Nanjo Bunyu

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Nanjo Bunyu

Nanjō Bun'yū[1] (南条文雄) (1 July 1849 – 9 November 1927) was a Buddhist priest and one of the most important modern Japanese scholars of Buddhism. Nanjō was born to the abbot of Seiunji Temple (誓運寺), part of the Shinshu Ōtani sect (真宗大谷派) of the Higashi Honganji (東本願寺) branch of Jodo Shinshu.

Nanjō studied Classical Chinese texts and Buddhist doctrine in his youth before being sent to Europe in 1876 to study Sanskrit and Indian philosophy from European scholars, including Max Müller, under whom Bunyu studied in England.[2] While there he met the Chinese Buddhist Yang Wenhui, whom he helped to acquire some three hundred Chinese Buddhist texts that had been lost in China to be reprinted at Yang's printing house in Nanjing.[3] He returned to Japan in 1884 and served as a professor or head of a number of Buddhist seminaries and universities until his death.[citation needed]

Major publications[edit]

  • (Co-editor with F. Max Müller) Buddhist texts from Japan. Oxford : Clarendon press, 1881–84.
  • Nanjo Bunyu (1883). A catalogue of the Chinese translation of the Buddhist Tripitaka, the Sacred Canon of the Buddhists in China and Japan, compiled by order of the Secretary of State for India. Oxford, Clarendon Press
  • A short history of the twelve Japanese Buddhist sects. Translated from the original Japanese by Bunyiu Nanjio. Tokyo, Bukkyo-Sho-ei-yaku-Shuppan-sha, 1886. Internet Archive
  • (Co-author) An unabridged Japanese-English dictionary, with copious illustrations, by Capt. F. Brinkley. Tokyo, Sanseido [1896].
  • B. Nanjio (ed.). The Laṅkāvatāra sūtra, Kyoto, Otani University Press 1923 [In Nāgarī]
  • H. Kern; B. Nanjio (ed.); Saddharmapuṇḍarīka; St. Pétersbourg 1908-1912 (Imprimerie de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences), XII, 507 S.; Sert.: Bibliotheca Buddhica, 10 [In Nāgarī] Vol.1, Vol. 2, Vol 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5.


  1. ^ The usual spelling of his name in English publications was Nanjio Bunyiu, but this is not the current standard. It is however the form used in library records of his works.
  2. ^ Zumoto, M. (2004). "Nanjio Bunyiu: His Life and Work", Pacific World Ⅲ, no. 6 , 128-132
  3. ^ Buswell, Robert Jr; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2013). Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. pp. 571–572. ISBN 9780691157863.