Zen and Japanese Culture

  • Akihiko MasudaEmail author
Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)


Many scholars, both in Japan and in the West, point out the interwoven relation between Zen and Japanese culture. In this chapter, Akihiko (Aki) Masuda, Ph.D. of University of Hawaii highlights notable features of Japanese cultural context that promote the wholehearted way of living that Zen delineates. He argues that although the influence of Western ideologies has permeated into Japanese cultural practice, Japanese people seem to continue to value this way of living. Living in the present modernized world, we cannot help feeling isolated from others and detached from our surroundings. Masuda argues that these epidemic issues can be attributable to the rigid adherence to an analytic and dualistic way of thinking pervasive in contemporary societies. Masuda then suggests that visiting the wholehearted way of living and Japanese cultural practice that supports such a way of living may illuminate the possibility for nurturing the sense of wholeness inclusive to all.


Zen Buddhism Japanese culture Epistemology of Zen Japanese linguistic practices 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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