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Overview

Following the critically acclaimed Zen at War (1997), Brian Victoria explores the intimate relationship between Japanese institutional Buddhism and militarism during the Second World War.
Victoria reveals for the first time, through examination of the wartime writings of the Japanese military itself, that the Zen school's view of life and death was deliberately incorporated into the military's programme of 'spiritual education' in order to develop a fanatical military spirit in ...
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Zen War Stories

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Overview

Following the critically acclaimed Zen at War (1997), Brian Victoria explores the intimate relationship between Japanese institutional Buddhism and militarism during the Second World War.
Victoria reveals for the first time, through examination of the wartime writings of the Japanese military itself, that the Zen school's view of life and death was deliberately incorporated into the military's programme of 'spiritual education' in order to develop a fanatical military spirit in both soldiers and civilians.  Furthermore, that D. T. Suzuki, the most famous exponent of Zen in the West, is shown to have been a wartime proponent of this Zen-inspired viewpoint which enabled Japanese soldiers to leave for the battlefield already resigned to death.  Victoria takes us onto the naval battlefield in the company of warrior-monk and Rinzai Zen Master Nakajima Genj├┤.  We view the war in China through the eyes of a Buddhist military chaplain.  The book also examines the relationship to Buddhism of Japan's seven Class-A war criminals who were hung by the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal in 1948.
A highly controversial study, this book will be of interest, first and foremost, to students of Zen as well as all those studying the history of this period, not to mention anyone concerned with the perennial question of the 'proper' relationship between religion and the state.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781136127700
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/6/2012
  • Series: Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 625,161
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
1 The Zen master wept 3
2 Monks and soldiers move on their stomachs 17
3 The Zen of assassination 27
4 Omori Sogen - the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Zen 39
5 Zen Master Dogen goes to war - the militarist and anti-Semitic writings of Yasutani Haku'un 66
6 Carrying Zen to China 92
7 Zen "selflessness" in Japanese Militarism 106
8 Buddhist war bereavement 149
9 Confessions of a Buddhist chaplain 163
10 Buddhism: the last refuge of war criminals 171
11 Buddhism: a top secret religion in wartime Japan 204
Epilogue 228
Postscript 232
Notes 234
Bibliography 251
Index 258
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