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”.