Learning Services Building 108
Miura, Takashi
Associate Professor

Takashi Miura's research focuses on Japanese religions in the early modern and modern periods. He is the author of Agents of World Renewal: The Rise of Yonaoshi Gods in Japan (2019, University of Hawaii Press). In this book, he examines the spread of the concept of "world renewal" (yonaoshi) in Japanese society from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries and highlights the rise of "yonaoshi gods," a new category of divinities that emerged during this time period. He is currently working on his second book, in which he analyzes the practice of "peasant deification" in the early modern period and its impact on subsequent religious practices in Japan. At the University of Arizona, he teaches courses on Japanese religions and Buddhism. He received his B.A. (Religion & Japanese-English Translation) and M.A. (Asian Religions) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his Ph.D. (Asian Religions) from Princeton University.


Agents of World Renewal: The Rise of Yonaoshi Gods in Japan (2019). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.


"The Filial Piety Mountain: Kanno Hachiro and the Three Teachings" (2019). Japan Review 34: pp. 95–111.

“The Ee ja nai ka and the Meiji Restoration: A View from Nagoya through Hosono Yosai’s Kankyo manpitsu” (2019). Journal of Religion in Japan 7 (3): pp. 201–218.

“Shinto Is the Indigenous Religion of the World: Deguchi Onisaburo and His Shinto Universalism” (2018). Journal of Religion in Japan 7 (1): pp. 57–81.

“Yonaoshi no saikosatsu: shukyoshi teki kanten kara” (2018). In Kami to hotoke no Bakumatsu ishin, eds. Iwata Mami and Kirihara Kenshin, Kyoto: Hozokan, pp. 79–102.

“The Buddha in Yoshiwara: Religion and Visual Entertainment in Tokugawa Japan as Seen through Kibyoshi” (2017). Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 44 (2): pp. 225–254.


Currently Teaching

RELI 308 – Does Pikachu Have a Buddha Nature? Buddhism in Japan

This course provides an overview of the history of Buddhism in Japan. Major themes covered in the course include an integration of indigenous "kami veneration" (Shinto) into a Buddhist theological framework; a doctrinal emphasis placed on the notion of Buddha nature or "original enlightenment" (hongaku); the rise of the so-called Kamakura schools of Buddhism; bureaucratic roles imparted to Buddhist temples during the Tokugawa period; and challenges Buddhism faces in contemporary Japanese society.

RELI 220 – Religion in Japanese Society

Introduction to texts, images and activities, both historical and contemporary, that comprise Japanese religion.

RELI 489 – History of Japanese Religions: Modern

A selective survey of the history of Japanese religion from the 16th century through the present. Topics may include Shinto and Buddhism; Christianity and its suppression; Edo-period official and popular religion; State Shinto; and Japan's "new religions" and "new new religions."