The Shin Buddhist Comprehensive Research Institute
The Shin Buddhist Comprehensive Research Institute is a vigorous center for academic research within the university. The words "Shin Buddhist Comprehensive" in its name does not imply that the institute aims at the comprehensive study of Shin Buddhism. Rather, it means that it is dedicated to integrating the various disciplines on the basis Buddhism, especially Shin Buddhism founded by Shinran. The name of the institute reflects this ideal.
A major characteristic of this institute is that it provides a setting where faculty members can work together on a common project on an inter-disciplinary basis. The research projects are of two types: "designated research projects" and individual research projects that are solicited from among the faculty.
The following are among the designated research projects being carried out at present.
Otani University Specially Designated Research Project to Commemorate the 750th Anniversary of the Death of Shinran Shō-nin
This project aims to clarify the modern significance of Shinran's thought from an inter-disciplinary perspective as part of the undertaking to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Shinran's death in 2011. Presently, new discoveries are constantly being made, not only in Shin Buddhist studies but also in various fields of research, greatly helping to advance the study of Shinran's thought. By studying and reflecting on these advancements, the projects attempts to construct a new image of Shinran and provide a new perspective from which to undertake the study of his thought in the future.
Study of International Buddhism
The aim of this research project is to study the trends of religious studies, particularly Buddhist studies, in countries other than Japan and to make the results of research in Buddhism conducted at Otani available to an international audience. In response to the growing interest in Pure Land Buddhism, especially Shin Buddhism, outside Japan in recent years, this research project is attempting to introduce the research done here regarding Pure Land Buddhist studies at the international level through the publication of a variety of works, including that of an anthology of modern Shin Buddhist writings in English translation. In addition, the project is actively engaged in academic exchange with the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in France, Marburg University in Germany, Northeast Normal University in China, Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in China, as well as other academic institutions around the world.
Study of Tibetan Texts
This project promotes basic research in Tibetan studies by studying and creating databases of Tibetan texts preserved at Otani University and other institutions. This team is undertaking research in Tibet in collaboration with several overseas institutions, such as the Academy of Social Sciences at Lhasa, University of Tibet and the Chinese Center of Tibetan Studies in Beijing. Furthermore it is revising the Tibetan Language Kit (TLK), a Tibetan language operating system for Macintosh, and compiling an on-line catalogue of Tibetan texts owned by Otani, such as the Peking edition of the Tibetan Tripit.aka and noncanonical works.
Study of the Database
Otani University preserves many academic materials and cultural properties of Shin Buddhism. This study group have a plan to digitalize them and open these materials to the world.
Study of the Shin Buddhist Dobokai Movement
This study is of a theme of a relation between Shin Buddhism and s society. The Shin Buddhist Dobokai Movement is a grassroots movement. The aim of this study is to clear the current situation and the meaning of this movement.