Workshop on Tannishō Commentarial Materials

Conference/Symposium | March 1 – 3, 2019 every day |  Jodo Shinshu Center

 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704

 Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), Center for Buddhist Studies, Otani University, Ryukoku University, BCA Center for Buddhist Education, Institute of Buddhist Studies, Shinshu Center of America

The Centers for Japanese Studies and Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, together with Ōtani University and Ryūkoku University in Kyoto announce a workshop under the supervision of Mark Blum that will focus on critically examining premodern and modern hermeneutics of the Tannishō, a core text of the Shin sect of Buddhism, and arguably the most well-read religious text in postwar Japan. 2019 will be the third year in this five-year project that meets twice each year: we will meet in Berkeley from March 1 to 3 and in Kyoto at Ōtani University from June 21 to 23. Organized around close readings of the most influential materials produced in early modern, modern, and postmodern Japan, the workshop aims at producing a critical, annotated translation detailing the salient ways in which this text has been both inspirational and controversial, as well as a series of essays analyzing a wide spectrum of voices in Japanese scholarship and preaching that have spoken on this work. For the early modern or Edo period, the commentaries by Enchi (1662), Jukoku (1740), Jinrei (1808), and Ryōshō (1841) will be examined. For the modern period, works by Andō Shūichi (1909), Chikazumi Jōkan (1930), and Soga Ryōjin (1947) will be the major concern. And for the postwar/postmodern period, due to the sheer volume of publications (over 300 titles), reading choices will be selected at a later date in consultation with participants.

Format: The language of instruction will be primarily English with only minimal Japanese spoken as needed, and while the texts will be in primarily in Classical Japanese and Modern Japanese, with some outside materials in kanbun and English. Participants will be expected to prepare the assigned readings, and on occasion make relevant presentations in English about content.

Dates: Exact dates will vary from year to year based on academic calendars, but for 2019 the meeting hosted by U.C. Berkeley will take place from the 1st to the 3rd of March at the Jōdo Shinshū Center in Berkeley, and in Kyoto the seminar will be hosted by Ōtani University from the 21st to the 23th of June.

Cost: There is no participation fee, but in recognition of the distance some will have to travel to attend, a limited number of travel fellowships will be provided to qualified graduate students, based on preparedness, need, and commitment to the project.

Participation Requirements: Although any qualified applicant will be welcome to register, graduate students will be particularly welcome and the only recipients of financial assistance in the form of travel fellowships. Affiliation with one of the three hosting universities is not required. We welcome the participation of graduate students outside of Japan with some reading ability in Modern and Classical Japanese and familiarity with Buddhist thought and culture as well as native-speaking Japanese graduate students with a scholarly interest in Buddhism. Although we welcome students attending both meetings each year, participation in only one is acceptable.

Application Procedure: Applications must be sent for each year that one wants to participate. To apply to register for either or both of the workshops for 2019, send C.V. and short letter explaining your qualifications, motivations, and objectives to Kumi Hadler at cjs@berkeley.edu by the end of January, 2019. Applications are by email only, and application deadlines will remain as end-January in subsequent years as well. Requests for a travel fellowship money should be included in this letter with specifics of where you will be traveling from and if you plan to attend one or both meetings that year. Questions about the content of the workshop may be sent to Professor Blum at mblum@berkeley.edu. Communication regarding the Kyoto meeting may be sent to Professor Michael Conway at conway@res.otani.ac.jp.

Schedule
Friday, March 1

9:00 – 9:50 | Breakfast
10:00 – 10:30 | Morning Group Overview - Session materials, logistics, objectives
10:45 – 12:00 | Morning Session

12:10 – 1:10 | Lunch
1:10 – 1:20 | Break
1:20 – 2:30 | Afternoon Session 1
2:30 – 2:40 Break
2:40 – 3:25 | Talk by Otani-Honda
3:40 – 5:00 | Afternoon Session 2
6:30 – 8:00 | Dinner
8:00 – | After-Dinner discussions

Saturday, March 2
9:00 – 9:50 | Breakfast
10:00 – 11:00 | Morning Session 1
11:00 – 11:10 | Break
11:10 – 12:10 | Morning Session 2
12:15 – 1:15 | Lunch
1:25 – 2:35 | Afternoon Session 1
2:35 – 2:45 | Break
3:00 – 4:15 | Afternoon Session 2
4:15 – 5:00 | Break
5:00 – 6:30 | Talk by Michihiro Ama*
7:00 – 8:30 | Dinner
8:45 – | After-dinner discussions

Sunday, March 3
9:00 – 9:50 | Breakfast
10:00 – 11:00 | Morning Session 1
11:00 – 11:10 | Break
11:10 – 12:10 | Morning Session 2
12:15 – 1:15 | Lunch
1:25 – 2:35 | Afternoon Session 1
2:35 – 2:45 | Break
2:45 – 3:30 | Afternoon Session 2
3:40 – 5:15 | Roundup Discussion
6:30 – 8:00 | Dinner
解散

*This talk is open to the public
Title: Literary Representations of Buddhist Funerals
Date: Saturday, March 2, 5:00-6:30
Venue: Jodo Shinshu Center
Speaker: Michihiro Ama, University of Montana
Moderator: Mark Blum

In this lecture, Natsume Sōseki’s The Miner and “A Rainy Day” in To the Spring Equinox and Beyond are treated as works of path literature. During the Buddhist funerals, periods of transition in the lives of the literary characters and new sensations regarding life and death are identified through the connection of the term “path” as a synonym for passage. The funerals lead the fictional characters to reflect on their existence and the Buddhist funeral fictionalized in A Rainy Day was also cathartic for Sōseki himself. The lecture is based on my forthcoming book titled, The Awakening of Modern Japanese Fiction: Path Literature and An Interpretation of Buddhism, which aims to extract unrecognized Buddhist elements from the disciplinary divide between modern Japanese literary studies and Buddhist studies.

 cjs-events@berkeley.edu, 510-642-3415