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Biography of Shojun Bando
This site includes Shojun Bando’s biography, photos, online articles, and more.
Shojun Bando
Shojun  Bando
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Author’s Writings On-line

Biography of Shojun Bando

Rev. Shojun Bando was a Japanese scholar, author, translator, editor, and a revered Shin Buddhist priest. He was an influential figure, due in large part to his role in disseminating information on Shin Buddhism to the Western world. Born in 1932, he taught for many years as Professor of Buddhism at Otani University in Kyoto, Japan. He died in 2004.

A prolific author on matters of Buddhism, Rev. Bando published many articles and books on Shin Buddhism, and Buddhism in general, including the essay "Shinran’s Indebtedness to T’an-luan" in the World Wisdom anthology on Shin Buddhism, Living in Amida’s Universal Vow: Essays in Shin Buddhism, edited by Alfred Bloom.

Western readers may have read some of Shojun Bando's correspondence with Thomas Merton, some of which can be read online (click here to read some of Rev. Bando's correspondence with Merton). Several of his articles can be read on the web site of the journal Studies in Comparative Religion (click here to read).

Shojun Bando’s Writings Online
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In addressing the fact that "Jodo Buddhism has long been misunderstood by many people as being something little different from Christianity," Shojun Bando describes "the character of Jodo Buddhism in contrast with the Zen way of attaining the Buddhist principle, sūnyatā [emptiness, voidness]." The essay covers the relationship between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, the etymology of the term "Jodo," principles of Zen and Jodo, and the author discusses the "too superficial observation" that Zen belongs to the Self-Power School and Jodo to the Other-Power School, which he finds misleading and not useful in distinguishing the two forms of Buddhism.
Jodo Buddhism in the Light of ZenStudies in Comparative Religion: Annual Edition 1972Bando, Shojun Buddhism
The "Nembutsu" has, as the author states, the dual significance of “thinking of, or remembering the Buddha” and “pronouncing the Name of the Buddha, especially of Amida Buddha.…” Bando goes on to state that “according to Shinran’s perspective, it is not the age nor the nature of man as such that degenerates with the passage of time, but the consciousness of man’s abysmal decadence that has been both successively revealed and deepened thanks to the teachers of the Pure Land doctrine.” The author thus traces the significance of this mantra both in itself and within the historical context of the ages of Buddhism.
Significance of the NembutsuStudies in Comparative Religion: Annual Edition 1972Bando, Shojun Buddhism
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