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Caleb Carter Last modified date:2019.05.30

Lecturer / International Masters Program (IMAP) in Japanese Humanities
Department of Philosophy
Faculty of Humanities

Academic Degree
Field of Specialization
Japanese Religions and Buddhist Studies
Research Interests
  • Caleb Carter specializes in Japanese religions within the broader context of Buddhism and East Asian cultures. He is interested in issues related to space and place, narrative and folklore, women and gender, and ecology. His main research focuses on Shugendo, a mountain-based Buddhist tradition in Japan that developed out of medieval esoteric practices as well as Chinese religious influences and local spirit worship (later identified as Shinto). Carter's work centers on the processes by which Shugendo took shape historically through a matrix of social, economic, and intellectual influences grounded at the level of place.
    Carter is currently working on a book that explores the historical formation of Mount Togakushi, a religious site located in Nagano Prefecture. His investigation is based primarily on textual evidence, with special focus on the role of narratives, from the late thirteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries.
    As a second project, Carter is conducting research on the recent popularity of ‘power spots’ in Japan. Through fieldwork and analysis of print materials, he is studying how this phenomenon has been interpreted, performed, and debated among the general public, local Shinto priests, and the National Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja Honchō).

    keyword : Buddhism, Shugendo, Japanese religions, space and place, narrative and folklore, women and gender, ecology
Academic Activities
Membership in Academic Society
  • Japanese Association of Religious Studies
Educational Activities
Caleb Carter taught undergraduate courses and graduate sections at the University of California, Los Angeles (2014-2016) and Johns Hopkins University (2016-2018) before his appointment at Kyushu University (March 2018), where he teaches subjects on Buddhism and Japanese religions and culture at the graduate and undergraduate level. His courses include: "Vernacular Figures in Japanese Religions" and "Translating Japanese Buddhist Texts" at the graduate level and “Buddhism and the Environment,” “Shamans, She-Devils, and Pilgrims: Women and Gender in East Asian Religions,” “Women and Gender in Japanese Religions,” “Monsters, Demons & Ghosts: Folklore and Festival in Japan,” “Place in Japanese Religions,” “Introduction to Buddhism,” and “Japanese Civilization” at the undergraduate level.