Dharma World

July-August 2005, Volume 32

May-June 2005, Volume 32(PDF)

Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

Women as Shamans, Religious Founders, and Feminists by Susumu Shimazono

Susumu Shimazono is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Tokyo. His special fields are the comparative study of religious movements and the history of religion in modern Japan. He has also taught as a guest professor at universities in the United States, France, and Germany. His recent publications include “Iyasu chi” no keifu (The Genealogy of “Healing Wisdom”) and Posutomodan no shin shukyo (Postmodern New Religions).

In the Palace of the Dragon King by Christal Whelan

The exception to the rule of institutional exclusion of women in Japanese religion seems to be the new religious movements, this scholar says, where some women managed to actualize their visions of a more inclusive world.

Christal Whelan is currently an Earhart Fellow at the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University, where she is also completing a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology. She was a Fulbright Fellow to Japan from 2003 to 2005 while affiliated with the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, in Kyoto. In 2000 she trained at Mount Koya’s Niso Gakuin, where she was ordained in the Shingon tradition. She has published numerous articles and a book in the field of Japanese religion and culture.

Japanese Women and Religion by Fumiko Nomura

A teacher at a women’s university believes that the simplicity of her young students–a quality that goes beyond unaffectedness or earnestness–is what should truly be called “spiritual.”

Fumiko Nomura, a professor at Kawamura Gakuen Women’s University, specializes in American religious history. She is also on the board of directors of the International Institute for the Study of Religions, and has translated Jerald C. Brauer’s Protestantism in America: A Narrative History into Japanese.

The Latent Religiosity of the Japanese by Emiko Namihira

There are many who have awakened to the fact that people cannot be fulfilled through living for themselves alone but are fulfilled by helping other beings.

Emiko Namihira, Ph.D., is professor of cultural anthropology and gender studies at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo. Her special field is medical anthropology and the anthropology of religion. She is the author of a number of books and articles, including Karada no bunka jinruigaku (Cultural Anthropology of the Body), Nihonjin no shi no katachi (The Japanese Form of Death), and Iryo jinruigaku nyumon (Introduction to Medical Anthropology).

Japan’s Mountain Gods by Jun’ichiro Ishikawa

The Japanese have dwelled in fields and mountains since ancient times. Because the fields and mountains provide the necessities of daily life, people have long worshiped mountain gods as the local guardian deities.

Jun’ichiro Ishikawa, professor emeritus of Tokoha Gakuen Junior College, in Shizuoka Prefecture, serves on the boards of directors of Shizuoka Prefecture’s Folklore Society and Society for Conservation of Cultural Properties. He is the author of Kappa no sekai (The World of Kappa [Water Sprites]) and other works, and coauthor of Nihon shukyo no fukugo-teki kozo (The Composite Structure of Japanese Religion).

Niwano Peace Prize

Toward a Global Ethic by Hans Kung

The 22nd Niwano Peace Prize was awarded to the Roman Catholic theologian Dr. Hans Kung, president of the Global Ethic Foundation in Germany and Switzerland. Together with his contributions to interfaith dialogue and cooperation, Dr. Kung’s advocacy of a “Global Ethic” as a way of realizing world peace has won him recognition around the world. The prize was presented in Tokyo on May 11.


Living by the Precepts by Nichiko Niwano

Buddhists have the Six Perfections and observance of the five precepts as the standards of daily life. We are taught to live by the Buddha’s precepts. Why is keeping those precepts important?

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and the Niwano Peace Foundation, a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP), and chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan). This article is a translation of a recent interview with Rev. Niwano that originally appeared in Rissho Kosei-kai’s Japanese periodical Yakushin.

The Tranquil Realm of Nirvana by Nikkyo Niwano

This essay is part of a continuing series of translations from a volume of inspirational writings by the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai. DHARMA WORLD will continue to publish these essays because of their lasting value as guidance for the daily practice of one’s faith.

Nikkyo Niwano, the late 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.

The Stories of the Lotus Sutra

The Bodhisattva Never Disrespectful by Gene Reeves

It is significant that this bodhisattva tells everyone he meets, including those who are arrogant, angry, disrespectful, and mean-spirited, that they are bodhisattvas.

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.

Conference Report

The 19th IAHR World Congress Discusses the Role of Religion in Issues of Conflict and Peace by Gaynor Sekimori

Gaynor Sekimori, a specialist in the history of Japanese religion, is a long-term practitioner of Shugendo at Mount Haguro. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge with a study of Haguro Shugendo and is presently an associate professor in the Institute of Oriental Culture at the University of Tokyo, where she also acts as the managing editor of the International Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press).


A Leadership of Openness and Interreligious Dialogue: A Visit with His Holiness Pope John Paul II by Ignacy-Marek Kaminski

In the author’s student days in Krakow, Poland, the young Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, served as a spiritual counselor. Professor Kaminski, now a permanent resident of Japan, met the ailing pope in his Vatican apartment in January, with his two Eurasian children. He believes that the late pope’s legacy of open leadership and interreligious dialogue will long live in people’s hearts.

Ignacy-Marek Kaminski is a visiting professor of ethnology and cultural anthropology at Warsaw University. Dr. Kaminski, now a Swedish citizen, has also been a member of the Swedish Writers Union since 1984: his works are published in nine languages. His latest work is “Applied Anthropology and Diplomacy,” in The Psychology of Diplomacy, Harvey J. Langholtz & Chris E. Stout, eds. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004).

Gotama Buddha (73)

The Beginnings of Deification (1) by Hajime Nakamura

In outward form, Sakyamuni was no different from other bhikkus. Later depictions of him with beautiful hair and a halo, surrounded by disciples, were errors in terms of historical truth.

The late Dr. Hajime Nakamura, an authority on Indian philosophy, was president of the Eastern Institute in Tokyo and a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo at the time of his death in October 1999. This ongoing series is a translation of Gotama Buddha, vol. 2 (Tokyo: Shunjusha, 1992).

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (83)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law
Chapter 10: A Teacher of the Law (2) by Nikkyo Niwano

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

Dharma World

  1. Spring 2024, Volume 51

    Knowing Contentment

  2. Autumn 2023, Volume 50

    Religion and the Family

  3. Spring 2023, Volume 50

    Religion’s Role in Peacebuilding

  4. Autumn 2022, Volume 49

    Religion and Happiness

  5. Spring 2022, Volume 49

    The Impact of Cyberspace on a Variety of Religious Traditions and Practices

  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

    Violence in Buddhism

  10. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  11. Spring 2019, Volume 46

    Is Emptiness the Goal?

  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

    Remembering Hiroshima

  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

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  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

    Niwano Peace Foundation

  75. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  76. March-April 2003, Volume 30

    Life is Larger Than Globalization

  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

    National Treasure Tapestry Illustrating Shakyamuni Sermon to the Faithful

  82. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  83. January-February 2002, Volume 29

    Religious Delegates Gather in New York for WCRP Symposium