Graduate School of Buddhist Studies

The predecessor of this graduate school, the Buddhist studies major of the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences, established a master's program in 1952 and then a doctoral program in 1957. The objectives of this were to make students self-reliant as researchers in their respective specialized fields, and to cultivate wide-ranging and abundant scholarly attainments regarding areas of specialization. In line with the title "Buddhist studies major," this graduate school has grown out of the two departments the Department of Zen Buddhist Studies and the Department of Buddhist Studies of the Komazawa University Faculty of Buddhism. As such, the fields in which students can major are related to both these departments and range from the study of the religious doctrine of Soto Zen Buddhism, general Zen Buddhist studies, and Zen Buddhist history, to studies regarding the religions, philosophies, and cultures of the extensive regions in which Buddhism has been propagated, Buddhist studies and Buddhist history studies related to India, Tibet, China, Korea, Japan, and so on, studies regarding religious factions, and studies regarding original texts in languages such as Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese. Thus, academically, this graduate school has students aiming to do research on propagandism and indoctrination, and students researching the fields of religious studies, religious-folklore studies, and the anthropology of religion.

This graduate school has a large number of teaching staff members who are able to provide guidance on the execution of the diverse types of research described above. The scope of this graduate school can be considered to encompass wide-ranging fields related to Zen Buddhist studies, Buddhist studies, and religious studies. A remarkable recent trend regarding this graduate school is the fact that there has been an increase in students completing, and acquiring a "doctoral degree" in, the doctoral program of this school's predecessor, the Buddhist studies major of the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences. It seems that this has been brought about by policies for the enhancement of graduate schools that have been set forth by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It goes without saying that even for persons who withdrew from the doctoral program but completed the coursework, and master's program graduates, paths have been opened up for a "doctoral degree by thesis" based on the continuation of research and the accumulation of results.

This graduate school has many cases in which students with extensive life experience enter the Faculty of Buddhism based on the "entrance examination for full-fledged members of society," graduate, and then continue to study after advancing to the graduate school master's program, and thus stimulating and lively research environments are fostered in which there exchanges with younger students. In addition, there are cases in which the graduates of universities other than Komazawa University advance their education at Komazawa University, and this has created active momentum for free academic exchanges with the outside. Furthermore, even though Buddhist studies are currently being carried out worldwide, this school has a considerable number of foreign students from neighboring countries and regions such as South Korea, China, and Taiwan, and countries with deep connections to Buddhism in Southeast Asia, as well as students enrolling with government-sponsored assistance from Europe, the United States, and so on, and some of the students additionally acquire a doctoral degree.