Dharma World

April-June 2014, Volume 41

April-June 2014, Volume 41(PDF)

Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

Building a Common East Asian Identity by Masahiro Nemoto

Early in the twentieth century, Japan invaded, plundered, and colonized its neighbors. If we Japanese are to play an active role in the creation of an East Asian community, we must sincerely reflect on and atone for the acts of aggression that Japan committed.

Masahiro Nemoto is a member of Rissho Kosei-kai’s Board of Trustees and the director of Rissho Kosei-kai’s External Affairs Department in Tokyo.

The Roles of Politics and Religions in Building an East Asian Community by Kim Sunggon

Europe . . . established the European Union in 1993 through reconciliation and cooperation, keys to their plan for common prosperity. This compares starkly with the situation in East Asia. . . . Why has Europe succeeded in building a common bloc while East Asia has not?

Kim Sunggon, PhD, is a South Korean political and religious leader. He is secretary-general of the Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP) and a member of South Korea’s National Assembly. He also serves as the head of the ACRP Seoul Peace Education Center. In the National Assembly, Dr. Kim has served as chairman of the National Defense Committee. He is a member of Won Buddhism and has served as a professor at Wonkwang University, Iksan, established by Won Buddhism.

Trilateral Future-Oriented Cooperation among Japan, China, and South Korea by Ma Junwei

There is massive scope for cooperation among [Japan, China, and South Korea] in several areas, including East Asian security, economic cooperation within the framework of free trade agreements (FTAs) and economic partnership agreements (EPAs), and action on environmental issues and infectious diseases.

Ma Junwei is a research professor and deputy director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Beijing. He specializes in Japanese politics, Sino-Japanese relations, and security in Northeast Asia and has coauthored several books on those topics. He has served as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia of the University of Tokyo and the Institute of Developing Economics of the Japan External Trade Organization.

China, South Korea, and Japan: Common Features and Issues by Yoshiaki Sanada

The relationship of Japan with both China and South Korea within the context of the post-nineteenth-century history of East Asia has been one of colonial rule and war, and this has given rise to deep-rooted and complicated national sentiments that are characterized by hostility and distrust.

Yoshiaki Sanada is director of the Peace Research Institute of Religions for Peace Japan. Until March 2007 he was a law professor at Chuo University in Tokyo, where he is now a professor emeritus. Dr. Sanada is a former president of the Society for the Study of Legal Culture. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute of Comparative Law of the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing.

A Shortcut to Establishing an East Asian Peace Community: Welcoming the Other through Sharing Universal Values by Byun Jin-heung

Religion must take the lead in laying the foundation for an East Asian peace community. . . . It is religion that can make a paradigm shift from East Asian countries’ contention for regional supremacy to their defining national interest as cooperative competition, peaceful coexistence, and coprosperity.

Byun Jin-heung is secretary-general of the Korean Conference of Religions for Peace and executive director of the International Peace Corps of Religions. He teaches the religious policy of North Korea and the reunification of the Koreas at the Catholic University of Seoul. Dr. Byun is in charge of religious-dialogue affairs among the seven major religions in South Korea and has also been devoted to religious exchanges between North and South Korea.

Healing the Wounds of the Past, Building Peace for a Brighter Future by Kathy R. Matsui

Peace education is crucial in establishing a peaceful community in East Asia, and . . . peace building cannot be achieved exclusively by governments and international organizations.

Kathy R. Matsui, PhD, is Professor of Global Citizenship Studies at Seisen University, Tokyo. She has worked with peace researchers and educators internationally at the International Institute on Peace Education; the Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict; and the Global Campaign for Peace Education of Hague Appeal for Peace. She is also active in interreligious dialogue as the president of the International Association for Liberal Religious Women and as a member of the Women’s Executive Committee and Peace Education Commission of Religions for Peace Japan.

On the Sanctity of Life and the Right to Peace: Toward Collaboration among Religious Leaders by Toshimasa Yamamoto

Humans . . . seem to spend all of their time in futile competition – if there is something that they want, they will scramble to get it by whatever means. And it is when they fail to get what they want that wars claiming the lives of others break out.

Toshimasa Yamamoto is a professor and chaplain at Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe and an assistant to the chancellor of the Kwansei Gakuin Educational Foundation. He is an ordained United Methodist clergyman who has served churches in Hawaii, California, and Tokyo and is the former general secretary of the National Christian Council in Japan. His recent books include Ajia ekyumenikaru undo-shi (A history of the ecumenical movement in Asia).


The Experience of Growing Older by Nichiko Niwano

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and an honorary president of Religions for Peace. He also serves as special advisor to Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).

Founder’s Memoirs

The Second Vatican Council by Nikkyo Niwano

Nikkyo Niwano, the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, was an honorary president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and was honorary chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) at the time of his death in October 1999. He was awarded the 1979 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.


A Votary of the Lotus Sutra Will Meet Ordeals:
The Role of Suffering in Nichiren’s Thought (2) by Jacqueline I. Stone

In addressing the question of why he and his followers had to endure harsh trials, Nichiren did not fix on a single explanation but adopted multiple perspectives. On the one hand, his sufferings were necessary to prove the truth of the Lotus Sutra and to verify his own status as its votary. On the other hand, they were an act of expiation for past slanders of the Dharma.

Jacqueline I. Stone received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in East Asian Languages and Cultures, with a focus in Buddhist Studies. She is now Professor of Japanese Religions in the Religion Department of Princeton University. Her major research field is Japanese Buddhism. Her research interests include death in Buddhism; Buddhist eschatology; Buddhism and Japanese identity formation in the medieval and modern periods; and traditions related to the Lotus Sutra, especially Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism.

Prism of the Lotus Sutra

Prism of the Lotus Sutra (4)
The Ox / Monkeys / Sand by Atsushi Kanazawa

Atsushi Kanazawa is a professor in the Faculty of Buddhism at Komazawa University, Tokyo. He specializes in the Indian philosophy of language and the history of Indian philosophy and culture.

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (116)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 22: The Final Commission by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 116th installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World

  1. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  2. Spring 2019, Volume 46

    Is Emptiness the Goal?

  3. July-December 2018, Volume 45

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

  4. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  5. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  6. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  7. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  8. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  9. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  10. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  11. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  12. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  13. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  14. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  15. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  16. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  17. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  18. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  19. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  20. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  21. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  22. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  23. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  24. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  25. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  26. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  27. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  28. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  29. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  30. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  31. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  32. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  33. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  34. January-March 2010, Volume 37

    Help in Overcoming Alienation

  35. October-December 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  36. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  37. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  38. January-March 2009, Volume 36

    The Changing Forms of the Family and the Role of Religion

  39. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  40. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  41. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  42. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  43. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  44. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  45. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  46. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  47. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  48. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  49. April-June 2006, Volume 33

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

  50. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  51. November-December 2005, Volume 32

    Remembering Hiroshima

  52. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  53. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  54. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  55. March-April 2005, Volume 32

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  56. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  57. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  58. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  59. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  60. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  61. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  62. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  63. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  64. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  65. July-August 2003, Volume 30

    Niwano Peace Foundation

  66. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  67. March-April 2003, Volume 30

    Life is Larger Than Globalization

  68. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  69. November-December 2002, Volume 29

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

  70. September-October 2002, Volume 29

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

  71. July-August 2002, Volume 29

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

  72. May-June 2002, Volume 29

    National Treasure Tapestry Illustrating Shakyamuni Sermon to the Faithful

  73. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  74. January-February 2002, Volume 29

    Religious Delegates Gather in New York for WCRP Symposium