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One Hundred Years Of Buddhist Scholarship In Japan

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Chapter Summary

Buddhist studies started in Japan at roughly the same time as the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century, enjoying a history of 1500 years. This chapter concentrates on the last one hundred years of scholarship, clarifying its particularities and problematic, and indicating the future of Buddhist scholarship. It now turns to the stream of modern Buddhist scholarship which has been built on research of Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures. It appears at least from the outside, that this scholarly tradition originated in a manner somewhat unrelated to other developments. The philological study, whose foundation was laid by Takakusu and others, has continued to occupy a central position in Buddhist scholarship in Japan. Taiken Kimura, Takakusu's successor at the University of Tokyo, produced some remarkable papers about early Buddhism and Abhidharma Buddhism, basically by comparing Pali scriptures and Chinese translations.

Keywords: Buddhist scholarship; Chinese translations.; Japan; Pali scriptures; Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures; Taiken Kimura; University of Tokyo



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