Symposium by Center for Japanese Studies of University of California, Berkeley

 From September 25 to 27, 2009, a symposium titled “Tracing Japanese Buddhism” was held in commemoration of 50 years since the founding of the Center for Japanese Studies of University of California, Berkeley. The American, Japanese and European researchers who are majoring in Buddhism-related areas, such as Buddhist religion, Buddhist history and Buddhist art history, met and gave many lectures and reports. Vivid discussions were held with nearly 80 participants each day, offering precise opportunities to learn about each other’s research results. On the first day, there was a panel discussion on Buddhism art history on the topic of “Numinous Materials and Ecological Icons in Premodern Japanese Buddhism”, Sarai made presentations on the Healing Buddha of Jingoji temple, an outstanding statue sculpted from one wood, of the early Heian Period, as one of the panelists. Other panelists conducted reports that included the latest information, such as knowledge on recent research results about the species of trees used for carved wooden statues. In the US there seems to be many unknown things about Buddhist statues, partly because there is small number of researchers on Buddhist sculptures in Japan. We wish to positively promote international exchange, making use of opportunities like this, so that people will be interested in Japanese Buddhist statues.

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