• About our Center
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About our Center

From Research Fellow

What is Center for Information on Religion?

The Activities of our Center for Information on Religion, as a research institution, consists of three pillars as follows. Our goal is to let concerned people coherently informed of the current of religions.

1. Mind and Society

The more than 30 thousands suicides per year and the solitary deaths in Japan have been considered as the results of loosening communal ties and deterioration of social ethics. Our action researches are on some alternative mutual support channels not only traditional institutional or religious ones but also post-modern ones.

2. Information on Religion

Due to simplification of rituals and cultural events, it is becoming less often for us to experience religious practices in our daily life. Meanwhile, when we focus on the social news and global issues, we feel the necessity of knowledge and discernment of religion.

Center for Information on Religion will cover the news on religions around Japan with academic interest. We select and present significant information on religion.

3. Buddhist Studies

Buddhism today should be understood as the accumulation of effort of transmission from India in twenty-five hundred years after Buddha’s death. Then there is not one monolithic Buddhism. Buddhism experiences transformation and is rich in diversity. We must consider on Buddisms in its plural form. Therefore we intend to verify the transition and transformation process of Buddhism by studying materials not limited to the revised editions but also including manuscript and inscriptions. Pursuing proper understanding of Buddhism, the outcome will be presented in more comprehensive media.

Research Fellow
He received Ph.D at the University of Tokyo. He has experienced the special research fellow of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of Science, Research Fellow at the Joetsu University of Education, and now working for the Center for Information on Religion since 2002. His works include Meditation and Modernity (Shunju-sha, 2010, Japanese), Sobriety in Communality (Sekai-Shiso-Sha, 2007, Japanese), Keywords for Religious Studies (co-edited, Yuhikaku, 2006, Japanese).

On March 1995, an anti-social religious group called AUM Shinrikyo has attacked Tokyo Metro Subway Network by poisonous saline gas. Thirteen have died and more than six thousands have injured: Tokyo Subway Gas Attack.

Our center had established in 1994 as a news archive on religion just before the incident and experienced a flood of sentimental news just with curiosity and fear. It required reflection on the methodology of the presentation of the news on religion with academic interest. The importance of such methodology becomes more crucial because people enjoy powerful search technology to numerous websites. They are difficult to be identified whether it is reliable or not. People often consider that the topic which is unsearchable does not exist. We should go beyond just search and contextualize religion with coherent academic interest.

Along with our Japanese website which presents varieties of information on religion all around the world including those on Japan, our English one mainly covers the information on religion in Japan. We hope information on religion in Japan to be shared among nations including Asian countries beyond language difference.

In this website we will present information to consider what religion is in Japanese context, with valid source, coherent review of facts, and description of the human life than just the doctrine or ideas. For this goal we collaborate with scholars and institutions in the world.

Center for Information on Religion as a research institution is sponsored by a Buddhist Order, Shinnyo-en, many scholars and religionists. We hope to develop new collaborative study projects with concerned people around the world.

Kenta KASAI, Research Fellow