UBC’s Buddhism and Contemporary Society Program, funded by The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation, is pleased to welcome Professor Brian Victoria, for a talk on “Zen Terrorism: Meditation as a Terrorist Weapon in 1930s Japan” on June 9, 2014 at the Asian Centre, UBC, Point Grey campus.

Date: Monday, June 9

Time: 4-6 pm

Place: Room 604, Asian Centre, UBC

Speaker: Brian Victoria, currently at the International Research Center for for Japanese Studies in Kyoto

Title: “Zen Terrorism: Meditation as a Terrorist Weapon in 1930s Japan”

Talk description: This presentation focuses on the “Blood Oath Corp” (ketsumeidan), led by the Zen-trained layman, Inoue Nisshô. Inoue has long been mistakenly identified both within and without Japan as a Nichiren priest. However, the lecture will demonstrate that Inoue’s affiliation to the Zen meditative tradition is key to understanding the terrorist acts he and his band were responsible for.

Bio: Brian Daizen Victoria is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and a 1961 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. He holds a M.A. in Buddhist Studies from St Zen sect-affiliated Komazawa University in Tokyo, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Religious Studies at Temple University.
In addition to a 2nd, enlarged edition of Zen At War (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Brian’s major writings include Zen War Stories (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003); an autobiographical work in Japanese entitled Gaijin de ari, Zen bozu de ari (As a Foreigner, As a Zen Priest), published by San-ichi Shobo in 1971; Zen Master Dgen, coauthored with Prof. Yokoi Yh of Aichi-gakuin University (Weatherhill, 1976); and a translation of The Zen Life by Sato Koji (Weatherhill, 1972). In addition, Brian has published numerous journal articles, focusing on the relationship of not only Buddhism but religion in general to violence and warfare.
From 2005 to 2013 Brian was a professor of Japanese Studies and director of the AEA “Japan and Its Buddhist Traditions Program” at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH. Currently he is a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan where he is writing a book tentatively entitled: Zen Terrorism in 1930s Japan. Brian is also a Fellow of the Oxford Center for Buddhist Studies at Oxford University and a fully ordained Buddhist priest in the St Zen sect.