Log In

Meiji Yamada Edit Profile

明爾 山田

Professor at Ryūkoku University

Yamada Meiji (山田明爾), was a professor at Ryūkoku University in Kyoto, Japan. He has been an expert in the Gandhara region of the the northwest of ancient India and in the Buddhist school of the “Pure Land”. In the 1970s he was an associate of the crew of Kyoto University that conducted extensive research at Bamiyan (Afghanistan). He and his colleagues created a extraordinary documentation of the site.


1967-1969 Yamada Meiji was lecturer in Buddhism at Nalanda Pali Institute (Nava Nalanda Mahavihara) in India. 1970-1978 he served as a member of the Kyoto University Archeological Research Team in Afghanistan, excavating at Tepe Skandar. In 1975 Yamada Meiji was appointed assistant professor at Ryūkoku University in Kyoto. In 1979 he became Head priest of the Kyōtokuji Buddhist Temple of the Jōdo Shinshū denomination. 1980 Yamada Meiji was appointed full professor of Ryukoku University.

In 2002 he retired from Ryūkoku University. Yamada Meiji revisited Afghanistan in 2003 to excavate and record the site of Keligan, west of Bamiyan, which offers verification of unknown trade routes. 2005-2010 Yamada Meiji was a member of the Ryūkoku University Central Asian Exploration Team, researching ancient sites in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Yamada Meiji is known to many as the leader of the Ryūkoku Translation Centre, which produced many English versions of Buddhist classics, for example “The Sūtra of Contemplation on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life” (Kyoto 1984), an annotated edition and translation of the Chinese text “Guan Wuliangshoufo jing”.


Monshu Koshin Ohtani

In 1979 Yamada Meiji became the Head priest of Kyōtokuji Buddhist Temple. Kyōtokuji belongs to the Jōdo Shinshū denomination of Japanese Buddhism. Koshin Ohtani was the Monshu (chief abbot) of the Jodo Shinshu Honganjiha.

Kosho Ohtani
Kosho Ohtani - Abbot of Meiji Yamada

Kosho Otani was a cousin of the Japanese Emperor Hirohito and the former head of the major Japanese Buddhist denomination Jodo Shinshu Honganji-ha. He led the 10 million-member denomination between 1927 and 1977. He was the head when Yamada Meiji was trained as Buddhist priest.

Takamaro Shigaraki
Takamaro Shigaraki - colleague of Meiji Yamada

Shigaraki was the president of Ryukoku University in Kyoto (Japan) when Yamada Meiji was professor. Shigaraki was on the faculty of the University since 1958. He spent his career studying Pure Land Buddhism. He tried to clarify a contemporary meaning of Buddhism from a perspective of existentialism.

Hisao Inagaki
Hisao Inagaki - colleague of Meiji Yamada

Hisao Inagaki, scholar and Buddhist priest, has partaken in many Buddhist translation and publication projects such as the English translation of Kyōgyōshinshō and the Portuguese translation of Jodo Shinshu scriptures. He was a colleague of Yamada Meiji at Ryukoku University.

Volker Zotz
Volker Zotz - colleague of Meiji Yamada

Volker Zotz is an eminent Austrian philosopher, writer and scholar of religious studies. A prolific author, Zotz has published numerous books and articles on Buddhism, Confucianism and history of religions as well as novels and essays. He and Yamada Meiji were colleagues at Ryukoku University in Kyoto.