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Second Zen Bunka Prize

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Date 2004/9/25
Details In commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the Institute for Zen Studies, Zen Bunka Encouragement Prizes were awarded to Rev. Takahashi Tsūhō, Mr. Liu Jian, and the Ajia no Tomo o Shien Suru RACK organization (no Zen Bunka Distinguished Service Prizes were awarded on this occasion).
Takahashi Tsūhō: Rev. Takahashi, the priest of Jingū-ji in the city of Matsumoto, has been active in a wide variety of volunteer work, based on his religious convictions regarding the value of life. His contributions in the area of international aid work (most notably for the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster) are nothing short of astounding, and his social welfare activities at Jingū-ji, centering on relations with the temple’s believers, have charted a course for the future development of Buddhism throughout Japan.
Liu Jian: Ever since arriving in Japan in 1989 to study Buddhist culture, Liu Jian, in his capacity as Kyoto’s Goodwill Ambassador for Tourism, has contributed greatly to Sino-Japanese Buddhist relations. In addition to introducing Zen temples and facilitating connections between Chinese and Japanese monks, he has employed his considerable language skills to interpret at academic conferences and to translate scholarly papers for organizations such as the Japanese Dunhuang Research Society.
Ajia no Tomo o Shien Suru RACK: Ajia no Tomo o Shien Suru RACK (Relief, Assistance, Comfort, and Kindness to aid our Asian friends) was founded in 1985 to contribute to world peace and cultural development through the promotion of self-sufficiency among Asian refugees and the resolution of various social problems. Since then it has coordinated activities with religious traditions throughout Asia to provide educational and medical assistance for the disadvantaged, and, in Japan, to support programs to educate resident refugees and provide outings at facilities for the aged. Its guiding philosophy has been to stress the “below, to save all sentient beings” section of the Buddhist maxim, “Above, to seek enlightenment; below, to save all sentient beings.”