Buddhism has long enjoyed a reputation in the West as a religion of peace. It is only in recent years that the long history of those calling themselves Buddhists who engaged in warfare has been introduced to Western readers (see, for example, Buddhist Warfare). In an era in which terrorist acts carried out by those who identify themselves as Muslims attract our attention, it is noteworthy that Buddhists, too, are not immune to this form of religious fanaticism. The historical truth is that in 1930s Japan at least three Buddhist-related acts of terrorism took place. While introducing these terrorist acts, this presentation focuses on the Buddhist doctrine and practice undergirding the so-called “Blood Oath Corps Incident” (J. Ketsumeidan Jiken) of early 1932.
Image: “Blood Oath Corps Incident” defendants awaiting trial