About the JAIBS

Organizational Overview

With its current membership standing at over 2,400 people, The Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies (JAIBS) is one of Japan’s largest academic associations in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Since it’s inception at the University of Tokyo on October 15, 1951 (the 26th year of the Shōwa era), we will celebrate the seventieth year of the founding of our organization in 2021 (the 3rd year of the Reiwa era). After the end of the Second World War, there was an increased need for research on both India and Buddhism, owing in part to India and Pakistan’s gaining independence. Following the the establishment of The Japanese Association for Religious Studies (Nihon Shūkyō Gakkai 日本宗教学会), the proposal to establish a national-level academic association for the field of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies was brought to the fore.

Before the Second World War, to commemorate the enthronement (gotaiten 御大典) of the Shōwa Emperor (Hirohito) in the third year of the Shōwa era (1928), several sectarian Buddhist Universities, together with the Indian Philosophy departments at the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and Tohoku University, established an organization specifically for Buddhist studies, the Nihon Bukkyōgaku Kyōkai 日本仏教学協会 (The Japanese Buddhist Studies Society). After the war, in 1947 (the 22nd year of the Shōwa era),  this Nihon Bukkyōgaku Kyōkai was reorganized and renamed the Nihon Bukkyō Gakkai 日本仏教学会 (The Japanese Buddhist Studies Association), and went on to develop a plan to reestablish itself as a nation-wide organization. However, this plan did not come to fruition, as it was unable to garner the consensus of the relevant parties who favored creating a new, separate academic organization instead.

Then, on the third of October, 1949 (the 24th year of the Shōwa era), a group of scholars representative of Indian Studies and Buddhist Studies of the time, Miyamoto Shōson 宮本正尊, Kanakura Enshō 金倉圓照, Hikata Ryūshō 干潟龍祥, Honda Giei 本田義英, Yamaguchi Susumu 山口益, Tsuji Naoshirō 辻直四郎, Hanayama Shinshō 花山信勝, Nakamura Hajime 中村元, Sakamoto Yukio 坂本幸男, Nishi Yoshio 西義雄, and Masunaga Reihō 増永霊鳳 gathered at the University of Tokyo’s Indian Philosophy Department, and held the association’s first meeting to inagurate the association. In 1951 (the 26th year of the Shōwa era), the association was officially established with Miyamoto Shōson as the first director of the board of trustees. In January of the following year, the association was admitted to the Gakkai Rengō 学会連合 (The Consortium of Academic Associations), and its recognition as a national academic association continues until this day.

Our association aims at contributing to the development of research on Indian and Buddhist Studies within Japan, and to cooperate with scholars in related fields throughout the world in order to promote the development of intellectual acheievement in the world at large. In addition to the membership of individual researchers, our association includes Universities and Colleges with courses or departments in Indian Philosophy or Buddhist Studies as Affiliated Schools (kameikō 加盟校), as well as research centers and research organizations incorporated as Affiliated Organizations (kamei dantai 加盟団体).