Buddhist Studies at Leiden University

Numata Lectures

View 2 courses taught by Numata Professor Yamada Meiji

View information on Numata Professor Yamada Meiji

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Religious Studies - BA lecture series

The transformation of Buddhism across Central Asia from India to China - Taught by Numata Professor Meiji Yamada

Time: Every Tuesday evening from 19.00-21.00
Venue: LIPSIUS Building Room 228, Leiden University


These lectures are on the transmission of Buddhism across Central Asia, with attention given to laicization, interaction with other religious and cultural traditions, pilgrim records, art and archaeology.

Topics include:

  • The routes of the transmission of Buddhism, King Aśoka and Gandhāra

  • The relic cult

  • Trade, business and the spread of Buddhism

  • Ancient Ruins

  • Excavated documents

  • Lay Buddhism, donation and devotion

  • Faith in bodhisattvas

  • Bamiyan

  • The spread of Buddhism West (Iran)

  • Register for the course here
    For more information contact Professor J.A. Silk

    Religious Studies MA lecture series

    The Way of Tea, the Way of the Buddha - Taught by Numata Professor Meiji Yamada

    Time: Every Wednesday evening from 19.00-21.00
    Venue: LIPSIUS Building Room 204, Leiden University

    Tea is a sort of ‘mysterious’ drink. Not as strong as alcohol or drugs, yet from ancient times until today, both in East Asia and in the West, it has shaken the history of the world. From the Opium Wars and the ceding of Hong Kong to the British to the American Revolution with its ‘Boston Tea Party’ to the rise of the socialist state of Mongolia, tea has been deeply implicated in many great events and movements of world history. In particular, its impact on the culture of Japan has been profound.

    From its beginnings in the mountainous areas of southwestern China, in present-day Yunnan, the drinking of tea permeated China, and this progress was intimately connected with Buddhism. And mixed with Buddhism, tea came to Japan, and from this intermingling of tea and Buddhism developed the special ‘Japanese Art of Tea.’

    This course begins in Yunnan, following the current of tea and tea culture from the Chinese culture sphere to Japan, with particular attention to its relations with Buddhism and Buddhist culture.

    A seminar style investigation of the origins of tea culture in Yunnan in Southwest China, tracing its interactions with Buddhism from Tang China through to Japan, including in art and material culture.


    1-2: General introduction; the origins and spread of tea; the ‘water network’ of Yunnan, Sichuan, the Yangtze river, the East China sea, and Japan, and the ‘evergreen forest region culture’ of East Asia.

    3-4: Tea in the Tang dynasty, the Classic of Tea, and the discoveries at the Famensi temple

    5-6: The transmission of tea to Japan along with Buddhism, Heian period (9~12 c.) Japanese Buddhism, artistocratic culture and the ‘elegance’ (miyabi) of tea.

    7-8: the 14th century, the roughly resplendent tea culture of the warriors, and Buddhist protective deities.

    9-10: The monk Eisai’s Kissa yōjōki and Zen Buddhism

    11-12: The 16th century, the tea master Sen no Rikyū and the Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and ‘The Way of Tea’ as a matter of life and death

    Register for the course here
    For more information contact Professor J.A. Silk

    Professor emeritus YAMADA Meiji (Ryukoku University, Kyoto)

    1967-1969    Nalanda Pali Institute (Nava Nalanda Mahavihara), lecturer in Buddhism 

    1970-1978   Member of the Kyoto University Archeological Research team in Afghanistan, excavating at Tepe Skandar

    1975: Appointed Assistant Professor, Ryukoku University, Kyoto

    1979: Appointed Head priest, Kyōtokuji Buddhist temple (Jōdo shinshū)

    1980: Appointed Full Professor, Ryukoku University

    2002: Retired from Ryukoku University

    2005-2010: Member of the Ryukoku University Central Asian Exploration team, researching ancient sites in Afghanistan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey. 

    Previous Numata Professors

    2012 - Meiji Yamada
    2011 - Vincent Eltschinger
    2010 - Toru Funayama
    2009 - Richard Hayes - Richard Hayes' Numata Talks Online
    2008 - Andrew Glass
    2005 - Samten Gyaltsen Karmay
    2004 - Joh. Bronkhorst
    2001 - Tachikawa Musashi
    2000 - Dan Stevenson
    1999 - Dan Stevenson
    1998 - Kajiyama Yuichi
    1997 - Yuyama Akira
    1994 - Abe Masao
    1993 - Tokiwa Gishin
    1992 - Inagaki Hisao

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