About

This is a casual blog on my dissertation research, which encompasses Shugendo (mountain religion in Japan), early modern religious life and thought, pilgrimage, power, politics, mountains, and what not.  My project is focused especially on Japan’s Togakushi mountains (Nagano prefecture and incidentally, the site of 1998 Winter Olympics), though it will hopefully have implications for trends that were contemporary around the country.  The period is the 16th – 19th centuries.

About calebscarter

I specialize in Japanese religions within the broader context of Buddhism and East Asian cultures. Within these fields, I focus especially on Shugendō, a mountain-based tradition in Japan developed largely from esoteric, Zen and Pure Land Buddhism with additional influences from Chinese religions and local spirit worship (later identified as Shintō). I approach these subjects from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on literary, economic, political, social and intellectual history. I received my Masters (2008) and PhD (2014), both in Buddhist Studies from UCLA, with a BA (2000) in Philosophy from Colorado College. I currently teach full-time for the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Outside of research and teaching, I play a three-stringed instrument from Okinawa called the sanshin and spend time with my family at nearby playgrounds and campgrounds. I also love the outdoors, especially climbing in the mountains—an orientation that has in many ways shaped my current intellectual path. View all posts by calebscarter

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