A collection of books, published in collaboration with the University of Hawai’i Press and devoted to the study of religion and culture in Asia. All volumes may be ordered from the Nanzan Institute if they are not available in your home country.
Editorial Advisory Board
- Hayashi Makoto
Aichi Gakuin University
- Thomas Kasulis
Ohio State University
- James W. Heisig
Kim Seung Chul
Paul L. Swanson
Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture
What role did D. T. Suzuki and other Zen figures play in the Japanese nationalism that fueled World War II? What are we to make of nationalist elements in the thought of Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime, Nishitani Keiji, and other philosophers of the Kyoto school? Fifteen Japanese and Western scholars take up these and other questions about the political responsibility of Japanese Buddhist intellectuals, offering a variety of critical perspectives and a wealth of information for those interested in prewar and wartime history, Zen, Japanese philosophy, and the problem of nationalism today.
Ultimately, this exceptional collection challenges us to reconsider basic questions concerning intellectuals and society in the cauldron of war.
With its superb translations and meticulous editing, this collection sets a sterling standard for future anthologies.
Students will find the text quite readable and scholars will find the sixty-five pages of endnotes and appendix a rich resource of information.
Zen is not Buddhism. Buddha-nature is not Buddhism. Nor is original enlightenment or the non-duality of the Vimalakirti Sutra or the philosophy of the Kyoto school. For Hakamaya Noriaki and Matsumoto Shirō, these and many other elements of the Buddhist tradition have diluted the critical discrimination of the truth that is the heart of Buddhist realization and social justice.
I am convinced that these essays on the critique of hongaku shisō will have a revolutionary impact on contemporary thought in general and Buddhist studies in particular.
The appearance of this volume will introduce Western readers to issues important not only in Japan, but wherever Buddhism is taught and practiced.
For centuries the accommodation between Japan and Christianity has been an uneasy one. Compared with others of its Asian neighbors, the churches in Japan have never counted more than a small minority of belivers more or less resigned to patterns of ritual and belief transplanted from the West. But there is another side to the story, one little known and rarely told: the rise of indigenous movements aimed at a Christianity that is at once made in Japan and faithful to the scriptures and apostolic tradition. Christianity Made in Japan draws on extensive field research to give an intriguing and sympathetic look behind the scenes and into the lives of the leaders and followers of several indigenous movements in Japan. Focusing on the "native" response rather than Western missionary efforts and intentions, it presents varieties of new interpretations of the Christian tradition. It gives voice to the unheard perceptions and views of many Japanese Christians, while raising questions vital to the self-understanding of Christianity as a truly "world religion."
In spite of the common view of Buddhism as non-dogmatic and tolerant, the historical record preserves many examples of Buddhist thinkers and movements that were banned as heretical or subversive. The San-chieh (Three Levels) was a popular and influential Chinese Buddhist movement during the Sui and T'ang periods. Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood uses manuscripts discovered at Tun-huang to examine the doctrine and institutional practices of this movement in the larger context of Mahayana doctrine and practice. By viewing San-chieh in the context of Mahayana Buddhism, Hubbard reveals it to be far from heretical and thereby raises important questions about orthodoxy and canon in Buddhism. He shows that many of the hallmark ideas and practices of Chinese Buddhism find an early and unique expression in the San-chieh texts.
[Also available as a Kindle eBook]
Philosophers of Nothingness examines the three principal figures of what has come to be known as the Kyoto school—Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime, and Nishitani Keiji—and shows how this original current of twentieth-century Japanese thought challenges traditional philosophy to break out of its western confines and step into a world forum.
This book may be ordered directly from the University of Hawai'i Press or from the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (right).
In Japan the traditional Rinzai Zen kōan curriculum includes the use of jakugo, or "capping phrases." Once a monk has successfully replied to a kōan, the Zen master orders the search for a classical verses to express the monk's insight into the kōan. Special collections of these jakugo were compiled as handbooks to aid in that search. Until now, Zen students in the West, lacking this important resource, have been severely limited in carrying out this practice. Zen Sand combines and translates two standard jakugo handbooks and opens the way for incorporating this important tradition fully into Western Zen practice.
This impressive compendium of texts central to Zen practice offers a wealth of information not only to students of Zen or Buddhism in general, but to anyone interested in the history and culture of East Asia.
The writings of Nishida Kitarō, whose name has become almost synonymous with Japanese philosophy, continue to attract attention around the world. Yet studies of his thought in Western languages have tended to overlook two key areas: ﬁrst, the inﬂuence of the generation of Japanese philosophers who preceded Nishida; and second, the logic of basho (place), the cornerstone of Nishida’s mature philosophical system.
The Logic of Nothingness addresses both of these topics. Robert Wargo argues that the overriding concern of Nishida’s mature philosophy, the attempt to give a reasonable account of reality that includes the reasonableness of that account itself—or what Wargo calls “the problem of completeness”—has its origins in Inoue Enryō’s and Inoue Tetsujirō’s preoccupation with “the problem of standpoints.” A translation of one of Nishida’s most demanding texts, included here as an appendix, demonstrates the value of Wargo’s insightful analysis of the logic of basho as an aid to deciphering the philosopher’s early work.
A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title The Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions has been prepared as an aid for students and scholars engaged in research on Japanese religions. It is the first resource guide to encompass the entire field of Japanese religions and provide tools for navigating it.
In the nearly forty years that have elapsed since the appearance of Joseph Kitagawa's Religion in Japanese History (1966), there has been a large amount of new scholarship on the role of religion in Japanese history. What general summaries there are of Japanese Buddhism and Shinto have tended to rely on scholarship from the 1960s and 1970s. In the intervening years, the field has seen considerable development and given rise to a host of new questions, leaving a great deal of earlier work outdated and out of focus. The Nanzan Guide offers the latest scholarship on a wide range of issues.
The Linji lu (Record of Linji) has been an essential text of Chinese and Japanese Zen Buddhism for nearly a thousand years. A compilation of sermons, statements, and acts attributed to the great Chinese Zen master Linji Yixuan (d. 866), it serves as both an authoritative statement of Zen’s basic standpoint and a central source of material for Zen koan practice. Scholars study the text for its importance in understanding both Zen thought and East Asian Mahayana doctrine, while Zen practitioners cherish it for its unusual simplicity, directness, and ability to inspire.
- "Outstanding Academic Title" (Choice)
- "Outstanding Reference Source" (Reference and User Services Association)
- "Accolade in the Social Sciences" (International Convention of Asian Scholars)
Celebrity Gods explores the interaction of new religions and the media in postwar Japan. It focuses on the leaders and founders of Jiu and Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō, two new religions of Japan’s immediate postwar period that received substantial press attention. Jiu was linked to the popular prewar group Ōmotokyō, and its activities were based on the millennial visions of its leader, a woman called Jikōson. When Jiu attracted the legendary sumo champion Futabayama to its cause, Jikōson and her activities became a widely-covered cause célèbre in the press. Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō (labeled odoru shūkyō, “the dancing religion,” by the press) was led by a farmer’s wife, Kitamura Sayo. Her uncompromising vision and actions toward creating a new society—one that was far removed from what she described as the “maggot world” of postwar Japan—drew harsh and often mocking criticism from the print media.
[Also available as a Kindle eBook] The six lectures that make up this book were delivered in March 2011 at London University’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies as the “Jordan Lectureship on Comparative Religions.” They revolve around the intersection of the two, nothingness and desire, as they apply to a re-examination of the questions of self, God, morality, property, and the East-West philosophical divide.
For centuries throughout Japan, covert Shin Buddhists met in homes, the backrooms of stores, and on secluded mountains. In these undisclosed places they taught their hidden doctrines and conducted secret rites. Among their adherents was D. T. Suzuki’s mother, who took her son to covert Shin meetings when he was a boy.
Although historians thought covert Shin Buddhists had disappeared before the mid-twentieth century, the author serendipitously encountered a group that survives today. This led him to discover that a variety of covert Shin Buddhist groups still conceal from outsiders the very existence of their religion.
Drawing on historical and ethnographic sources, as well as the author’s fieldwork among a covert Shin Buddhists in central Japan, Secrecy’s Power introduces the histories, doctrines, and practices of different covert Shin Buddhists. It shows how and why they have concealed their Shin traditions and the effects secrecy has had. In doing so, Secrecy’s Power indicates how Shin Buddhism is a richer, more diverse, and more contested tradition than commonly depicted. It also reveals how secrecy has the power to produce multiple consequences, even polar opposite ones, among those who keep secrets.
University of Hawai'i Press, 2014
The Mo-ho chih-kuan (Great cessation-and-contemplation) by T’ien-t’ai Chih-i (538–597) is among the most influential treatises in the long history of Buddhist scholarship. In Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight, one of today’s foremost scholars on T’ien-t’ai (Tendai) Buddhism offers the first complete, fully annotated translation of this significant work. The full scope of Buddhist tradition and its practices is illuminated: from sitting or walking in meditation to chanting the Buddha’s name, to defining the tenets of ethical living—and its teachings; from the “Hīnayāna” Āgama texts to Mahāyāna sutras and treatises, to various Buddhist and non-Buddhist (indigenous Chinese) beliefs.
Extensive annotation accompanying the translation (volumes 1 and 2) will help readers understand the original text and implications of various crucial passages and ideas, as well as the place the Mo-ho chih-kuan occupies in the development of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese Buddhism and its critical importance for figures such as Nichiren. Volume 3 contains ample supplementary materials, including translations of related texts, a comprehensive glossary, and a list of Buddhist sources.
Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture, vol. 14
Philosophy challenges our assumptions—especially when it comes to us from another culture. In exploring Japanese philosophy, a dependable guide is essential. The present volume, written by a renowned authority on the subject, offers readers a historical survey of Japanese thought that is both comprehensive and comprehensible. Adhering to the Japanese philosophical tradition of highlighting engagement over detachment, Thomas Kasulis invites us to think with, as well as about, the Japanese masters by offering ample examples, innovative analogies, thought experiments, and jargon-free explanations. He assumes little previous knowledge and addresses themes—aesthetics, ethics, the samurai code, politics, among others—not in a vacuum but within the conditions of Japan’s cultural and intellectual history. For readers new to Japanese studies, he provides a simplified guide to pronouncing Japanese and a separate discussion of the language and how its syntax, orthography, and linguistic layers can serve the philosophical purposes of a skilled writer and subtle thinker. For those familiar with the Japanese cultural tradition but less so with philosophy, Kasulis clarifies philosophical expressions and problems, Western as well as Japanese, as they arise. Half of the book’s chapters are devoted to seven major thinkers who collectively represent the full range of Japan’s historical epochs and philosophical traditions: Kūkai, Shinran, Dōgen, Ogyū Sorai, Motoori Norinaga, Nishida Kitarō, and Watsuji Tetsurō. Nuanced details and analyses enable an engaged understanding of Japanese Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintō, and modern academic philosophy. Other chapters supply social and cultural background, including brief discussions of nearly a hundred other philosophical writers. For additional information, cross references to material in the companion volume Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook are included. In his closing chapter Kasulis reflects on lessons from Japanese philosophy that enhance our understanding of philosophy itself. He reminds us that philosophy in its original sense means loving wisdom, not studying ideas. In that regard, a renewed appreciation of engaged knowing can play a critical role in the revitalization of philosophy in the West as well as the East. 30 b&w illustrations Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture