Takakusu Junjiro

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Junjiro Takakusu.jpg
Born(1866-06-29)June 29, 1866
DiedJune 28, 1945(1945-06-28) (aged 78)
Other names高楠 順次郎
OccupationBuddhist scholar

Takakusu Junjirō (高楠 順次郎, June 29, 1866 – June 28, 1945), who often published as J. Takakusu, was a Japanese academic, an advocate for expanding higher education opportunities, and an internationally known Buddhist scholar.[1] He was an active Esperantist.

Early life[edit]

Takakusu was born in Hiroshima Prefecture, adopted by the Takakusu family of Kobe, and sent to England to study Sanskrit at Oxford University (1890). After receiving his doctorate, he continued his studies in France and Germany.

Academic career[edit]

Upon his return to Japan in 1894, he was appointed Professor at the Tokyo Imperial University and Director of Tokyo School of Foreign Languages.

He founded the Musashino Girls' School in 1924. The institution evolved on the principle of "Buddhist-based human education," moving in 1929 to its present location in Nishitōkyō, Tokyo and becoming Musashino Women's University. The institution Takakusu founded is now known as Musashino University (武蔵野大学, Musashino Daigaku).[1]

From 1924 to 1934, Takakusu and others established the Tokyo Taisho Tripitaka Publication Association (東京大正一切經刊行會), later known as the Daizo Shuppansha (大藏出版株式會社, Daizo shuppansha), which collected, edited, and published the Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō. This massive compendium is now available online as the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA) Tripitaka.

In 1930, he was named President of the Tokyo Imperial University. He was a member of the Imperial Academy of Japan and a Fellow of the British Academy. He was a recipient of Asahi Cultural Prize and the Japanese government's Order of Culture. He was awarded an honorary degree by Tokyo Imperial University; and he was similarly honored by the universities at Oxford, Leipzig, and Heidelberg.

At the time of his death in June 1945, he was Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit at the Tokyo Imperial University.

Devotion to Esperanto[edit]

In 1906, he was one of the founder member of the Japanese Esperantists Association (JEA), and its head in the Tokyo section. When in 1919, a new organization, the Japanese Esperanto Institute (JEI) was founded, he became a member of the director board.


Selected works[edit]

  • The Amitâyur dhyâna-sûtra, trans J. Takakusu, in Buddhist Mahâyâna Texts, Part 2, published in Sacred Books of the East, vol. 49, pp. 161–201, Oxford University Press, 1894.
  • A Record of the Buddhist Religion as Practised in India and the Malay Archipelago, London: Clarendon Press, 1896.
  • Dai Nihon Bukkyō zensho, ed. Takakusu Junjirō et al., 150 volumes, Tokyo: Dai Nihon Bukkyō zensho kankōkai, 1913-1921. (Re-edited, 100 volumes, Suzuki gakujutsu zaidan, Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1970-1973.)
  • Taishō shinshū Daizōkyō 大正新脩大蔵経, Takakusu Junjirō, Watanabe Kaigyoku. 100 volumes, Tokyo: Taisho Issaikyo Kankokai, 1924-1934.
  • Nanden daizōkyō 南伝大蔵経 (The Mahātripiṭaka of the Southern Tradition) [Japanese translation of the Pāli Canon], ed. Takakusu Junjirō. 65 volumes, Tokyo: Daizokyo shuppansha, 1935-1941.
  • The Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy, ed. Wing-tsit Chan and Charles Moors. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT. 1976


See also[edit]