The Institute of Oriental Philosophy
| IOP Director
|Message from Yoichi Kawada
Director of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda announced his plans to establish the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) for the first time when he visited Budhagaya in 1961.
He viewed the overall activities of the IOP developing in three directions. The first point was to expand research on the Lotus Sutra, which has been constantly inspiring Buddhist practitioners in East Asia for more than a thousand years. The second point was to conduct comparative research of Buddhist thought with other religions, as well as with science. The third point was to establish Buddhist humanism and pacifism to contribute to the solution of global issues facing humanity.
The first point of expanding research on the Lotus Sutra was realized with the creation of the exhibition “The Lotus Sutra and Its World — Buddhist Manuscripts of the Great Silk Road.” Exhibits contained many rare items that became available to the public, including a manuscript of the Lotus Sutra which belongs to the collection of the Russian Academy of Sciences. A number of Japanese and European Buddhist researchers expressed their gratitude for this rare opportunity given to them to observe the exhibition. This exhibition was also held in Austria and Germany. Moreover, another exhibition, “The Lotus Sutra—A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence,” was held in Hong Kong, India, Spain, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Brazil, the UK, Taiwan, Malaysia, Argentina and Japan.
The IOP has worked on studying and producing the Lotus Sutra Manuscript Series published by the Soka Gakkai. With the support of many professionals in Japan and throughout the world, we have also made research and commentary on various original Lotus Sutra texts that are preserved at the Lushun Museum, the National Archives of Nepal, Cambridge University Library, the General Library of The University of Tokyo, the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Société Asiatique, the British Library and the National Archives of India.
To realize the second and third points, the IOP has held joint symposiums with various universities and research institutes all over the world. The IOP researchers have also given presentations and lectures at related institutions.
Furthermore, the IOP has initiated research related to Eastern Philosophy and promoted international academic exchanges. In order to widely contribute to society and to create a peaceful culture in the twenty-first century, we also hold free lecture series, Lotus Sutra exhibitions, and publish journals and books.
Yoichi Kawada was born in Kagawa prefecture in 1937. He graduated from the University of Kyoto in 1962 and received his Ph.D. in immunology in 1968. He is also a recognized authority in Buddhist medicine, bringing the insights of Buddhism to bear on contemporary issues of bioethics, medical and clinical practice. In 1988, Kawada was appointed director of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy.
Kawada has published many books related to Buddhism and Medicine.
・Chikyu Kankyo to Bukkyo Shiso [The Global Environment and Buddhism], (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, 1994).
・Noshi Mondai to Bukkyo Shiso [The Problem of Brain Death and Buddhism], (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, 1996).
・Gendai ni Ikiru Bukkyo [Buddhism in the Contemporary World], (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, 1997).
・Soka Gakkai no Mezasu Mono [What the Soka Gakkai Aims to Achieve], (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, 1998).
・Seimei wa Eien Ka--Sei mo Kanki, Shi mo Kanki [Is Life Eternal? Joy in Life and Joy in Death], (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, 2001).
・Seimei Tetsugaku Nyumon: Shukumei wa Kaerareru [An Introduction to Life Philosophy: Karma is Changeable], (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, 2010).
・Seimei Tetsugaku Nyumon II: Shiawase wo Tsukuru Shinrigaku [An Introduction to Life Philosophy II: The Psychology of Happiness] (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, August 2012).
・Seimei Tetsugaku Nyumon III: Bukkyo Kango to Kanwa Kea [An Introduction to Life Philosophy III: Buddhism and Nursing Care] (Tokyo: Daisan Bunmei-sha, March 2013).
As director of the IOP, Kawada oversees the Institute's wide-ranging research programs into the intersection of East Asian philosophical outlooks and contemporary global issues such as human rights, environmental protection and bioethics.
Kawada has spoken and lectured at many conferences worldwide, including "Dialogue Among Four Great Religions" sponsored by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention and the Institute of World Religions of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, among others.
Contemporary Civilization and the Lotus Sutra (2012)
The New Humanism for World Peace (2011)
The Buddhist Perspective of Life and the Idea of Human Rights (2011)
Buddhist Thoughts on Symbiosis--And its Contemporary Implications (2010)
The SGI within the Historical Context of Buddhism—and its Philosophical Basis— (2009)
Contemporary Civilization and the Restoration of the Poetic Soul (2008)
A Vision of Peace in the Lotus Sutra (2007)
Humanity, Earth and the Universe: A Viewpoint of Mahayana Buddhism (2006)
On the Significance of the India-Japan Joint Symposium (2006)
The Starting Point of Eastern Thought in the 21st Century (2005)
Gandhism and Buddhism: A Modern Perspective (2004)
Message for the 21st Century as Depicted in the Lotus Sutra: Publication Ceremony of the Sanskrit Lotus Sutra Manuscripts from Cambridge University Library (Add. 1682 and Add. 1683), Facsimile Edition (2003)
The History and Role of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (2000)