This Precious Life: Buddhist Tsunami Relief and Anti-Nuclear Activism in Post 3/11 Japan?

 A Publication of the International Buddhist Exchange Center

the precious life 

This Precious Life:
Buddhist Tsunami Relief and Anti-Nuclear Activism in Post 3/11 Japan

Edited by Jonathan Watts
Available March 31st!!

US$10 : to order, contact the Editor at

***(all articles will be eventually available on line)

Introduction: Rev. Shojun Okano ? International Buddhist Exchange Center

Editor?s Forward

PART I: Buddhist Social Welfare: Material and Psycho-Spiritual Aid Work

  • A Zen Master?s Witness of the Primeval Force of Nature (Shodo Harada Roshi) 
  • My Struggle to Revive the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Soma in Fukushima (Rev. Toku-un Tanaka) 
  • What Temples Can Do as Evacuation Shelters During a Disaster (Shinobu Izawa-Jimonkoryu) 
  • Diary of a Buddhist Based NGO?s Aid Work: The Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) 
  • The Inter-relation between Restoration and Co-existence (Rev. Shojun Okano) 
  • Psycho-Spiritual Relief Work in the Tsunami Areas: An Interview with Rev. Jin Hitoshi (Jonathan Watts) 
  • Young Priests Active in Care: The Soto-shu Youth Association (Rev. Taiko Kyuma) 
  • Smiles on the Faces of the Children of Fukushima (Rev. Eka Shimada)


PART II: Buddhist Social Transformation: Confronting the Nuclear Issue and Envisioning the Future

  • The Choice of Development Paradigms in Japan after the 3/11 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (Jun Nishikawa) 
  • A Priest?s Work Amidst the Nuclear Ginza: A Profile of Rev. Tetsuen Nakajima (Mai Ishikawa) 
  • The Inter Faith Forum for the Review of National Nuclear Policy 
  • Questioning the Nuclear Accident: The Future and Religion (Bukkyo Times) 
  • Which Way to Peace? The Role of Japanese Buddhism in Anti-Nuclear Civil Protest (Jonathan Watts) 
  • Explaining the Sin of Nuclear Power: Symposium at Soto Zen?s Main Temple Eiheiji Spreads the No Nuke Movement amongst the Buddhist World (Aso Izuta & Kei Sato-Tokyo Shimbun) ?> Japan Buddhist Federation Declaration on Nuclear Power 
  • ?Anti-Nukes? Remains Fixed on Life: Declarations from the Religious World Come One after Another (Kyoko Isa-Asahi Shimbun) 
  • A Futuristic Priest whose Time Has Arrived: Rev. Hidehito Okochi (Jonathan Watts)

Part III: Messages from International Buddhist Leaders on the Future of Japan

  • Message to the Japanese People from The World Fellowship of Buddhists 
  • Engaged Buddhism the Dalai Lama?s Way: Tibetan Leader Shows Exceptional Energy for Japan?s Tsunami Victims (Jonathan Watts) 
  • No More Back to Business as Usual: A Socially Engaged Buddhist Approach to Making a Post 3/11 Society in Japan (Sulak Sivaraksa) 
  • Thinking about Natural Disasters and Religion: In Search of an Alternative Way of Life (A. T. Ariyaratne)


The International Buddhist Exchange Center (IBEC) was formed in 1966 by the 1st President of the Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship, Rev. Shodo Okano. Its general goals are to develop modern, international perspectives on Buddhism through study and research, to create opportunities for those interested in Buddhism to learn and study further through lectures and events, and to cooperate with Buddhists inside and outside Japan on various social issues.

This publication is the product of IBEC?s Engaged Buddhist Project (EBP) created in April 2006 by Kodosan?s 3rd President, Rev. Shojun Okano. The core focus of the project has been to investigate deeply the activities of Japanese Buddhists, especially from traditional denominations, on social issues and problems; that is the engaged Buddhist activities of Japanese Buddhists. The deeper emphasis of the research has been on grassroots activities focused on critical Japanese social issues, like suicide, poverty, problem youth, and since March 11th, 2011, emergency relief aid and nuclear activism.



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