Duncan Ryūken Williams

May 25, 2022

On the Internment of Japanese Buddhists in World War Two

A Discussion with Duncan Ryūken Williams

New Books Network 2022

Duncan Ryuken Williams was born in Tokyo, Japan to a Japanese mother and British father. After growing up in Japan and England until age 17, he moved to the U.S. to attend college (Reed College) and graduate school (Harvard University, where he received a Ph.D. in Religion). Williams is currently a Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures and the Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. Previously, he held the Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair of Japanese Buddhism at University of California at Berkeley and served as the Director of Berkeley's Center for Japanese Studies for four years. He has also been ordained since 1993 as a Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen tradition and served as the Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University from 1994-96.

Williams' latest book is American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (Harvard University Press, 2019). 

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