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Abstract

This paper examines the speeches that D.T. Suzuki presented at the World Congress of Faiths in London in 1936 and analyzes his interactions with Buddhists, sympathizers, and critics in the West during the interwar period. It will uncover how various reactions and historical contexts constructed Suzuki’s discourses, which prepared Suzuki for popularizing Zen in postwar Western countries. Compared to his early years and post-1949 lectures in the United States, as well as his English publications on Mahayana Buddhism, his half-year journey through Europe in 1936 is understudied. With limited access to primary sources in Japanese and English, previous studies tended to label him a “nationalist.” Instead, I analyze Suzuki’s discourses and other newly discovered primary sources from a historical perspective. Through this analysis, this paper will clarify Suzuki’s scheme to present Mahayana Buddhism, particularly Zen, to Westerners during the interwar period.

Open Access
In: Journal of Religion in Japan
Author:

Abstract

Drawing on archival research and interview data, this paper discusses the historical development as well as the present configuration of the Japanese Buddhist panorama in Austria, which includes Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhism. It traces the early beginnings, highlights the key stages and activities in the expansion process, and sheds light on both denominational complexity and international entanglement. Fifteen years before any other European country (Portugal in 1998; Italy in 2000), Austria formally acknowledged Buddhism as a legally recognised religious society in 1983. Hence, the paper also explores the larger organisational context of the Österreichische Buddhistische Religionsgesellschaft (Austrian Buddhist Religious Society) with a focus on its Japanese Buddhist actors. Additionally, it briefly outlines the non-Buddhist Japanese religious landscape in Austria.

Open Access
In: Journal of Religion in Japan
Uno Kōzō’s Theory of ‘Pure Capitalism’ in Light of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy
Value without Fetish presents the first in-depth English-language study of the influential Japanese economist Uno Kōzō‘s (1897-1977) theory of ‘pure capitalism’ in the light of the method and object of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy. A close analysis of the theories of value, production and reproduction, and crisis in Uno’s central texts from the 1930s to the 1970s reveals his departure from Marx’s central insights about the fetish character of the capitalist mode of production – a departure that Lange shows can be traced back to the failed epistemology of value developed in Uno’s earliest writings. By disavowing the complex relation between value and fetish that structures Marx’s critique, Uno adopts the paradigms of neoclassical theories to present an apology rather than a critique of capitalism.
In: The Namban Trade
In: Value without Fetish
In: Value without Fetish
In: Value without Fetish
In: Value without Fetish
In: Value without Fetish
Author:

Abstract

Kasuga Wakamiya Onmatsuri is an important local festival celebrated every winter in Nara. While the festival has been analyzed from the point of view of its relations with religious institutions such as Kasuga Taisha and Kōfukuji, to date less attention has been paid to its historical transformations. Countering linear narratives that tend to portray it as largely unchanged since its inception, this article combines ethnography, historiography, and religious studies to provide a more multivocal analysis of the Onmatsuri. After an overview of its main celebrations, the article revisits the origins of the festival, describes the ontological multiplicity of its deities, and analyzes material elements that concur to its “fractal” features. Showing how these heterogeneous elements generate a diffuse “atmosphere of the past,” this study discusses practitioners’ accounts of ritual participation, as well as the relationship between ideological reconstructions of the past and material embodiments of religious symbols.

Open Access
In: Journal of Religion in Japan