92 items from Shimada Bankon's Shugendo Collection "Shimada Collection" newly released
Ninety-two items from Shimada Bankon's Shugendo Collection "Shimada Collection" have been newly digitized and released.
"Shimada Collection" is a unique collection of books on Shugendo, Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts, into which Shimada Bankon (島田蕃根; 1827-1907), a buddhologist during the Meiji era, combined documents handed down through the Shimada family and his own collection.
Shimada Bankon was born in Tokuyama, currently Yamaguchi Prefecture, in 1827 and died of an illness in Kyoto at the age of 81 in 1907. Having learned Shugendo and Buddhism in Hieizan and Miidera respectively, he was well-informed about each sect of Buddhism. In the beginning of the Meiji era, he returned to secular life and became a professor at Kojokan (興譲館), a domain school of the Mori family. He came up with a plan to publish Daizokyo (大蔵経; reduced-size ed.) and established Kokyo-shoin (弘教書院) with Fukuda Gyokai (福田行誡; 1809-1888) in 1879. In five years of hard work, the large-scale enterprise resulted in the publication of 419 volumes of Daizokyo. He is also well known for his enthusiasm to collect and preserve Buddhism books.
The Main Library of Kyoto University takes part as a core university in the "Project to Build an International Collaborative Research Network for Pre-modern Japanese Texts (NIJL-NW project)" led by the National Institute of Japanese Literature, which supports the digitization of the 92 books released this time.