1. What should I know before I head to the reference books?
In the Tokugawa period, the bakufu legally partitioned Buddhist schools (-shű 宗). In the early years of Meiji, the government proscribed Shugend˘, thoroughly disestablished Onmy˘d˘, and sought forcibly to separate Buddhism and Shint˘. Such government policies contributed to growing sectarian consciousness, which, especially in the modern period, has been nurtured by sectarian education. On academic and popular levels, positivist inquiry has defined shűky˘ (a word attested since only the 16th century) as the translation of the Latinate "religion." Modern scholarship has privileged the study of individual religions, schools, sects, founder figures, orthodox doctrine, and idealized institutional history. This approach has isolated "religion" from the study of economics, politics, society, literature, medicine, technology and the arts.
Since the 1970s, this has been changing , as reappraisals of heretofore conventional historiography gain wider acceptance and interdisciplinary work increases. However, many of the key reference works on religion are out of step with these developments. (In fact, many were produced during the Taish˘ and early Sh˘wa periods.) The state of the reference field is showing some signs of change, but it is still thorny terrain for people who want to do historical work on marginal texts, local religion, combinatory practices and beliefs, and so forth.
In this FAQ, I have followed the sectarian/disciplinary boundaries that have long informed the study of religion because most of the works covered here assume that these divisions are operative. Nevertheless, I hope you will consider and challenge these very boundaries. Please be creative and use the other sections in this bibliography (e.g., literature, history, art) as much as you can.
2. How can I get a sense of the state of the field?The best place to start is with the Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions (University of Hawai'i Press, 2005), a project of the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture. Preparation on this important work began several years before its publication, and drafts of the chapters were first made available in draft form on the Center's web site. (Some of these may still be found on the internet archive at http://web.archive.org/web/20030329153006/http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/galleys/Guidebook/Guidebook+galleys.htm, but they are incomplete and unedited, and should not be used in place of the final published version.) The articles vary in focus and tone, and some are more idiosyncratic than others. They do give a helpful overview of disciplinary issues and research methods. For a description of the volume and a downloadable file with the Table of Contents, see http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/nlarc/Nanzan_Guide.htm.
The Nanzan Institute (known
informally as "Shubunken 宗文研") also publishes the Japanese
Journal of Religious Studies ( BL2202 .J35, also available
online at http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/jp/publications/jjrs/jjrsMain.htm)
, which features European, American, and Japanese
scholarship about Japanese religion in English. Watch
for special issues. This
journal keeps well abreast of current research topics and methods.
The "Gog˘" (May issue)
Shigaku zasshi (last four issues in stacks
at D13 . J3 N53) is a
convenient resource. For more details, see the entry in Ch. 18 under "Learning the State of the Field."
There are very many Japanese-periodicals, too many to be covered here even in digest. You should of course browse the periodicals section to locate journals of interest to you. In general, LC numbers for relevant sources will be in the BL and BQ ranges. See also the section on journals below.
3. How can I get quick information so I can T.A. my section next week?
You may wish to make use of the Encyclopedia of Religion (Macmillan, 1987) (R 032 En1944), which is located in the Butler Reference Room. Of course, this work, edited by Mircea Eliade, does not focus on Japan, but it is full of readable, useful articles. The advantage over Japanese-language sources here is that you can find information that English-speaking undergraduates will understand, and you will also spare yourself trips to the dictionary for arcane terminology. The references at the end of each article tend to be a bit out-of-date.
You might also find some of the general works in the Starr reference section helpful. Nihon shűky˘ jiten (K˘bund˘, 1985) (REF BL 2022 N5178 1985) functions more like an encyclopedia than a dictionary, and offers informative, easy-to-read, illustrated articles.
Japanese encyclopedias and the Kokushi daijiten (REF
DS833 .K64, 17 vols) should also prove helpful.
The Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions may be of use here, too, especially since each essay includes bibliographic references.
1. Where can I find general, basic information?
Take a look at the resources covered in the general section on religion .
There are a number of series akin to the "how-to" genre that treat Buddhism. They are published for popular consumption and are readily available at any sizeable Japanese-language bookstore. One example is Waga ie no shűky˘ o shiru shirţzu わ が家の宗教を知るシリーズ (published by Futabasha, priced around Y1500-2000), which includes illustrated volumes on Rinzai, J˘do, Shingon, Nichiren, Shin and Tendai schools, as well as a book on sutra reading. They are not scholarly (and hence not in Starr library), but these volumes provide well-organized and cogent information on doctrine, founders, iconography, major sites, festivals, rituals, scriptures, and so on. If you want to get oriented and learn some basic terminology, these can be a very helpful, relatively inexpensive resource.
There are also a couple of reference works geared toward the general reader in Starr. The Bukky˘ bunka jiten (K˘sei shuppansha, 1989) (REF BQ 4016 B82 1989) does not focus exclusively on Japan, nor does it function as a real dictionary. Rather, it is a series of easy-to-read articles that treat topics such as practice and ascesis; temples; Buddhism and literature; ritual; and Buddhism and society. You might also take a look at the Nihon shűky˘ jiten (K˘bund˘, 1985) (REF BL 2022 N5178 1985), which is likewise organized by topic. If there is a subject you are new to, these general works are one place to start.
2. What are the authoritative dictionaries?
authoritative Buddhological dictionary, while musty and difficult to
read is the classic Bukky˘
Daijiten, authored by Mochizuki
and first published in 6 volumes in 1931-6 (in Starr Offsite, 180.3
M71, should you be interested), then reissued in 1955-63 in 10 volumes
by the Sekai seiten kank˘ ky˘kai with the author's name incorporated
into the title, as Mochizuki Bukky˘
Daijiten (REF BQ130
M62 1955 v. 1-10). Mochizuki remains a tremendous resource, for all the
difficulty of using it. It
does include proper nouns,
and entries can be quite long (they contain references, too). Some of us favor Mochizuki because we know that
find what we want elsewhere. It is not the best source, however,
for a quick
answer to a simple question, and it has been known to traumatize
non-specialists. The dictionary is well indexed, but the
indexing is a
complicated, so please note the following. Vol
7 contains the index for volumes 1-5, the main body of the dictionary. Vol 6 includes chronologies, sectarian and
monzeki lineages, and an index to itself. Vol
addenda to the main index and supplementary entries with their own
Vols 9 and 10 contain more supplementary entries and are indexed at
end of Vol 10. This means that you may
indices in volumes 7, 8, and 10 to make sure you find your entry.
Sectarian dictionaries treat a
school (shű 宗 or ha 派), and will be helpful with
and pronunciations (which are numerous), as well as less prominent
figures and institutions. They are usually published by the sect
and are likely to be concerned with establishing orthodoxy, as well as
and historiographical authority.
Please note: the following is NOT an exhaustive list.
Shingon and Tendai: Mikky˘
daijiten (H˘z˘kan, 1968) (REF BQ8909 .M54 1968, v.1-6).
J˘do Shinshű: Shinshű shinjiten (H˘z˘kan, 1983) (REF BQ 8079 S55 1984).
Nichirenshű: Nichiren jiten (T˘ky˘d˘, 1978) ( REF BQ 8309 .N5).
We do not have separate Japanese
for the so-called "Nara sects" (Hoss˘, Kegon,
4. Is there a dictionary I should consider buying?
Iwanamiĺs (Nakamura Hajime, ed.) Nihon bukky˘go jiten (REF BQ 130 N53 1988) is a newish, adequate one-volume dictionary. However, K˘jien adequately covers many of its entries.
The and Nakamura and Mochizuki
dictionaries, as well as the one-volume
and Taya dictionaries (see below under "How
to look up a term"), have all been issued in at least two editions,
and one might find a
copy at an affordable price. In my opinion, these are more
5. Are there Japanese-English dictionaries?
Inagaki Hisao has put out the Japanese-English Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms (Heian, 1989) (REF BQ130 .I53 1989g). In 1991, Dait˘ Shuppansha reissued its Japanese-English Buddhist Dictionary/Nichiei Bukky˘ jiten (REF BQ 130 N532 1991; cf. REF BQ 130 N52 1965 ). The scope of both these dictionaries is rather limited, and their translations are often opaque and sometimes misleading. Use them if you like, but be wary. Unfortunately, there are no well-respected J-E Buddhist dictionaries at present.
You may also wish to check the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (DDB) and Chinese-Japanese-Korean-Vietnamese(CJKV)/English dictionaries managed by Charles Muller. These are cooperatively compiled, and the quality, length, and tenor of the entries vary. They are always in progress, so don't expect to find everything (and if you want more, you might consider contributing). The gateway site is http://www.acmuller.net . For more information on this site, see the internet resources section of this FAQ.
6. How should I translate terminology?This is a difficult question, even without the complications introduced by "Buddhist Hybrid English," the unholy amalgamation of neologisms and borrowed terminology that plagues Buddhist studies. (Cf. Paul Griffiths, "Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology and Hermeneutics for Buddhologists," Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 4-2 : 17-32).
general, probably the best policy is to identify a scholar writing in
English who works
in a field related to your research and whom you respect. It is
perfectly respectable to follow her or his cues, though take care to
cite appropriately. If you have trouble finding an
appropriate author, you can always ask your teachers or
colleagues about who writes on which topics.
7. I have an orthography problem!
If you come up against a confounding character, the Bukky˘ nanji daijiten (Kokusho Kank˘kai, 1986) (REF BQ 133 A75 1986) might be able to help you. It has sections on hentai moji, as well as kuzushiji.
If you find something in a Japanese Buddhist text in Sanskrit, chances are it's in the siddham script. (You can write Sanskrit in any number of scripts; siddham has been popular in a religious context in East Asia.) Bonji taikan (Meicho Fukyűkai, 1983) (REF 438 J3 B5) can help you decode it. In many cases you will find Sanskrit used in mantras and symbols, and so translation per se isn't so much of an issue. So even if you don't read Sanskrit, do not be afraid to play with this and other such works. If your squiggles aren't siddham or you need help, pester people in the Religion or MELAC department.
8. Help! Sanskrit! What do I do?
Sanskrit still occupies a position of great linguistic authority in
studies, even though the corpus of extant Buddhist Sanskrit texts is
fragmentary. You are apt to find romanized Sanskrit (and PÔli and
Tibetan) in dictionary definitions and elsewhere. If your
Sanskrit is not written in romanization, and if you think it's
a mantra or dharani, take a look at the
For further references, including PÔli, Tibetan and Chinese dictionaries, see William Bodiford and Robert Buswell, East Asian Buddhist Studies: A Reference Guide http://jbe.gold.ac.uk/bodifrd1.html , or if you have trouble with CJK, http://jbe.gold.ac.uk/bodiford.html .
9. How do I look up a person ?
A convenient first stop is the
Nihon Bukky˘ jinmei jiten (H˘z˘kan, 1992) (REF
683 N55 1992). This source will give you a
thumbnail biography that focuses on official ranks and achievements. The entries are in gojűon order.
If you can't find the name, check the indices before you move
As for almost any other issue covered in this section, you may wish to check the Kokushi daijiten (REF REF DS833 .K64, 17 vols). Check the indices in case the person isnĺt famous enough to merit his or her own entry. Mochizuki also has biographical essays, which can be quite detailed.
If you canĺt find information on
figure, try the resources detailed in Ch. 12
those listed here under sectarian
10. How do I look up a term?
Nakamura ( REF BQ 130 N345 2001) is a good bet to start with. If you're hankering for an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand dictionary, try H˘z˘kan's S˘g˘ Bukky˘ daijiten (REF BQ 130 S64 1987 (v 1-3). Both of these dictionaries will give you brief definitions.
Especially if you are working in pre-modern literature or history, you may want to take a look at Iwamoto Yutaka's Nihon bukky˘go jiten (Heibonsha, 1988) (REF BQ 130 N53 1988). This work includes illustrative quotations from pre-modern literature, so you can get a sense of the usage of a term. Oda Tokun˘ĺ s Bukky˘ daijiten (ďkura shoten, 1962) (REF BQ 130 O53 1962) also provides citations from classical literature. It is, however, more difficult to read, not least because its characters are tiny.
In addition to the above-mentioned dictionaries, Taya Raishun's Bukky ˘gaku jiten (H˘z˘kan) has a good reputation for doctrinal terms. At present, two of Starr's copies (BQ 130 B86 1955 and REF BQ 130 B86 1995) are missing, however.
Of course, you can always check Mochizuki ( REF BQ130 M62 1955 v. 1-10) .If you're not in the library, and if you have an electronic Japanese encyclopedia loaded on your computer, see how it does for you. You can also always check the dictionaries managed by Charles Muller. These works are cooperatively compiled, and the quality and tenor of the entries vary. They are always in progress, so don't expect to find everything (and if you want more, you might consider contributing). Check them out at http://www.acmuller.net/ . For more information on this site, see the internet resources section of this FAQ.
11. How do I look up a deity?
For simple IDs and easy going, you might try H˘z˘kan's S˘g˘ Bukky˘ daijiten (REF BQ 130 S64 1987, v.1-3). The Nihon Shinbutsu jiten (REF BL 2203 N534 2001) may also be helpful, especially for deities who are not narrowly "Buddhist."
If you are interested in portrayals of the deity, you can check Sawa Ryűken's Butsuz˘ zuten (Yoshikawa K˘bunkan, 1962) (REF BQ 4630 B872 1962), which is on the reference shelf. It's not a beautiful book, but it's always available, and because of its subject matter, it still isn't outdated. Also, Sawa's status in the field of Buddhist art is truly towering. See also iconographic sources .
If you want to know about rituals or texts with which the deity is associated, Mochizuki ( REF BQ130 M62 1955 v. 1-10) should be helpful. If you're allergic to Mochizuki, check the Kokushi Daijiten (REF REF DS833 .K64, 17 vols); you might also find the information you need in standard encyclopedias.
12. How do I look up a temple?
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire reference work for temples, and the history provided almost always peters out in the Edo period. For historical information, try the Kokushi Daijiten (REF REF DS833 .K64, 17 vols) before you head for the Buddhogical dictionaries.
Nihon meisatsu daijiten (Yűankaku Shuppan, 1992) (REF BQ 6352 A2 N54 1992) and Nihon shaji taikan (Hinode Shinbunsha, 1933) (REF BL 2225 A1 N535 1933 v.1-2) are both dedicated to institutions. The Meisatsu jiten is newer and less likely to make you sneeze, and also includes phone and transportation information. These sources are both OK, but in general you may well be better off with the Kokushi daijiten and the options listed below.
If you know which prefecture the temple is in, Heibonshaĺs Nihon rekishi chimei taikei (DS 805 N5367, multiple vols.) is great for more obscure temples. (See Ch. 13 under "Encyclopedias of Place Names for more on this resource.)
Mochizuki ( REF BQ130
1955 v. 1-10) also
articles, which can be quite long, on temples. If
you know the affiliation of the temple, sectarian dictionaries may help.
Of course, monographs on temples
temple art are ever-popular in the publishing world, so check CLIO. Often publishing
on temples occurs in art and architecture books. Quite a few
temples and sects have web
sites, so do
some browsing, just in case.
If you want to find the address or
number of a temple, you can check the Nihon meisatsu daijiten (see
above), or use the Zenkoku jiin taikan (H˘z˘kan, 1991) (REF BQ
A2 Z45 1991 v.1-3). You can also use this
to find out what temples are in a given area, as it lists them by
unit (-shi, -gun, etc.).
If you just want quickly to check a pronunciation, grab Nichigai's Jinja jiin-mei yomikata jiten (REF BL 2203 J56 1989).
13. What resources are there for institutional history?
This is a difficult question, and
general, you are best off using your ôhistoryö tools (though see below
resource on administration). Jiinshi
been a sub-genre of sectarian studies; it often results in works of
more than examination. Such texts may
best be treated
as primary sources or modern engi . On
other hand, jiinshi has also resulted in helpful shiry˘ compilations,
and there are really good histories out there.
Thus, you should always check the catalogs (CLIO, Eureka,
World-Cat, NDL-OPAC, etc).
Most Buddhist groups have
and publishing arms, and you should find out what these are and what
put out. Collections of essays, kiy˘,
etc., can be immensely helpful, if a bit obscure, in working on
institutional history. Moreover, you may
be able to find publications
from projects carried out at a local level by organizations like the
and Such Historical Society or the So and So Cultural Preservation
Committee. Starr is not long in such
but ILL can help.
With respect to primary sources, treat temples as you would other institutions. Dig through the major shiry˘ collections. One example is the Dai nihon komonjo project: the iewake series (210 083 T571 B2) includes temple archives. Please refer to the bibliographies on history, literature, and on-line resources for more ideas.
For temple administration, one interesting resource in Starr is Jiin keiei jiten (Meicho Shuppan, 1982) (BQ 5136.3 J3 A73 1982). This is a guidebook/dictionary for priests, and includes entries on topics such as taxes, cemetery management, what exactly a temple is, etc. It would be particularly useful for people working on contemporary religion.
internet resources are there available? [rev Nov 2005 by
1) Charles Mullerĺs "Digital Dictionary of Buddhism" (DDB), which together with the
useful "CJKV-English Dictionary" are accessible through Columbia's
subscription to both databases at DDB
Dictionary. (Columbia is one of seven U.S. libraries that subscribe
to these resources.) Otherwise, one can go direction to Muller's portal
where you can sign in as "guest" with no password and limited to ten
look-ups in a 24-hour period, OR, if you volunteer and contribute
entries to the
dictionaries, you will be provided with unlimited direct access.
2) The ongoing project of the Ind˘gaku Bukky˘
Gakkai at University of Tokyo
to put online a digital text of the Taish˘ Tripitika (see next two
http://www.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~sat/. This appears to be continuing to
make progress, albeit slowly. It is a resource only for advanced users
who would need to search the canon or reproduce sections of it
See below for electronic resources on Shinto and New Religions.
15. What is the Buddhist canon, anyway?
Doctrinally, the canon is defined
the ôthree basketsö (tripitika) of sutra (narrative and doctrinal),
(monastic code), and abhidharma (philosophical) literature. In many cases, the term ôcanonö has come to
iconographies, biographies, and more. For
and purposes here, just note that there are three extant canons: the PÔli, the Tibetan, and the Chinese. For Japanists, ôthe canonö tends to mean the
as compiled, edited, augmented, and published by the Japanese, most
the Taish˘ Tripitika (see
next entry). The
for inclusion in the Chinese and Tibetan canons was that a text be
in Sanskrit, although this never meant that locally written texts
(also known as
"apocrypha") didnĺt make it into the canon anyway.
the corpus of Sanskrit texts is quite fragmentary.
16. What is the "Taish˘ Tripitika" and how do I use it?
From 1929-1935, Japanese scholars published the Taish˘ shinshű daiz˘ky˘ (Taish˘ shinshű issaiky˘ kank˘kai) (183.08 T133), using the Koryo canon as their main source, and augmenting it with Japanese manuscripts and texts from other Chinese-language canons. The Taish˘ Tripikitka has become the standard reference for the East Asian canon. Be forewarned, however: standard does not mean perfect, and Taish˘ Tripikitka texts are not authoritative per se. So if you're doing serious textual work, you may need to check other canons and catalogs. For more information on relevant works, see William Bodiford and Robert Buswell's guide to East Asian Buddhist Studies at The Journal for Buddhist Ethics: http://jbe.gold.ac.uk/bodifrd1.html . Also know that the Taish˘ Tripikitka is increasingly on-line; check http://www.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~sat/ to see what's up.
The Taish˘ Tripikitka is not limited to the classical ôthree basketsö of sutra, vinaya, and abhidharma; it also contains other genres such as biographies and iconographies. You will see references to the Taish˘ Tripikitka in the following format: T 82, 2582: 17a. This means volume 82, text 2582, page 17, register a. If you go to the canon without a citation, you'll want to take advantage of indices to navigate it (see below).
The first 55 volumes of the Taish˘ Tripikitka comprise the main body of the canon. Japanese texts are included in volumes 56-84. Volume 85 is devoted to Dunhuang texts and texts composed in China (sometimes known as "apocrypha"). (Though note that Dunhuang texts appear elswhere, too.) Volumes 86-97 reproduce iconographies, and volumes 98-100 provide bibliographic information. Note that the the spines of the volumes in Starr aren't numbered with reference to the entire series (e.g., you're likely to see something simply called "Zuz ˘ 6").
To navigate the canon, try the Repertoire du Canon Bouddhique Sino-Japonais (Maison Franco-Japonaise, 1978) (REF BQ 128 H6 1974). Never mind if you don't read French--you'll still want to use this work, which gives the title (including variants, Japanese and Chinese pronunciations, and Sanskrit title), author, and translator for each text in the Taish˘ Tripikitka . It also identifies alternate rescensions and information on their locations. The Repertoire also covers the iconographies. Use the indices for authors or titles (including variant titles), which are arranged by Chinese character, and also by Sanskrit/Pali.
You may also find information (including summaries) of Taish˘ Tripikitka texts in the Bussho kaisetsu daijiten ( REF Z 7835 B9 B78 1965 v.1-15 ).
The Taish˘ shinshű daiz˘ky˘ sakuin ( Taish˘ shinshű issaiky˘ kank˘kai, 1962-1990) (REF BQ 1209 T34 1962 v.1-45 ) (shelved on 250) is an index to terms, not texts, in the canon. It is arranged according to the order of the Taish˘ Tripikitka proper, so to use it well, you must know what texts you are interested and what their numbers are in the Taish˘ Tripikitka . Each volume begins with a list of the Taish˘ texts it covers. Then comes the terminological index to those titles. Then comes an subject index to the main index. Last comes a character index to the main index.
17. How do I find (or find out
about) a specific
For Buddhist texts and texts about Buddhism, you should first consult the Bussho kaisetsu daijiten (REF Z 7835 B9 B78 1965 v.1-15). This wonderful reference work gives information on more than 90,000 Japanese and Chinese manuscripts and published texts found in canons, compilations and anthologies, libraries, and research facilities. It will give you dates, authors, locations, summary of contents, etc. There are a few wrinkles, however. The notes on pp. 3-4 of volume 1 or pp.10-12 of volume 12 are absolutely essential in deciphering the numerical codes used in the entries. Entries themselves are ordered by character pronunciation, not gojűon. Thus, Aina- 阿夷那 precedes Aik u- 阿 育 . Note that volumes 1-11 form the main body of the work as published from Showa 7-12 (1932-1937). These volumes cover works published up until 10/31 of Showa 7 (1937). Volumes 12-13 comprise supplemental entries published following the second (Showa 39/1964) edition of the daijiten. These volumes cover works published from 11/1, Showa 7 to 12/31, Showa 40 (1965); many of these works are scholarly treatises. Volume 15 is an index by author, and volume 14 comprises essays and reference material, including information on canon catalogs. There is no index for titles .
If you're looking for Japan-related texts, the 100-volume Dai Nihon Bukky˘ zensho (see below, REF BQ 670 D32 v.1-100) is the major source. The Bussho kaisetsu daijiten does not reference this anthology, though it does treat some texts included in it. Volumes 97-99 function like the Bussho kaisetsu daijiten, however, for they are kaisetsu volumes that include brief essays on the texts included in the anthology. Volume 100 includes the title and author indices, as well as appendices and a table of contents for the anthology.
For a text that you know is in the canon, you may wish to consult the Repertoire du Canon Bouddhique Sino-Japonais (REF BQ 128 H6 1974).
There are also numerous zenshű published for prominent writers. Furthermore, schools or temples may publish anthologies as well. One example of such a work is the S˘t˘shű zensho. Buddhist texts also crop up in major anthologies, from the Nihon koten bungaku taikei to the Gunsho ruiju.
18. How do I find out how a certain term is used? How do I find a quote?
For historical usage, see Iwamoto's Nihon Bukky˘go jiten (BQ 130 N53 1988). For terms in the canon, use the Taish˘ shinshű daiz˘ky˘ sakuin (REF BQ 1209 T34 1962).
Aside from these, you are pretty much looking at basic and literary reference works (see relevant bibliographies)
19. Are there major collections of Buddhist literature other than the canon?
Dai Nihon Bukky˘ zensho (K˘dansha, 1970-1973) (REF BQ 670 D32 vols.1-100) is the major collection of Japanese Buddhist texts. Volumes 97-99 are kaisetsu volumes that include brief essays on the texts included in the anthology. The kaisetsu follows the classification of the anthology proper, which organizes texts by type (e.g., biographies, iconographies, etc.). Thus volume 100 is especially precious: it includes the title and author indices, as well as a table of contents for the anthology, and appendices.
Another big collection is the continued canon, Dai Nihon zoku z˘ky˘ (183.08 T732 v.1-750), which was published in Kyoto from 1905-1912 (i.e., before the Taish˘ Tripitika). This comprises works, including commentaries, pretty much from the Tang on. Scholars of Zen tend to use it a fair amount. Please note that this is not a full critical edition.
As mentioned under "How do I find (out about) a text?," schools, temples, and research groups are apt to publish shorter series and collections, but usually these top out at 10-15 volumes, and they are too numerous to list here. Always consider what sort of text it is you're looking for and go from there.
20. How do I deal with
Especially if you are new to iconography, this is an area in which various inexpensive and easy-to-use handbooks available under titles such as Butsuz˘ no mikata, "How to Look at a Buddhist Icon." One readily available English-language book is Louis FrÚdÚric's Buddhism (Flammarion, 1995). Although this theoretically treats all Buddhism, it actually leans heavily toward Japan. It includes photographs, and many thumbnails from Chinese/Japanese iconographies. There is a handy index of Sanskrit-Japanese/Japanese-Sanskrit list of deities' names in the back.
The Bukky˘ bijutsu jiten ( T˘ky˘ shoseki, 2002) (REF N 8193 A4 B84 2002) is a recent addition to the Reference section. It does not give detailed explanations of symbology, but may be helpful, and it does contain illustrations.
21. How do I find out about ritual implements and decorations?
The reference section does include the small Butsugu jiten (Shimizu Tadashi) ( T˘ky˘d˘ shuppan, 1978) (BQ 5070 S54 1978). Much better is the large illustrated Butsugu Daijiten (BQ 5070 B87 1987). (This is not now on reference, but hopefully it will be soon.) Take care to look at the table of contents to find what you want, since entries are organized by school/sect; there is also an index. Because it has lots of photographs, this book can be helpful even if you don't know the name or function of the thing you're looking for.
22. How do I find out about rituals?
One place to look for information on rituals, especially those performed by lay people, is in the "how-to " books mentioned above.
Fujii Masao is a famous expert on ritual, and Starr has a couple of his dictionaries. Bukky˘ girei jiten (REF 4990 J3 F84 1977) is quite small; it has lots of furigana and some illustrations. Bukky˘ girei daijiten (BQ4990 J3 V83 1983) is considerably heftier. It is subdivided into sections on funerary ritual, rituals for the dead, annual observances, and "temple rituals" (e.g., ordination, marriage). This is not a historical dictionary, and it does not explain complex liturgical rituals that require the participation of many clerics. It tends to focus on the nuts-and-bolts of ritual work. It provides lots of diagrams for how to construct toba, fuda, etc.
23. How do I find secondary literature on a Buddhological topic?You should first use the basic bibliographic tools covered in Basic Bibliography for Research on Japanese History. If you are doing serious research on a topic and want to make sure you've got all your bases covered, check the following bibliographies.
Bukky˘gaku kankei zasshi bunken s˘ran (Kokusho Kank˘kai, 1983) (REF Z7985 B9 B75) gives the tables of contents of 288 Buddhist studies journals from Meiji through Showa 56 (1981). It is indexed by author, but there is no subject index, so its use is limited.
Nihon shűkyo-shi kenkyű bunken mokuroku (REF Z7757 J3 N54 1995 v.1-2) will be helpful if your topic is not narrowly "Buddhist." It covers materials published from 1971-1986.
24. I am stumped. How do I answer the unanswerable?
One likely place to find assistance is on the H-Net Buddhism list, for which see http://www.h-net.org/~buddhism/. To join, you need to write to the list editors and explain who you are: this list is moderated and is meant for academic/professional use only. Posted questions usually receive solicitous responses. Please observe basic netiquette and do your own bibliographic reconnaissance first.
"Shinto" is a bedeviled category where historiography, theology, and politics may get even more tangled up than usual. There are not very many reference resources for Shinto, and those published prior to the war are heavily colored by the agendas of State Shinto. Contemporary reference works are also conservative, and tend to be vested in defining, rather than querying Shinto(s). In particular, explanations of deities, myths, and shrines tend to rely heavily on information from classical sources. For regional and other marginalized practices and beliefs, you may find resources on folk religion more helpful.
1. Where can I find general, basic information?
Check out the Kokugakuin Shint˘ jiten (REF
BL2216.1 S55 1994), which is covered in the next entry. Also, see the
resources listed in the general
section on religion.
2. What are the authoritative dictionaries?
The Shint˘ daijiten (Hori Shoten, 1968) (REF BL 2216 1 A7 1968) is quite useful for general reference. It is divided into sections on shrines, people, texts, and "general" entries. This last category includes deities, places, and rituals as well as more generic terminology. Entries are in gojűon order, as is the index.
The Shint˘ jiten (Kokugakuin, 1994) (REF BL2216.1 S55 1994) is really an encyclopedia. If you are looking for information on a broad topic, it can be quite useful, but if you wish to look up a specific term, it can be difficult to navigate. There is an index at the front of the volume, but it does not seem to be very comprehensive.
The prewar Heibonsha Shint˘ daijiten ( REF BL2220.S45 1937), published between 1937 and 1940, does cover material too obscure for smaller, later dictionaries. The entries on shrines are illustrated, which is good. In general, however, this source may best be treated as a primary source for Shinto studies in the war years, since its outlook is narrowly prescribed by official ideology. There is no index, and the orthography and style are dated, making this a clunky resource.
4. Are there Japanese-English dictionaries?
There are two Shinto Japanese-English dictionaries on the Starr reference shelf shelf. The first, Picken's Historical Dictionary of Shinto (Scarecrow Press, 2002 ) (REF BL2216 1 P53 2002), is quite basic, and as a result, not terribly useful. Brian Bocking's A Popular Dictionary of Shinto (Curzon, 1996) (REF BL2216 1 B63 1996g) is better and does include entries on proper nouns. Both of these texts are English-only.
You might also take a look at Kokugakuin's on-line dictionary (Basic Terms of Shinto), accessible through their Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics gateway site: http://www.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/sitemap.html and through the University of California Japanese Historical Text Initiative. These are limited, but free and readily available. Note that the glossary actually works as an e-index.
5. How do I look up a person?
Shint˘ jinmei jiten (BL 2219.7 S53 1986) (Jinja Shinp˘sha, 1996) addresses the genesis of capital-S Shinto, perhaps without meaning to. It is divided into two parts: pre- and post-Sh˘wa 20, but really doesn't provide information on anyone prior to the 18th century.
If you're looking for a person who was deified, check the Nihon shinmei jiten (REF BL 2216.1 N54 1994), which is covered in the very next section.
6. How do I look up a deity?
The Nihon shinmei jiten (Jinja Shinp˘sha, 1994) (REF BL 2216 1 N54 1994) is the newest Shinto dictionary on gods. In addition to deities attested in classical literature, it also includes deified people, many of whom lived during the Edo period. This dictionary arranges entries in gojűon order. It is indexed, but not by character. Nihon no Shinbutsu no jiten (Taishűkan, 2001) (REF BL 2203 N534 2001), which is remarkable in being non-sectarian, will also be helpful.
If you are looking for information about a deity for a particular shrine, you might check Shoshin shinmei saijin jiten (Tenb˘sha, 1991) (REF BL 2226 S55 1991). This dictionary is divided into two parts. The second part treats deities at well-known shrines. There is no index, so you must know what shrine you are looking for. The first part of the dictionary contains entries categorized by type of god (e.g., hunting and fishing). Although there is a detailed table of contents, this section is not indexed, and is therefore difficult to use unless one wants to know about hunting and fishing gods in general..
7. How do I look up a shrine?
Jinja jiten (T˘ky˘d˘ shuppan, 1979) (REF BL 2225 A1 J54 1979) requires you to know how to pronounce the name of the shrine, for it has no index (see next paragraph for help in this respect). It does have plentiful furigana, which can be helpful with deities' names. Jinja meikan, published by the administrative organ Jinja Honch˘, (REF BL2225 A1 J58 1962) is larger, but its entries are quite brief (and without furigana). The first volume of the Nihon shaji taikan (Hinode Shinbunsha, 1933) (REF BL 2225 A1 N535 1933 v.1-2) is dated, but perhaps interesting for exactly that reason. It is fairly comprehensive and is organized by shrine location. It includes a helpful index of shrine names by stroke order.
If you don't know how to pronounce the name of the shrine, you can grab Nichigai's Jisha jiinmei yomikata jiten (REF BL 2203 J56 1989). This will also tell you where the shrine is.
If you are looking for resources on institutional history, see the entry on this topic under Buddhism.
8. What electronic resources are there?At present, the most substantial site is Kokugakuinĺs Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics at http://www.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/index.html. This institute maintains two web dictionaries (Basic Terms of Shinto; Glossary of Shinto Names and Terms ), both of which are available in English. They are not very extensive, but they are very accessible. These and other resources of Kokugakuin, which is the major center for Shinto studies in Japan, are not available also through the University of California Japanese Historical Text Initiative, include the Encyclopedia of Shinto (direct link: http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/), "Basic Terms of Shinto" (direct link: http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/bts/index.html), and "Matsuri: Festival and Rite in Japanese Life" (direct link: http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/cpjr/matsuri/index.html).
The International Shinto Foundation promotes research, teaching, and publishing on Shinto. Information about their activities and grants can be found at http://shinto.org/menu.html .
9. Are there major collections of Shinto-related literature?There is one: the Shint˘ taikei, 38 vols (Shint˘ taikei hensankai, 1977-1994), shelved in the East Asian Reference Overflow on 250 Level, although individual volumes sometimes find their way onto the main reference shelf in the reading room. The Shinto taikei was published in a number of series from the 1970s through the '90s. The series are organized by genre (such as literature, shrines, classics) and each has its own LC call number. The numbers all follow the format REF BL 2216 S4## ####, so they are shelved together. Thus, if you are having trouble with the records on CLIO, you may do better by going down to overflow reference to browse. For the index, see the Shint˘ taikei s˘mokuroku (REF BL 2216 S459 1994). The Shinto taikei has continued with the Zoku Shint˘ taikei (1995-2001, so far). The call numbers for these volumes are REF BL 2216 S4## and S5##, in the same location (about 20 volumes as of 2005).
10. How do I find out about rituals or customary practices?
"Matsuri" are now conventionally the province of Shinto over and
against Buddhism, and this line is maintained by the Nihon Matsuri
to nenjű gy˘ji jiten (REF BL 2211 R5 N48 1983). To
look up a particular matsuri , you must know its name, for the
entries are in gojűon order and there
is no real index. In the second half of the book, you will find a
of annual observances (nenjű gy˘ji) by geographical
includes contact information for the relevant organization--a valuable
for travel or research planning. The last section comprises a
guide to museums
(hakubutsukan, kinenkan, and shiry˘kan) across
For festivals, see also the above-mentioned electronic resource "Matsuri: Festival and Rite in Japanese Life" (direct link: http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/cpjr/matsuri/index.html).
11. How do I find secondary literature?Shint˘ ronbun s˘mokuroku (Meiji Jingű Shamusho, 1963) (REF Z7835 S5 S55 1963) covers articles published between 1868 and 1926. The first section is a bibliography by topic; the second is by author. There are journal and keyword indices in the back. Zoku Shint˘ ronbun s˘mokuroku (REF Z 7836 S5 Z6 1989) covers 1926-1986 and uses the same format.
Shint˘ bunrui s˘mokuroku (Shiny˘d˘, 1937; Meicho Fukyűkai, 1988) (REF Z 7835 S5 S53 1937) treats works published until 1911. Entries are categorized by topic and then listed by title. There is a title index, as well as a bibliography of foreign-language works on Shinto. This volume also includes an annotated bibliography for "difficult to understand" works.Kat˘ Genchi's Shint˘ shoseki mokuroku (Meiji Seitoku Kinen Gakkai, 1943) (REF Z7835 S5 K37 1953, v. 1-2) aims for comprehensive coverage. The first volume is divided into sections on the ancient, Heian, medieval, and Edo periods. This bibliography is indexed by author, title, and collection. The follow-up volume, Meiji, Taish˘, Sh˘wa Shint˘ shoseki mokuroku (Meiji Jingű Shamusho, 1953) (REF Z 7835 S5 K37 1953) covers 1868 through 1940 and is indexed by author (editor), compiler, and title. Entries include bibliographic information and location, but the annotations are irregular. This work includes romanization for all titles and names.
There are a number of other bibliographies available, and if you are doing serious research, you should familiarize yourself with the Z 7000 reference area.
I don't have very many resources to recommend, and so have simply listed information here rather than construct an FAQ.
The best reference work for Daoism is the new Brill "Handbook of Oriental Studies" (HdO) series: Daoism Handbook (Brill, 2000), REF BL 1925 D36 2000. In particular, the introduction (by Russell Kirkland, T.H. Barret and Livia Kohn, xi-xxxviii) and Chapter 28, "Daoism in Japan" (by Masuo Shin'ichir˘, pp. 821-42) are must-reads.
For information on the Daoist canon (Daozang) and indices to it, and all kinds of helpful information (and I do mean all kinds), see Fabrizio Pregadio's homepage: http://helios.unive.it/~pregadio/home.html .
Pregadio's Encyclopedia of Taoism (Curzon, 2000) should be quite helpful as well, but Starr does not have a copy. I have submitted a request to buy.
The D˘ky˘ no daijiten (REF BL 1910 S25 1994) has been published for general readers and is quite easy to use, though it is more a guidebook than a dictionary. It is well indexed, and is broken down into chapters on topics such as "Japanese Daoism" and "Daoist Rituals and Scriptures."
We also have one English dictionary available, the Historical Dictionary of Taoism (Scarecrow Press, 1998) (REF BL 1923 P37 1998). Like others in the Historical Dictionary series, this work is produced entirely in English, which can be quite problematic. This is especially the case for Japanists, since most terms are transliterated from Mandarin, and in Wade-Giles romanization at that. The dictionary is, however, a useful introduction to terminology and historiography that can otherwise be quite dizzying.
T˘h˘ shűky˘'s (Periodicals BL 1000 T57) autumn issue provides a bibliography of recent works on Daoism.
The term "new religion" is a bit problematic (sociologists prefer "new religious movement" or " new religious group"). The term it translates, shin-shűky˘, has become standard in the Japanese-language field, largely replacing shink˘ shűky˘, which carries pejorative connotations. Sociologists lead the field in the study of new religions, and serious historical treatments are somewhat rare. This is an active field for publishing in both journals and monographs; however, the reference field remains quite small. I don't have very many resources to recommend, and so have simply listed information here rather than construct an FAQ.
For general treatments of the topic, you may wish to refer to the Nanzan
Guide to Japanese Religions, which has a chapter on
the topic by Trevor Astley, as well as the electronic publication "New
Religions" on the The University of California Japanese Historical Text
Initiative site and available direct at http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/cpjr/newreligions/index.html.
Journal of Religious
Studies (see above)
also routinely publishes articles on
new religions, and there are many good general monographs
as well, so check your library catalogs.
For a big list of links, mostly to pages associated with religious groups, see http://www21.big.or.jp/~tetsuki/link_nrm/ . This site is maintained by Murakami Tetsuki, who describes it as "a home page for considering issues in religion, happiness, and the heart, beyond the boundaries of sects and schools." This is not where you will find scholarly analysis; it is a rich source for primary, often proselytizing, materials.
Shinshűky˘ jiten (K˘bund˘, 1990) (BL 2202 S54 1990) is a helpful resource, but be forewarned that the main body of the work treats new religions in general and does not focus solely on Japan. You will not find entries devoted to the histories of particular new religions here. In the second part of the book, there are two sections, one on religious groups and one on founders, that do function as a dictionary, with entries arranged in gojűon order. This volume also contains a substantial bibliography of works in Japanese.
Shinshűky˘ ky˘dan, jinbutsu jiten (K˘bund˘, 1996) (BL 2207 S552 1996) is quite helpful for biographical reference. It also has little photographs of many of its subjects.
There are two English-language bibliographies available that should be especially useful to undergraduates. Starr does not own Peter Clarke's Bibliography of Japanese New Religions (Richmond, Surrey: Japan Library, 1999), but this is a solid bibliography. The second edition of Byron Earhart's The New Religions of Japan: A Bibliography of Western Language Materials (University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 1983) (DS 801 M53 no.9) is also still relevant.
Andrew Bernstein compiled the following list of journals. Please note that it is not exhaustive; you should use CLIO, Eureka, and other databases to find journals of interest to you. And never underestimate browsing, for you can find some wonderful things by poking around the periodicals collections. --HB
Following are the journals in Japanese religion in the Starr East Asian Library in the order of general religion, Buddhism, and Shinto:
Shűky˘ kenkyű. Shűky˘ Kenkyűkai.
Call no.: 160.51 SH 9 (no. 1-251 (1926-1982);
BQ 9 .J3 S3 no. 253-287 (1982-1991)
This quarterly contains articles which take a sociological approach to the study of religion.
This monthly compiles articles concerning religion which have been published in the preceeding few months. The articles are from popular newspapers and magazines, not from scholarly journals. It is indexed by both religion and topic.
This journal contains articles and reviews written by highly respected scholars in both Indian and Buddhist studies. It has an English table of contents and some articles in English as well. Ryuichi Abe recommended it as a place to turn for Japan's best Buddhist scholarship.
Also recommended by Abe, the Nanto Bukky˘ is published by a consortium of temples in the Nara area.
The "Hakken to Sh˘kai" section is particularly helpful in keeping one up-to-date.