Joseph Kitagawa

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Joseph Mitsuo Kitagawa (March 8, 1915–October 7, 1992) was a Japanese American professor emeritus of University of Chicago and former dean of its Divinity School, known for his work in the history of religions, particularly on those of the East.[1]

Kitagawa was born in Osaka, Japan and came to the United States in 1941 to study theology.[2] During World War II, Kitagawa was interned at the Minidoka War Relocation Center at Hunt, Idaho, where he remained until October 1945.[2] Kitagawa joined the faculty of the University of Chicago after his graduation in 1951. He became a U.S. citizen in 1955.[2]

His wife, Evelyn M. Kitagawa (1930–2007), was a notable sociologist, and his daughter Anne Rose Kitagawa became a notable curator of Asian art.


  • Kobo-Daishi and Shingon Buddhism, 1951
  • Religions of the East, 1960
  • Religions orientales, 1961
  • Gibt es ein Verstehen fremder Religionen?, 1963
  • Religion in Japanese history, 1966
  • Myths and symbols, 1969
  • The History of Religions, 1985
  • On understanding Japanese religion, 1987
  • Buddhism and Asian History (Religion, History, and Culture), 1989
  • The quest for human unity, 1990
  • Spiritual liberation and human freedom in contemporary Asia, 1990
  • The Christian tradition, 1992


  1. ^ "Joseph M. Kitagawa, Ex-Dean Of Divinity School at U. of C". Chicago Sun-Times. October 9, 1992. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Goldman, Ari L. (October 9, 1992), "No Headline", The New York Times