In many respects, Japanese Buddhism changed dramatically during the first half of the Meiji Period, i.e. between the 1860s and the 1890s. No longer guaranteed an automatic livelihood through state patronage in the form of the temple-registration system, priests now had to address individual followers with a convincing religious message. The practice of Buddhist homiletics boomed, but a host of other changes also ensued: Japanese Buddhists went abroad to proselytize for the first time, transsectarian catechisms were written, social welfare institutions and schools were established, and the consciousness of being part of a world religion blossomed. In part, these changes can be traced to the influence of the West, be it through the exchange of ideas or the impact of the Christian mission in Japan. This impact is generally acknowledged, but rarely investigated in detail. The lecture will do just that, by focusing on those Japanese Buddhists that went abroad in the 1870s and 1880s and personally experienced the international exchange of ideas and practices. The legacies they left behind both in Japan and in Europe will be the subject of the lecture.
Prof. Hans Martin Krämer (Professor, Institute for Japanese Studies, Center for East Asian Studies, Heidelberg University)
“The Western Origins of Modern Japanese Buddhism: An Aspect of the History of Exchanges between Japan and Europe in the Nineteenth Century“
Tanigawa Yutaka (Associate professor, Division of History, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University)
Registration & Contact
Deadline: October 22, 2018
Please send us an e-mail containing your name and affiliated organization to the following address:
Heidelberg University Office Kyoto
Prof. Hans Martin Krämer
Institute for Japanese Studies, Center for East Asian Studies, Heidelberg University
Hans Martin Krämer has studied History, Philosophy, and Japanese Studies in Düsseldorf, Bochum, and Tokyo (Sophia University and the University of Tokyo). After obtaining his PhD Degree for a thesis on higher education reforms in mid-twentieth-century Japan, Prof. Krämer spent a year each as guest researcher at Harvard University and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto. He became a professor at Heidelberg University in 2012.
Prof. Krämer’s specialization is in modern Japanese History. His publication have mainly dealt with the history of education, religion, and human-animal relations. His recent work has been devoted to clarifying how Japanese Buddhists have contributed to modern understandings of religion both within Japan and abroad.
Associate Prof Yutaka Tanigawa, Graduate School of Letters , Kyoto University.
Dr. Yutaka Tanigawa studies the relationship between educational policy and buddhism in modern Japan, focusing on the overlap of person, place and contents. In addition, he examines personal histories of Meiji governmental officers, the Honganji monks, christians as well as the local influential persons. Through these research, Dr. Tanigawa aims to explore a part of the reality of secularity and religiousness in modern Japan, and ultimately, to build the historical images for much consideration to the contemporary issues concerning education and religion.
* The lecture series “Nichi-Doku Joint Lecture” is organized in close cooperation of the Kyoto University European Center, Heidelberg Office, and the Heidelberg University Office, Kyoto, the liaison offices of both universities in Japan and Germany. It aims at promoting and strengthening research exchange between Heidelberg University and Kyoto University.