Chapter 7

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 7 – Shin Buddhism in the American Context

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Multiple Choice Questions

  • 1. For the Japanese who immigrated to America, Buddhism served many functions. Which of the following is one of them? It:
  • 2. Through the writings of such persons as Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, Buddhism was introduced to the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. At that time, to which of the following groups did it have the most appeal?
  • 3. The social environment of the Japanese immigrants placed Buddhism in a defensive position because it:
  • 4. It is difficult for outsiders to enter the heart of the Buddhist tradition in America because:
  • 5. Of the various Buddhist sects that took root in Hawaii, which was the largest and the best organized?
  • 6. The first Japanese immigrated to Hawaii in order to:
  • 7. A key figure in the development of Buddhism in Hawaii was the Bishop Yemyo Imammura. He believed that:
  • 8. Which of the following statements best describes the on-giri relationship that served as the basic ethical foundation in the lives of Japanese Americans? It:
  • 9. Which of the following has hindered the development of Buddhism in America?
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Thought Questions

1. In the process of institutionalization how can the followers of a religion lose sight of its founder?

2. What message do you think Shinshu has for Western people?

3. In this chapter, the author writes: “It appears to me that Buddhists have adapted to western society and its lure of success at the expense of their Buddhism.” What does he mean by this? Do you agree? Disagree?

4. Although Buddhism in America is indebted to Japanese sources, it must somehow develop its own distinct form as part of western culture. Now that you understand the development of Buddhism in Japan, as well as its early role in America, what are some of the problems Buddhism is facing today as it encounters western (American) culture? What do you think can be done to aid in this transition?