Japan and Its Buddhist Traditions
- Earn 16 undergraduate semester credits while learning from scholars, professors, and practitioners in Kyoto, Japan.
- Experience temple and monastic life, while participating in meditation and chanting.
- Complete an Independent Study project related to an aspect of Japanese religions and culture that follows your interests.
- Enjoy full access to Buddhist-affiliated Ryukoku University facilities, including computer lab, library and student cafeteria.
- Visit the great Buddhist-related sights in the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara including Zen gardens, paintings, and architecture.
- Undergo esoteric Buddhist practices in Japan’s mountains, including waterfall purification rituals.
- Gain valuable research and critical thinking skills, along with achieving a greater understanding of Japanese society, Buddhist culture, and yourself.
“I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life.” -Rebecca Scott, Swarthmore College
The Japan and Its Buddhist Traditions Program introduces students to the development, teachings and diverse cultural expressions of Japanese Buddhism, including such arts as flower arranging, calligraphy and the tea ceremony. Students not only have the opportunity to study Buddhism in theory, but actually participate in a variety of Buddhist meditative and chanting practices, as well as learn the Japanese language (on an optional basis) while pursuing their own academic interests through a directed research project. Students experience Japanese campus life through classes at Buddhist-affiliated Ryukoku University, while living as ‘lay pilgrims’ in a nearby temple hostel. In this setting, they gain firsthand experience of the Japanese Buddhist traditions through daily life, ritual, and seminar.
Students from a wide variety of schools have participated in the Buddhist Studies Program in Japan since it first began in 1999. A sampling of these recent (since 2008) institutions include: Amherst College, Austin College, Bard College, Bucknell University, Brown University, Carleton College, Coe College, Columbia University, Earlham College, East Carolina University, Emerson College, Fort Lewis College, Guildford College, Hofstra University, Humboldt State University, Hunter College, Lakeland College, Ohio State University, Ohio University, Pomona College, Princeton University, The College of William and Mary, Trinity University, Tufts University, University of Hartford, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, UNC-Asheville, University of Texas at Austin, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Vassar College, Western Washington University, Williams College and Yale University.