Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences (i)
The curriculum in Buddhism is a highly developed program of courses which research the general teachings of Buddhism and, in particular, the teachings of the Soto school, on which this university is founded. Every year the professors and students engage in animated discussion about the nature of Buddhism, what its main characteristics are, and how it should be construed to deal with modern times. Exegesis of the classical Buddhist texts is conducted in their original Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Chinese versions. The curriculum concentrates especially on the Buddhist Master Dogen, who was the founder of the Soto school, and the Buddhist Master Keizan, who developed the basis of the religious brotherhood. From their time to the present there has been an unending succession of superlative scholars and religious leaders in the Soto school.
Many of these scholars and religious leaders have exercised a formative role in the Buddhist world of Japan. Dogen's main work, Shobogenzo, is renowned as one of the most difficult religious texts in the history of Japanese Buddhism. Many of the students enrolled in this graduate program struggle day and night trying to decipher this text.
The graduate program of Buddhism offers a master's degree program and a doctoral degree program. The master's degree program was authorized on the first of May, 1952, and the doctoral program was subsequently authorized on the twenty-second of March, 1957. These programs have a long history and constitute the nucleus of the university.
There are seventy chairs of Buddhism for the master's degree program and twenty-three chairs provided in addition for the doctoral program. Of all graduate schools in Japan, Komazawa University has the most substantial professorial staff for Buddhism. Especially in the concentration here referred to as the science of Buddhism, truly world-famous professors conduct tuition in the history of Indian Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and the divergent Chinese Buddhist doctrines of the Sanron school, Tendai school, and Kegon school. Komazawa Graduate School furthermore occupies the first place among all Japanese graduate schools for its scholarly tradition and leading research in the Buddhist Master Dogen, the history of the Zen school in China, and the doctrines of Zen Buddhism. The field of religious anthropology at Komazawa Graduate School has also reached a position of preeminence in Japan, such that graduates from other universities who want to specialize in this field often transfer to Komazawa University. In addition to the supremacy of our teaching faculty, our library possesses many priceless original texts and scholarly works on the doctrines of Buddhism and Zen.
The outstanding characteristics and tradition of our graduate school have attracted students and scholars throughout the world. At present, for instance, students from Brazil, Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea are enrolled in our graduate school. In the past, students and scholars from China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, The United States, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Finland, Denmark, Peru, Australia, and Ghana have attended our graduate school. Of these foreign scholars several have received doctoral degrees; most of them have thereupon returned to their home countries and taken leading positions in the research of Buddhism in major universities or research institutes.