This paper analyses the Japanese influence upon Taiwanese Buddhist communities during the Colonial Period. I will discuss the interplay between monasticism, education, and politics by examining the process of institutionalisation of monastics and Buddhist educational programs in Taiwan between 1895 and 1945. In accord with pertinent historical developments, this paper is divided into five sections: (1) the Sōtō Zen lineage, (2) the Rinzai Zen lineage, (3) the Pure Land (Jōdo) lineage, (4) Taiwanese monastics who studied in Japan, and (5) Taiwanese nuns. Based on the strong Japanese sectarian tradition, different sects had disparate strategies in Taiwan. The Sōtō lineage arrived first, engaged in precept ceremonies, and started up a well-run Buddhist college. The Myōshinji Sect of Rinzai took Kaiyuansi in Tainan as the main headquarters in southern Taiwan for teaching Buddhist classes as well as holding monumental precept-conferral ceremonies. As for the Pure Land lineage, they came slightly later but eventually established 37 branches across Taiwan, implementing social-educational programs actively. Finally, the nuns and monks who went abroad to study Buddhism in Japan matured and took important roles in advancing Buddhist education in Taiwan. All of these cases demonstrate a profound Japanese influence upon Taiwanese Buddhist education and monastic culture.
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