical-sociological-political development of Buddhism.

Matsunami, Kodo. Essentials of Japanese Buddhism. (Omega-Corn JABICS Books) Tokyo: Omega-Com, Inc., 2004.

A comprehensive survey on the history and teaching of major Buddhist denominations in Japan.

* Paul, Diana Y. Women in Buddhism: Images of the Feminine in Mahayana Tradition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

A survey and discussion of the position of women in Buddhism according to Mahayana texts.

Snodgrass, Judith. Presenting Japanese Buddhism to the West: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and the Columbian Exposition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Deals with a critical moment for understanding how Asian Buddhists reformulated the tradition in response to the West.

Takasaki, Jikido. An Introduction to Buddhism. Tokyo: Toho Gakkai, 1987.

The English translation of Takasaki’s book written in Japanese.

Takeuchi, Yoshinori, ed. Buddhist Spirituality: Later China, Korea, Japan, and the Modern World. New York: Crossroad, 1999.

An encyclopedic history of Buddhist spirituality found in later China, Korea, Japan, and the modern world.

Tamura, Yoshiro. Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History. Trans. by Jeffrey Hunter. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Co., 2000.

The English translation of Tamura’s book on Japanese Buddhism.

Takada, Yoshihito. Talking about Buddhism. Trans. by James M. Vardaman. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1997.

A concise introduction to Japanese Buddhist ways of life.

The Teaching of Buddha. Tokyo: Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, 2002.

A simple introduction to Buddhism for the general reader, often referred to as the Buddhist Gideon Bible, and available by contacting Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (Society for the Promotion of Buddhism).

* Williams, Paul. Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. London and New York: Routledge, 1989.

Deals with the doctrinal foundations of Mahayana Buddhism from India, China, and Japan.

Books on Tendai and Shingon Buddhism

* Abe, Ryuichi. The Weaving of Mantra: Kukai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Deals with Kukai’s introduction and development of Shingon.

Groner, Paul. Ryogen and Mount Hiei: Japanese Tendai in the Tenth Century. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002.

The history and influence of Ryogen, an important figure in tenth century Tendai Buddhism.

• Groner, Paul. Saicho: The Establishment of the Japanese Tendai School. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2000.

The history and teaching of Saicho, the founder of Japanese Tendai school in the eighth century.

• Hakeda, Yoshito S. Kukai and His Major Works. New York: Columbia University Press, 1972.

The major works of Kukai, the founder of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, are translated in the book.

Kiyota, Minoru. Shingon Buddhism: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1978.

Presents a survey of the background, philosophy, and basic doctrines of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.

Petzold, Bruno. Tendai Buddhism. Yokohama: International Buddhist Exchange Center, 1979.

A collection of prewar essays on Japanese Tendai Buddhism

Shiba, Ryotaro. Kukai the Universal: Scenes from His Life. Trans. by Akiko Takemoto. New York: ICG Muse, 2003.

A novel concerning the life of Kukai, the eighth-century founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.

* Statler, Oliver. Japanese Pilgrimage. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1983.

The story of the pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku to sites related to Kukai.

Stone, Jacqueline I. Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999.

Deals with the original enlightenment discourse and its place in medieval Japanese religion.

• Swanson, Paul L. Foundations of T’ien-T’ai Philosophy: The Flowering of the Two Truths Theory in Chinese Buddhism. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1989.

A comprehensive study of the teaching of the Threefold Truth in Tendai Buddhism.

Van Der Veere, Hendr. A Study into the Thought of Kogyo Daishi Kakuban. Hotei Publishing, 2000.

The philosophy and influence of Kakuban, the founder of Shingi Shingon Buddhism.

Yamamoto, Chikyo. Introduction to the Mandala. Kyoto: Dohosha, 1980.

An introduction to the Vajra and Womb Mandalas, with diagrams of the mandalas and lists of the Sanskrit names of the many deities, and a brief explanation.

Yamasaki, Taiko. Shingon: Japanese Esoteric Buddhism. Trans. by Richard and Cynthia Peterson. Boston: Shambhala (Random House), 1988.

Traces the origins and development of esoteric Buddhism from India to Japan.

Books on Pure Land Buddhism

Amstutz, Galen. Interpreting Amida: History and Orientalism in the Study of Pure Land Buddhism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.

The author demonstrates how the sources of western and Eastern misunderstanding of Pure Land Buddhism have been engendered.

Andreasen, Esben. Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion and Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997.

A survey of Shin Buddhist religion and culture from a Western point of view.

Bloom, Alfred, ed. Living in Amida’s Universal Vow: Essays on Shin Buddhism. Bloomington: World Wisdom Books, 2004.

A collection of essays by leading Buddhist scholars forming the best anthology of Shin Buddhism.

Blum, Mark L. The Origins and Development of Pure Land Buddhism: A Study and Translation of Gyonen’s Jodo Homon Genrusho. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002.

A study and translation of Gyonen’s Jodo Homon Genrusho the major work of Honen’s disciple.,

* Dobbins, James C. Jodo Shinshu: Shin Buddhism in Medieval Japan. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989.

Traces the tradition of Shin Buddhism in Medieval Japan up to the period of Rennyo, a disciple of Shinran.

* Gomez, Luis. Land of Bliss: The Paradise of the Buddha of Measureless Light: Sanskrit and Chinese Versions of the Sukhavativyuha Sutras. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996.

The English translation with scholarly introduction of the Sanskrit and Chinese versions of the shorter and longer Amida Sutras.

Hattori, Sho-on. A Raft from the Other Shore: Honen and the Way of Pure Land Buddhism. Tokyo: Jodo Shu Press, 2000.

An introductory book on the way of Pure Land Buddhism for the general reader.

Hirota, Dennis. No Abode: The Record of Ippen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986.

Ippen’s work is made known to the West for the first time through this translation.

Hirota, Dennis. Toward a Contemporary Understanding of Pure Land Buddhism: Creating a Shin Buddhist Theology in a Religiously Plural World. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000.

Essays presented by three Buddhists and two Christians discuss matters on the contemporary understanding of Pure Land Buddhism.

Inagaki, Hisao. The Three Pure Land Sutras: A Study and Translation. Kyoto: Nagata Bunshodo, 1994.

A translation from Chinese of the three Pure Land sutras (the Larger Amida Sutra, the Smaller Amida Sutra, and the Contemplation Sutra), including an introduction to Pure Land thought.

Itsuki, Hiroyuki. Tariki: Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2001.

Drawing upon his own personal experience, the Japanese renowned novelist introduces “Tariki,” the Other Power that is the core belief of Pure Land Buddhism.

Machida, Soho. Renegade Monk: Honen and Pure Land Buddhism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

The life and teaching of Honen, the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, is explained.

* Payne, Richard, ed. Re-Visioning “Kamakura” Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998.

The collection of essays presented at the 1989 meeting of the American Academy of Religion (Anaheim, California) challenging the standard interpretation of Kamakura Buddhism.

* Senchakushu English Translation Project, ed. and trans. Honen’s Senchakushu: Passages on the Selection of the Nembutsu in the Original Vow. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998.

The English translation of Honen’s passages on the selection of the nembutsu on the original vow.

Tanaka, Kenneth K. Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism in America. Berkeley: Wisdom Ocean Publications, 1997.

A good introductory book on True Pure Land Buddhism for the layperson interested in Buddhism.

Tanaka, Kenneth K. and Eisho Nasu, ed. Engaged Pure Land Buddhism: The Challenges of Jodo-Shinshu in the Contemporary World. Berkeley: Wisdom Ocean Publications, 1998.

A collection of essays by various Buddhist scholars facing the challenges of Jodo Shinshu in the contemporary world.

Unno, Taitetsu. Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn into Gold. New York: Doubleday, 2002.

Professor Emeritus Unno at Smith College traces the essence of the Pure Land tradition of Shin Buddhism.

Unno, Taitetsu. River of Fire, River of Water: An Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin Buddhism. New York: Doubleday, 1998.

Introducing the Pure Land tradition of Shin Buddhism.

Books on Nichiren Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra

Christensen, J.A. Nichiren: Leader of Buddhist Reformation in Japan. Fremont, CA: Jain Publishing Co., 2001.

Originally published by Nichiren Buddhist Order of America in 1981, this book conveys the basic teaching of Nichiren, the founder of Nichiren Buddhism.

* Hurvitz, Leon, trans. Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976.

Out of print, but the standard scholarly translation of the Lotus Sutra (accessible in most major libraries)

* Kato, Bunno, et al., trans. The Threefold Lotus Sutra. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company, 1989.

Translation of the Lotus Sutra with the two supplementary sutras that are often appended in Japan as the opening and concluding sutras, the Sutra of Innumerable Meanings and the Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue.

Kern, H., trans. Saddharma Pundarika or The Lotus of the True Law. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2003.

A rare attempt at translation from the Sanskrit.

Kyotsu, Hori. Writings of Nichiren Shonin: Doctrine 1. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003; Writings of Nichiren Shonin: Doctrine 2. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002.

English translation of 18 writings of Nichiren from his collected works.

Nawano, Nikkyo. A Guide to the Threefold Lotus Sutra. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company, 1982.

An interpretation of the Lotus Sutra according to the author, the founder of Rissho Koseikai.

Reeves, Gene, ed. A Buddhist Kaleidoscope: Essays on the Lotus Sutra. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 2003.

Essays analyzing the Lotus Sutra from variety of angles, with a foreword by Nikkyo Niwano, the founder of Rissho Koseikai.

Soothill, William Edward, trans. The Lotus of the Wonderful Law, or the Lotus of Gospel: Saddharma Pundarika Sutra Mao-Fa Lien Hua Ching. London, et al.: Routledge Curzon, 1996.

One of the earliest translations of the Lotus Sutra by a renowned Chinese scholar (now available in a reprint edition).

* Tanabe, George and Willa Tanabe, ed. The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1989.

Important collection of essays by leading scholars on the reception of the Lotus Sutra in Japanese culture. Now out of print, but worth accessing at a major library.

Watson, Burton, trans. The Lotus Sutra. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.

The translator is well known for his translations of Chinese and Japanese texts.

* Yampolsky, Philip B., ed. Selected Writings of Nichiren. Trans. Burton Watson, et al. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

Deals with selected writings of Nichiren, the founder of Nichiren Buddhism.

Books on Zen Buddhism

Abe, Masao. Zen and the Modern World: A Third Sequel to Zen and Western Thought. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003.

Abe, as a leading representative of the Kyoto school, addresses Zen Buddhism in the context of Western thought.

Aitken, Robert. A Zen Wave: Basho’s Haiku and Zen. New York: Weatherhill, 1979.

An English interpretation of Matsuo Basho’s haiku and interpretation according to Zen Buddhism.

Baroni, Helen J. Obaku Zen: The Emergence of the Third Sect of Zen in Tokugawa Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2000.

A study of the Obaku Zen sect introduced to Japan by Chinese monks in the 17th century.

Batchelor, Stephen. Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening. New York: Riverhead Books, 1998.

Simple introduction to the practice of Buddhism for the Western reader.

* Cleary, Thomas, trans. Shobogenzo: Zen Essays by Dogen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1992.

The Shobogenzo, “Treasury of the Eye of True Teaching,” was written in the 13th century by Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen in Japan.

Collcutt, Martin. Five Mountains: The Rinzai Zen Monastic Institution in Medieval Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Concerns the establishment of the Rinzai Zen monastic system in Japan, known as the Five Mountains after the five designated temples of Rinzai.

Haskel, Peter. Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei. New York: Grove/Atlantic, 1989.

An English translation of the writings of Benkei, an Edo-period Zen master.

Hodge, Stephen. The World of Zen: The Way to Inner Calm. New York: Sterling Publishing, 2004.

A pictorial book that contains articles about Zen in the context of practice, daily life, health, the environment, and the arts.

Kapleau, Philip. The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment. New York, et al: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1989.

Introduces the Westerner to the basics of Zen, written by a Western Zen master.

Kapleau, Philip. Zen: Dawn in the West. New York, et al: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1980.

A companion volume to Kapleau’s The Three Pillars of Zen, first published in 1965, and has sold over 150,000 copies in English.

Kennet, Jiyu. Zen is Eternal Life. Mt. Shasta: Shasta Abbey Press, 2000.

A practical manual for all who wish to practice Soto Zen written by a woman Zen master.

* Kim, Hee-Jin. Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2004.

A biography of Eihei Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen in Japan.

McClain, Gary and Eve Adamson. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Zen Living. Indianapolis, Pearson Education Co., 2001.

A popular explanation of Zen for the laymen.

* Reps, Paul, ed. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 1998.

Inspiring Zen anecdotes in English translation.

Shigematsu, Soiku. A Zen Harvest: Japanese Folk Zen Sayings: Haiku, Dodoitsu and Waka. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1988.

A collection of Japanese folk Zen sayings found in haiku, dodoitsu, and waka.

Simpkins, Annellen M. and Alexander Simpkins. Zen around the World: A 2500-Year Journey from the Buddha to You. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 1997.

A introductory survey of the development of Buddhism.

Smith, Jean. 365 Zen: Daily Readings. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1999.

A handy collection of daily Zen readings of memorable sayings, stories, poems, and koans.

* Suzuki, Daisetzu. Zen and Japanese Culture. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Originally published in Japan in 1938 under the title Zen Buddhism and Its Influence on Japanese Culture.

Tanahashi, Kazuaki. Endless Vow: The Zen Path of Soen Nakagawa. Boston: Shambhala (Random House), 1996.

Biography of the Rinzai Zen Master, Soen Nakagawa, who brought Zen to the West and taught the American Zen Masters, Robert Aitken and Phillip Kapleau.

* Waddell, Norman. The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin: A Translation of the Sokko-Roku Kaien-Fusetsu. Shambhala (Random House), 1994.

A translation of the teachings of Hakuin, a Zen priest, artist, and author of the famous haiku, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

* Watts, Alan. The Way of Zen. New York: Vintage Books USA, 1999.

A highly readable introduction to Zen Buddhism by the author famous for his popular books on Zen.

Young-Eisendrath, Polly and Shoji Muramoto. Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy. East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge, 2002.

A collection of critiques, commentaries, and histories about a particular meeting of Buddhism and psychology.

Books on Japanese Religions in the Contemporary Age

Akizuki, Ryomin. New Mahayana: Buddhism for a Post-Modern World. Trans. by James W. Heisig and Paul L. Swanson. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1990.

The revival of Japanese Buddhism is expounded by the postmodernist.

Bellah, Robert N. Imagining Japan: The Japanese Tradition and Its Modern Interpretation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Here, the author of Tokugawa Religion renews his thinking on the continuity and change in Japanese society.

Brazier, David. The New Buddhism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

The writer critically interprets Buddhism from a different perspective, anticipating a new type of Buddhism.

Brinkman, John T. Simplicity: A Distinctive Quality of Japanese Spirituality. New York: Peter Lang Pub. Inc., 1996.

Tracing a distinctive quality of Japanese spirituality through Japanese Buddhist and Shinto school of thought from ancient times to now.

Coleman, James William. The New Buddhism: The Western Formation of an Ancient Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

A review of the history of Buddhism and its transplant to the West focusing on present modern day movements, organizations, and controversies.

Crosweller, David. Buddhist Wisdom: Daily Reflections. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 2003.

A handy compendium that gives daily reflections for everyday living primarily drawn from the Dhammapada, an early text from the Pali cannon.

Kotler, Arnold, ed. Engaged Buddhist Reader: Ten Years of Engaged Buddhist Publishing. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1997.

An anthology presenting a broad picture of the ideas and insights at the foundation of engaged Buddhism.

Lopez, Donald S., ed. A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West. Boston: Beacon Press, 2002.

An introduction to modern Buddhism through the writings of 20th century writers.

Matsunami, Kodo. Buddhist Sages Speaks: On Dealing with Today. Tochigi: Buddhist Searchilight Center, 2004.

The author selects 108 sayings of Japanese Buddhist sages and tries to adapt them in our age.

Matsunami, Kodo. Happiness in Your Hands: The Dhammapada Way. Tochigi: Buddhist Searchilight Center, 2004.

The author selects 65 sayings from the Dhammapada and interprets them in light of present-day Buddhist ways of life.

Matsunami, Kodo. Light in Dark Times: 108 Wise Buddhist Thoughts. Tochigi: Buddhist Searchilight Center, 2004.

A compendium of Buddhist essays that deal with the contemporary issues and problems in the dark times.

Nhat Hanh, Thich. Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World. New York: Free Press, 2003.

The author is a Vietnamese Buddhist master who provides guidance for inner peace and global change.

Queen, Christopher S. and Sallie B. King, ed. Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia. Albany: State University of New York, 1996.

Describes contemporary Buddhist movements and leaders in Southeast Asia.

* Tonkinson, Carole, ed. Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation. New York: Riverhead Books, 1995.

A review of transcendentalist Buddhism in the U.S.A. through an anthology of beat authors such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

Books on Japanese Buddhist Art

* Addiss, Stephen. The Art of Zen: Paintings and Calligraphy by Japanese Monks, 1600-1925. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1989.

An overview of ink paintings and calligraphy by Japanese Zen monks.

* Oyama, Shigeru and Taikichi Irie. Buddhist Images. Trans. by Thomas I. Elliott. Hoikusha Color Book Series, v. 18. Osaka: Japanese Publications Trading Co., 1993 (11th ed.).

A miniature guidebook to Japanese Buddhist sculpture.

* Frederic, Louis. Buddhism. (Flammarion Iconographic Guides) New York: Flammarion, 1995.

A basic beginner’s guide to iconography, helpful for learning the identities of various Buddhist deities and how to recognize them.

“The Heibonsha Survey of Japanese Art” Series. New York: Weatherhill: Heian Temples: Byodo-in and Chuson-ji v. 9 (1976), by Toshio Fukuyama, trans. by Ronald K. Jones; Nara Buddhist Art: Todai-ji v. 5 (1975), by Takeshi Kobayashi, trans. by Richard L. Gage; Asuka Buddhist Art: Horyu-ji v. 4 (1974), by Seiichi Mizuno, trans. by Richard L. Gage; Sculpture of the Kamakura Period v. 11 (1974), by Hiroshi Mori, trans. by Katherine Eickmann; Temples of Nara and their Art v. 7 (1973), by Minoru Ooka, trans. by Dennis Lishka; Art in Japanese Esoteric Buddhism v. 8 (1971), by Sawa Ryuken, trans. by Richard L. Gage.

These books are translated from individual issues of the prestigious Japanese art history series called Nihon no Bijutsu (Japanese art) and are written by major scholars in the field.

Ishida, Mosaku. Japanese Buddhist Prints. With Un’ichi Hiratsuka, et al., trans. by Charles S. Terry. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1964.

An overview of the history and development of Japanese Buddhist prints.

“Japanese Arts Library” Series. New York: Kodansha International. Esoteric Buddhist Painting v. 33 (1987), by Hisatoyo Ishida, trans. by E. Dale Saunders; Japanese Ink Painting: Early Zen Masterpieces v. 8 (1979), by Hiroshi Kanazawa, trans. by Barbara Ford; Pure Land Buddhist Painting v. 4 (1977), by Joji Okazaki, trans. by Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis; Classic Buddhist Sculpture: The Tempyo Period v. 11 (1982), by Jiro Sugiyama, trans. by Samuel Crowell Morse; Early Buddhist Architecture in Japan v. 9 (1980), by Kakichi Suzuki, trans. by Mary Neighbor Parent and Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt.

Translated from individual issues of the prestigious Japanese art history series called Nihon no Bijutsu (Japanese art) and written by major scholars in the field.

Kurata, Busaka, et al., Art of the Lotus Sutra: Japanese Masterpieces. Kosei Publishing Company, 1987.

Introduces outstanding examples of Japanese art inspired by the Lotus Sutra.

Matsunami, Kodo. Essentials of Buddhist Images. (Omega-Com JABICS Books) Tokyo: Omega-Com, Inc., 2004.

A comprehensive book on the Buddhist images in Japan.

McCallum, Donald F. Zenkoji and Its Icon: A Study in Medieval Japanese Religious Art. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.

Devoted to the Zenko-ji temple and its imagery, located in Nagano City where the Olympics were held in 1998.

Paine, Robert Treat and Alexander Soper. The Art and Architecture of Japan. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1981.

A basic introductory book on art and temples in Japan, with substantial treatment of Buddhist art and architecture.

Saunders, E. Dale. Mudra: A Study of Symbolic Gestures in Japanese Buddhist Sculpture. New York: Pantheon Books, 1960.

A very handy reference book for understanding the symbolic meaning of the gestures made by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other deities in painting and sculpture.

Sharf, Robert H. and Elizabeth Horton Sharf, eds. Living Images: Japanese Buddhist Icons in Context. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

An anthology of essays by scholars on the function of Buddhist images and their historical context.

Tanabe, Willa J. Paintings of the Lotus Sutra. New York: Weatherhill, 1988.

Treats the wide variety of very beautiful imagery related to the Lotus Sutra.

Ten Grotenhuis, Elizabeth. Japanese Mandalas: Representations of Sacred Geography. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999.

An introduction to Japanese “mandara” and their Indian antecedents.

Ten Grotenhuis, Elizabeth. The Revival of the Taima Mandala in Medieval Japan. New York: Garland Pub., 1985.

Discusses the renewed popularity from the 14th century of the Taima Mandara, a pictorial representation of Amida’s Pure Land paradise and the Visualization of Amida Sutra.

Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall. Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998.

An overview of the beautiful art of the Chuson-ji temple in Northern Japan built by the Oshu Fujiwara clan and the background politics behind its establishment.

Reference Works, Dictionaries, & Encyclopedias on Buddhism

A Dictionary of Buddhist terms and Concepts. Tokyo: Nichiren Shoshu International Center, 1983.

Approximately 1,500 Buddhist terms found in Nichiren Shoshu-related texts.

Buswell, Robert E., ed. Encyclopedia of Buddhism. 2 v. New York: Macmillan, 2004.

A comprehensive and historically focused reference work that introduces the doctrinal, ethical, social, and spiritual ideas informing the various traditions of Buddhism and the changes it has undergone throughout its history. Should be accessible at major libraries.

* Inagaki, Hisao. A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms. Kyoto: Nagata Nunshodo, 1992.

A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms and Japanese-English Buddhist Dictionary are the two standard dictionaries for the Japanese Buddhist terminology.

* Japanese-English Buddhist Dictionary. Tokyo: Daito Shuppansha, 1991.

Japanese-English Buddhist Dictionary and A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms are the two standard dictionaries for Japanese Buddhist terminology.

Keown, Damien. A Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

An Illustrated dictionary on Buddhism in a single volume including the treoatment of doctrines, practices, biography, scriptures, schools and sects, art, and architecture.

Malalasekera, G. P., et al. ed. Encyclopaedia of Buddhism. Government of Sri Lanka, 2001 (continuing publication).

A scholarly work initiated by the late Malalasekera, founder of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and now supported by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Accessible only at major libraries.

Matsunami, Kodo. Essentials of Buddhist Scriptures. (Omega-Corn JABICS Books) Tokyo: Omega-Com, Inc., 2004.

A comprehensive book on the Buddhist scriptures used in the Buddhist world.

Powers, John. A Concise Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2000.

Provides basic information on Buddhism in an encyclopedic format.

Prebish, Charles S. The A to Z of Buddhism. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001.

Basic Buddhist concepts and terminology explained in plain language.

Singh, Nagendra Kumar, ed. International Encyclopaedia of Buddhism. 75 v. New Delhi: Anmol Publications, 1999.

Voluminous encyclopedia published as part of a series of India’s major religions, with each volume devoted to a single country.


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