Advertisement

Implications of International Relief Work and Civil Society for Japanese Buddhists Affiliated with Traditional Denominations

  • Hiroko Kawanami
Part of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion book series (CAR)

Abstract

This chapter examines Japanese Buddhists affiliated with traditional denominations in their role as relief donors and reveals how international relief work has come to provide them with an important channel to break out of their traditional sectarianism and parochial mindset, and as a consequence, help them become integrated as part of Japanese “civil society.”1 I focus especially on the activities of Japan Buddhist Federation (JBF), a loose union of self-governing Buddhist sects whose role is particularly important in promoting the collective interests of Japanese Buddhists and building a national network for relief groups that have worked in relative isolation for centuries. In recent years, JBF has put its efforts into making Japanese Buddhism more beneficial for the public good, and young members in particular have been at the core of a movement to promote humanitarian activities in the international community. Social engagement, on the other hand, may be effective in building communal bonds in a milieu where people share their public values and expectations, but the notion of supporting “strangers” in foreign countries has been unfamiliar to the Japanese public until recently. This allows us to examine the significance of “international relief work” in Japan, and what it implies to Buddhists who are trying to extend their support beyond the traditional confines of their local congregation and sect members.

Keywords

Civil Society Religious Organization Relief Work Buddhist Monk Relief Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works Cited

  1. Alagappa, Muthiah. 2004. “Introduction.” In Civil Society and Political Change in Asia: Expanding and Contracting Democratic Space, edited by Muthiah Alagappa, 1–21. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bornholdt, Suzana R. C. 2009. “Missionary Strategies and Establishment of Soka Gakkai in Brazil.” PhD diss., Lancaster University, UK.Google Scholar
  3. Hardacre, Helen. 2004. “Religion and Civil Society in Contemporary Japan.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 31 (2): 389–415.Google Scholar
  4. Inagaki Masami. 1993. Kindai Bukkyōno Henkakusha. Tokyo: Ōkura Shuppan.Google Scholar
  5. Kashiwahara Yūsen. 1990. Nihon Bukkyōshi: Kindai. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan.Google Scholar
  6. Kinenshi Hensanbukai. 1954. Zenbutsu Nijūnen no Ayumi. Tokyo: Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai.Google Scholar
  7. Kinenshi Hensanbukai. 2009. Zaidan S ō ritsu Gojisshūnen Kinen Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai no Ayumi to Tenbō. Tokyo: Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai.Google Scholar
  8. Reader, Ian. 2011. “Buddhism in Crisis? Institutional Decline in Modern Japan.” Buddhist Studies Review 28 (2): 233–63.Google Scholar
  9. Schwartz, Frank J. 2003. “What Is Civil Society?” In The State of Civil Society in Japan, edited by Frank J. Schwartz and Susan J. Pharr, 23–41. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Shimada Hiromi. 2010. Sōshiki was Iranai. Tokyo: Gentōsha.Google Scholar
  11. Shimazono Susumu. 2004. From Salvation to Spirituality: Popular Religious Movements in Modern Japan. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press.Google Scholar
  12. Stone, Jacqueline. 2003. “Nichiren’s Activist Heirs: Soka Gakkai, RosshōKoseikai, Nipponzan Myohoji.” In Action Dharma: New Studies in Engaged Buddhism, edited by Christopher S. Queen, Charles S. Prebish, and Damien Keown, 63–94. London: Routledge Curzon.Google Scholar
  13. Sueki Fumihiko. 2004. Nihon to Bukky ō: Kindai Nihon no ShisōSaikō, vol. 2. Tokyo: Transview.Google Scholar
  14. Ueda Noriyuki. 2004. Ganbare Bukkyō: Otera Runessansu no Jidai. Tokyo: NHK Books.Google Scholar
  15. Watts, Jonathan S. 2004. “A Brief Overview of Buddhist NGOs in Japan.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 31 (2): 417–28.Google Scholar
  16. Watts, Jonathan S. 2005. “The Search for Socially Engaged Buddhism in Japan.” http://www.inebnetwork.org/thinksangha/tsangha/jsebcs.htmGoogle Scholar
  17. Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai. 2009. Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai no Ayumi to Tenbō Tokyo: Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai.Google Scholar
  18. Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai. 2011. Higashi-Nihon Daishinsai Shien Chūkan-Hōkokusho. Tokyo: Zen Nihon Bukkyōkai.Google Scholar

Booklets and Newsletters

  1. Rentai Nihon Pagodakai DayoriShanti Google Scholar
  2. Zenbutsu Google Scholar
  3. Zenbutsu Tsūshin Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hiroko Kawanami and Geoffrey Samuel 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroko Kawanami

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations