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Creating Images Of Japanese Buddhism And Culture

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the creation of images of Japanese Buddhism and culture especially for a non-Japanese audience, starting from the presentation made at the end of the nineteenth century at the World's Parliament of Religions. The chapter focuses on interpretations of Shin Buddhism which have been elaborated within the framework illustrated here. These were characterized by a Zen Buddhist interpretative filter, and also Suzuki's ideas have played a major role, and have been one of the reasons for the marginalization of the Pure Land tradition in the 'West'. A brief analysis of D.T. Suzuki's work on Jōdo Shinshū is given in the chapter. Okakura Kakuzō's well-known writing, The Book of Tea, is a strong defence of Japanese culture against westernization and against western culture as a whole. A section of the chapter is dedicated to representations of Japanese Buddhism during the Second World War.

Keywords: D.T. Suzuki; Japanese Buddhism; Okakura Kakuzō; pure land tradition; second world war; Shin Buddhism; The Book of Tea; westernization; world's parliament of religions; Zen Buddhism



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