The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler's Cross: Rescuing a Symbol of Peace from the Forces of Hate

The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler's Cross: Rescuing a Symbol of Peace from the Forces of Hate

by T. K. Nakagaki

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Overview

The swastika has been used for over three thousand years by billions of people in many cultures and religions—including Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism—as an auspicious symbol of the sun and good fortune. However, beginning with its hijacking and misappropriation by Nazi Germany, it has also been used, and continues to be used, as a symbol of hate in the Western World. Hitler's device is in fact a "hooked cross." Rev. Nakagaki's book explains how and why these symbols got confused, and offers a path to peace, understanding, and reconciliation.

Please note: Photographs in the digital edition of the books are in color. Photographs in the print edition are in black and white.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611720457
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 847,574
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Rev. Dr. T. K. Nakagaki is a Buddhist priest, ordained in the 750-year- old Jodoshinshu tradition of Japanese Buddhism. He was ordained at the Nishi Hongwanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, in 1980. He graduated from Ryukoku University in Kyoto, majoring in Buddhist History in 1983, and later conducted advanced study in Jodoshinshu Buddhist doctrine at Gyoshin Buddhist Seminary in Osaka, Japan, from 1983–1985. He received an M.A. in Linguistics from California State University at Fresno in 1994, and earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Multifaith studies from the New York Theological Seminary in 2012.



Rev. Dr. Nakagaki is a Founder and President of Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York, and current executive officer and former President of the Buddhist Council of New York, Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, Peace Correspondent of Nagasaki City, Community Clergy Liaison for the NYC Police Department, and former Vice President of the Interfaith Center of New York. He served as a resident priest for Jodoshinshu Buddhist communities in Seattle from 1985–1989, in Parlier, CA from 1989–1994, and at the New York Buddhist Church from 1994–2010.



Since 1994, Rev. Nakagaki has organized an annual interfaith peace event to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, and from 2002–2011 he organized the annual 9-11 WTC Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony. He is the author of three books in Japanese, A New York Buddhist Priest Walks in India (Gendai Shokan, 2003); Diary of a Manhattan Monk (Gendai Shokan, 2010); and Manji and Hakenkreuz (Gendaishokan, 2013) He is also a noted Japanese calligrapher.

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii


Preface 1


Western vs. Eastern Perceptions of the Swastika


A Few Notes on Terms and Images 3


My First Encounter in the US ... 4


Why Discuss the Swastika Now? 6


The Human Capacity for Atrocity 8


Encountering Holocaust Survivors 10


Importance of Dialogue 12


Our Own Monsters Within 13



Chapter 1 14


The Swastika Symbol in My Tradition


The Swastika in Japan 14


Meaning of the Swastika in Japanese language 26


Meaning of the Swastika in the Buddha’s Discourse 29


The Standard Buddhist Swastika is Left-Turning 35



Chapter 2 39 A Universal Symbol


Swastika Use in Various Religions 40


The Swastika Symbol in North America 56


Chapter 3 69 Hitler’s Flag


Design of the Hook-Cross 69


Hitler and the Eastern Swastika; 74


Swastika usage in 19th and 20th Century Europe 74



Chapter 4 77 Hitler’s First Meaning of Hakenkreuz: Aryan


Meaning of “Aryan” 77


Ārya in Buddhism 78


The Western Concept of What is an Aryan 82


The Meaning of “Aryan” for Hitler 87



Chapter 5 96 Hitler’s Second Meaning of The Hakenkreuz : Anti-Semitism


Meaning of Anti-Semitism 96


Anti-Semitism and Hitler’s Early Life 99


Martin Luther (1483 -1546) 100


Richard Wagner (1813 -1883) 107


Luther, Wagner and Hitler 117


Political Symbol vs. Religious and Spiritual Symbol 117



Chapter 6 119 Hitler’s Symbol Is a “Hakenkreuz,” Not a Swastika


Difference between “Swastika” and “Hakenkreuz” 119


Definition of “Hakenkreuz” 125


Swastika and Hakenkreuz in Dictionaries 127


Translation Problems of “Hakenkreuz” 131



Chapter 7 140 Conclusion – Present & Future Meaning of the Swastika Symbol


Current Swastika Issues 140


Where Are We Going? 143


Epilogue 147


Action Plan for the Public


BIBLIOGRAPHY 152

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