Buddhism in Japan
Shores of Zen
A 6-part class series from Summer 2015 at Green Gulch Farm.
As we develop As we develop our unique "American Buddhism" at places like Green Gulch, it is useful to look back to past transformations the Buddhist tradition has undergone in its long history of encounter with new cultures. In this class we will take the case of Japanese Buddhism, surveying the evolution of its institutions and teachings over their 1,500 years of development.  We will trace a broad arc from the sixth century introduction of Buddhism to Japan, through the emergence of the first Chinese-style sects in the Nara Period (710-794), to the Heian Period (794-1185) growth of the Tendai sect with its radical teachings on original Enlightenment, and to the pivotal Kamakura Period (1185-1333) marked by brilliant "one-practice" Buddhist reformers like Dogen, Shinran, and Nichiren.  The modern and early modern periods will be considered as well, including the Edo Period (1600-1868) fusing of the Buddhist establishment with the Japanese State and the "New Buddhism" of the Meiji Period (1868-1912), which is perhaps the most direct and influential predecessor of our own American Buddhism.  We will also take a look at Buddhism as it is actually practiced and understood in Japan today, in hopes that it will help us more fully to appreciate both the Japanese heritage of our San Francisco Zen Center tradition and the radical adaptations we have made to it.
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Japanese Buddhism Class #1: Introduction    
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a compilation of some projects of Jiryu Rutschman-Byler
Japanese Buddhism Class #2: Nara    
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Japanese Buddhism Class #3: Heian    
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Japanese Buddhism Class #4: Pure Land    
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Japanese Buddhism Class #5: Dogen    
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Japanese Buddhism Class #6: Modern Japan    
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