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Collaborative Research between Dongguk University (Korea) and Toyo University (Japan), First Research Conference

Collaborative Research between Dongguk University (Korea) and Toyo University (Japan) First Research Conference, 1st Unit

  

1 On November 6, 2014, the first collaborative research conference between the Dongguk University College of Buddhist Studies and Culture (Korea) and the Toyo University International Research Center for Philosophy (Japan) was held at Dongguk University in Seoul in the Dahyang Hall Seminar Room. Dongguk University is a general education university with over 30,000 students, affiliated with the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, the largest denomination of Buddhism of South Korea. The two universities made an academic exchange agreement in 1995; however, since then there has not been considerable, active exchange. Thus, last academic year, Takemura Makio, president of Toyo University,IRCP Reseacher,held a meeting with Jung Seung-Suk, Deanof College of Buddhist Studiesat Dongguk University, in which they agreed to invigorate research exchange between the two schools. First, they agreed to hold ongoing research conferences for two years. Second, these research conferences would be held in South Korea and Japan twice each year. Third, they decided on “Changes in Korean and Japanese Buddhism in the 20th Century and Beyond” as a research theme.

 The first research conference began at 10:00 AM. The morning session was chaired by Professor Woo Je-son (Dongguk), with interpretation by Mr. Park Ki-yull (Dongguk). It began with an Opening Ceremony, Opening Remarks by Jung Seung-Suk, an address by Takemura, and an address by Vice President of Dongguk University, Park Jung-keug.2

 Presentations began at 10:30 AM. The first presentation was by Takemura,titled “Inoue Enryo and the Buddhist worldin Modern Japan.” It was divided into four sections: 1) The state of Japanese Buddhism during the Meiji Period, 2) Inoue’s philosophy and Buddhism, 3) Buddhist revival efforts by Inoue, and 4) Perspectives on Inoue’s Buddhist Reform. The second presentation was by Professor Kim Ho-seong (Dongguk), titled “Inoue’s Analytical Methodology: Focus on Philosophy of Struggle,” and was divided into the following sections: 1) Judgment of life choices, 2) Reading from the perspective of Zen spiritual awakening, and 3) Gatha verse and paraodic writing styles.

 Kim chaired the afternoon presentations, and Park continued to handle interpretation. The third presentation was by Miura Setsuo (IRCP Researcher), titled “Enryo and East Asia: Inoue Enryo’s Series of Lectures in Korea.” After discussing previous research and related issues, Miura spoke about the record of Inoue’s first travels in Korea and then about his lectures there. The fourth presentation was given by Professor Kang Mun-sun (Venerable Hyewon) (Dongguk), titled “Thoughts and Inquiries into State of Buddhist Nuns in Modern South Korea: Focusing on Changes in Organization of Sects.” It was divided into three sections: 1) Changes in the organization of Buddhist sects in modern Korea, 2) Modern day Korean nuns, and 3) Nuns and the organization of the Soto sect in modern Japan. The fifth presentation was by Specially-Appointed Professor Sato Atsushi(IRCP Visiting Researcher, Senshu Univesity), titled “A Toyo Exchange Student 100 years ago: Lee Jong-Cheon’s Essay ‘Buddhism and Philosophy’ and Inoue’s Ideology.” It was divided into two parts: 1) Biography of Lee Jong-Cheon and 2) “Buddhism and Philosophy” and Inoue’s ideology. The sixth presentation, by Professor Ko Young-Seop (Dongguk), was titled “Trends in Buddhist Research by Exchange Students from Japan during the Greater Korean Empire.” It was divided into four sections: 1) Distribution of zainichi Buddhist exchange students among foreign and domestic temples, 2) Distribution of zainichi Buddhist exchange students among Japanese schools, 3) Research activities of Japanese exchange students, and 4) Trends among Japanese exchange students after returning to Japan.

 The Closing Ceremony was held at 5:30 PM. First Takemura reviewed the conference, and then Jung summarized its content followed by an overview of the next conference. It was a productive conference with questions from other presenters and attendees during each presentation.

 The conference was significant in the following two ways. First, it witnessed the actualization of research exchange between the two schools. We expect that these conferences will be significant for both the schools in future in terms of deepening personal and scholarly exchange. Second, many presentations centered around Inoue Enryo and thus served as an opportunity to introduce Inoueto Korea; this indicated a research trend of positioning Inoue and his ideology beyond Japan in Asia.3