Culture as Power : Buddhist Heritage and the Indo-Japanese Dialogue book cover
1st Edition

Culture as Power
Buddhist Heritage and the Indo-Japanese Dialogue

Edited By

Madhu Bhalla

ISBN 9780367313593
Published December 29, 2020 by Routledge India
238 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book presents new studies on intellectual and cultural interactions in the context of Buddhist heritage and Indo-Japanese dialogue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on art, religion, and cultural politics. By revisiting Buddhist connections between India and Japan, it examines the pathways of communication on common aesthetic and religious heritage that emerged in the backdrop of colonial experiences and the rise of Asian nationalisms. The volume discusses themes such as Asian arts and crafts under colonialism, formation of East Asian art collections, development of Buddhist art history in Japan, Japanese encounters with Ajanta, India in the history of the Shinto tradition, Japan in India’s xenology, and Buddhism and world peace, and suggests paradigms of reconnecting cultural heritage within a global platform.

With essays from experts across the world, this book will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of history, art history, ancient Indian history, colonial history, heritage and cultural studies, South Asian and East Asian history, visual and media studies, Asian studies, international relations and foreign policy, and the history of globalization.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Shyam Saran





Introduction: The Discovery of Buddhist Dialogues between India and Japan — History, Culture and the State

Madhu Bhalla


Part I: The Indo-Japanese Dialogue

1.      Buddhism as the Pinnacle of Ancient Indian Morality: Tagore and Vivekananda Interpreting the Figure of Buddha

Victor A. van Bijlert

2.      Kakuzō Okakura in Cultural Exchange between India and Japan: Dialogue with Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore

Emiko Shimizu

3.      Japan in India’s Xenology: Negotiating Modernity, Culture and Cosmopolitanism in Colonial Bengal

Amiya P. Sen

4.      India–Japan Dialogue in the 1920s: Buddhism and World Peace in The Young East

Judith Snodgrass

5.      A.K. Coomaraswamy and Japan: A Tentative Overview

Shigemi Inaga


Part II: World Heritage and a New World Order

6.      Cultural Heritage: From Nationalism to Internationalism

Himanshu Prabha Ray

7.      Globalisation and the Formation of East Asian Art Collections: The Freer Art Gallery

Mitsuteru Narayama

8.      Survey Trips to China by Meiji Era Japanese Art Historians and the Development of Buddhist Art History in Japan – Through the Example of the Shaka Triad Image in Horyuji

Suijun Ra

9.      Japanese Encounters with Ajanta

Yasuko Fukuyama




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Madhu Bhalla is Former Professor of Chinese Studies, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi, India. She is currently the editor of India Quarterly at the Indian Council of World Affairs. She has also taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Queens’ University, Canada. She has held a visiting fellowship at the Fudan University, Shanghai, and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Sichuan at Chengdu. She has published in the areas of international relations, Chinese foreign and strategic policy, and political economy. Her interests are in the connections between culture and power in foreign policy. She has been part of track two dialogues between India and China and is on advisory bodies for China studies in India.