Dharma World

April-June 2008, Volume 35

April-June 2008, Volume 35(PDF)

The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

One by One, Becoming a Hand on the Thousand-Armed Kannon by Yoshiko Izumida

The bodhisattva Kannon has been known for a long time, not only to members of the various sects of Buddhism, but also to the many Japanese who are not religious. I would even say there are almost no Japanese who have not seen an Eleven-Headed Kannon statue or a Thousand-Armed Kannon statue.

Yoshiko Izumida, a former honorary executive board member of Rissho Kosei-kai, is chair of the Women’s Committee of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace.

The Compassion and Wisdom of Kuan-yin by Gene Reeves

Respecting the hidden wisdom of ordinary people, we might see Kuan-yin devotion as a kind of skillful means used by the Buddha to bring the Dharma to such people in the midst of their suffering.

Gene Reeves is currently studying, teaching, and writing on Buddhism in Tokyo. A consultant and teacher at Rissho Kosei-kai, he was recently a research fellow at Rikkyo University. Before coming to Japan in 1989, Dr. Reeves was the dean of Meadville/Lombard Theological School and professorial lecturer in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

Kuan-yin Devotion in China by Chün-fang Yü

The sexual transformation from the masculine Avalokiteshvara to the feminine Kuan-yin seems to be a unique Chinese phenomenon that has fascinated many scholars.

Chun-fang Yu is Sheng Yen Professor in Chinese Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, New York. She also taught at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, from 1972 to 2004, serving as chair of the Religion Department beginning in 2000. Dr. Yu is the author of The Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Late Ming Synthesis, and Kuan-yin: the Chinese Transformation of Avalokiteshvara, and is the coeditor of Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China.

The Many Forms and Functions of Kannon in Japanese Religion and Culture by Mark R. Mullins

The bodhisattva became domesticated, moving beyond the original Buddhist sources to be appropriated more widely by large numbers of religious groups and institutions.

Mark R. Mullins is a member of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Graduate School of Global Studies at Sophia University, Tokyo, where his teaching and research focuses on religion in modern society. He is the author and coeditor of a number of books, including Religion and Society in Modern Japan, Christianity Made in Japan, and Religion and Social Crisis in Japan.

“Deeply Female and Universally Human”: The Rise of Kuan-yin Worship in America by Jeff Wilson

Beyond gender, two closely connected aspects of the bodhisattva make her particularly appealing to convert Buddhists, compassion and the ability to take on any form to help those in need.

Jeff Wilson is assistant professor of religious studies and East Asian studies at Renison College, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. in religious studies at the University of North Carolina. He specializes in Buddhism in North America and is the author of many publications on such topics as abortion rituals in Western Buddhism and Buddhist pluralism in the United States.

Becoming One with Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion by Yasuaki Nara

A person who suffered a series of misfortunes throughout his life learned to accept reality and live with a positive attitude after entrusting everything to Kannon.

Until he retired in March 2006, Yasuaki Nara served first as president and later as chancellor of Komazawa University, Tokyo, where he is now a professor emeritus. The author of numerous books on Buddhism, he received a Litt.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1973 and taught the history of Buddhist culture at Komazawa University.

Mindfully Invoking Kannon’s Power by Ryokan Ara

A Buddhist priest has come to understand that reading the Kannon Sutra as it is, and believing in it as it is, is all one needs to do.

Ryokan Ara, born in 1928, served as the head priest at temples of the Tendai Buddhist denomination in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures before he became the first bishop of the Tendai Mission of Hawaii Betsuin. He is the author of many books on Buddhism and is also well-known for his paintings of buddhas and bodhisattvas.

Kannon’s Compassion: The Thinking of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano by Michio T. Shinozaki

The founder of Rissho Kosei-kai saw it as more than ordinary sympathy, which tends to have human attachments. In his view it is a practical model for helping others by preaching the Dharma.

Michio T. Shinozaki, former director of the General Secretariat of Rissho Kosei-kai, is president of the organization’s Gakurin seminary in Tokyo. He received a Ph.D. in religious studies from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1988. He has contributed a number of articles on Buddhist ethics to various journals.


The Dancing Gods of Mount Chokai: The May Festivals of Warabioka and Fukura by Gaynor Sekimori

A special participant in two annual spring events describes their continuing social role in their communities, although few of the local people are aware of their origins.

Gaynor Sekimori graduated in Oriental studies from the Australian National University in Canberra. She received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 2000. A translator of Buddhist works, she is presently managing editor of the International Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press). A specialist in the history of Japanese religion, with a particular interest in Shugendo, she was ordained at Mount Haguro in 2005.

“Until . . . the Morning Star Rises in Your Hearts” by Notto R. Thelle

Encounters with Eastern religions can make people in the West aware that faith not only hears, but it also sees.

Notto R. Thelle, D.Th., is a professor in the Faculty of Theology, the University of Oslo, Norway. Having studied Buddhism at Otani University in Kyoto, he acted as associate director of the NCC (National Christian Council) Center for the Study of Japanese Religions in Kyoto from 1974 to 1985. He was also a visiting scholar at the center in 1999 and 2000.


Daily Prayers, Daily Reverence by Nichiko Niwano

The role members now have to play will of course give proper respect to history and tradition, but at the same time embrace changes appropriate to our era.

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and the Niwano Peace Foundation, a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, and chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (93)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 13: Exhortation to Hold Firm (2) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the ninety-third installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World

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  6. Autumn 2021, Volume 48

    Religion's Potential for Advancing Sustainable Development

  7. Spring 2021, Volume 48

    What Is Prayer?

  8. Autumn 2020, Volume 47

    Religion’s Role in Building an Inclusive Society

  9. Spring 2020, Volume 47

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  10. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  11. Spring 2019, Volume 46

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  12. July-December 2018, Volume 45

    The Buddhahood of Plants and Trees: The Environment and Buddha-Nature

  13. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  14. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  15. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  16. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  17. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  18. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  19. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  20. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  21. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  22. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  23. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  24. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  25. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  26. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  27. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  28. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  29. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  30. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  31. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  32. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  33. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  34. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  35. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  36. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  37. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  38. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  39. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  40. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  41. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  42. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  43. January-March 2010, Volume 37

    Help in Overcoming Alienation

  44. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  45. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  46. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  47. January-March 2009, Volume 36

    The Changing Forms of the Family and the Role of Religion

  48. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  49. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  50. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  51. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  52. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  53. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  54. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  55. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  56. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  57. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  58. April-June 2006, Volume 33

    Creating the World of the One Vehicle: The Centennial of the Birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano

  59. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  60. November-December 2005, Volume 32

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  61. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  62. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  63. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  64. March-April 2005, Volume 32

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  65. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  66. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  67. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  68. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  69. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  70. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  71. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  72. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  73. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  74. July-August 2003, Volume 30

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  75. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  76. March-April 2003, Volume 30

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  77. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  78. November-December 2002, Volume 29

    Roundtable Disscussion at the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom

  79. September-October 2002, Volume 29

    Sixth Assembly of the Asian Conference on Religion and Peace, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  80. July-August 2002, Volume 29

    The Most Reverend Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Recipient of the 19th Niwano Peace Prize

  81. May-June 2002, Volume 29

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  82. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  83. January-February 2002, Volume 29

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