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New Book by Japanese Priest, Teacher, Illuminates Teachings of Shin Buddhism

Aiming to bridge the gap between Christianity and Buddhism, an emeritus professor, who began studying as a Shin Buddhist priest at age 9, has written a new book that describes his lifelong faith. Dog Ear Publishing has released that book.

Indianapolis, IN, September 13, 2017 --( At its heart, Shin Buddhism is an attempt to distill the true essence of Buddha’s original teachings from non-Buddhist and provisional Buddhist teachings. A Shin Buddhist teacher and priest from Japan has written a new book that delves into this version of Buddhism, from which the Buddhist Churches of America, Buddhist Temples of Canada and others took their inspiration.

“Shin Buddhism: An Introduction” uses everyday language to introduce Shin Buddhism, also known as Jodo Shinshu, a school of Japanese Buddhism founded by Shinran in the thirteenth century. It has the largest number of followers in Japan and is based directly on the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha) rather than local interpretations.

Although the book’s purpose is to introduce Shin Buddhism to Shin Buddhists in English-speaking countries, its comparative approach is also aimed at students of comparison religion and others. Its descriptive chapter titles and frequent references to the Bible, especially the Gospels, make clear the universal aspects shared by many long-lasting religions. For instance, passages from the Gospels are used to explain certain Buddhist concepts. Analogies and stories feature ideas from Buddhism as well as the larger culture and folk traditions of Japan. Chapter summaries written as dialogue further illuminate this 750-year-old religion that centers on the nature of being human.

The book is drawing praise. “Experienced both as a teacher and priest, gifted with outstanding skills as a communicator and, meanwhile, faithful to the heritage of Shin Buddhism’s founder Shinran, Professor Hirose draws the reader to a vision of what is universal, as opposed to the instrumental and local, in Buddhism,” writes David Keen, former senior lecturer in Social Studies at Dunedin College of Education.

“Professor Hirose mediates profound concepts and insights in the everyday language of the laity and the idiom of the young. He is adept, too, at capturing reader interest and reinforcing explanation through the use of telling examples, drawn from daily life.”

Takafum (Taka) Hirose entered the priesthood when he was 9, following Shin Buddhism tradition in Japan of one family taking care of a temple for generations. He lives in Gifu-ken, Japan, and is a professor emeritus who taught at Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University for 40 years. Hirose came to the United States for high school and majored in political science at the University of North Dakota before earning a graduate degree from Kent State University. He explored Christianity as a member of a Scandinavian Lutheran church while in high school and with the folk-singing group Good News Folk at the Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Center and studied in Europe while assisting as a graduate assistant Kent State’s study abroad program in Geneva, Switzerland.

He returned to Japan in 1975 and began teaching at Gift Shotoku Gakuen University. While there, he helped establish the new Faculty of Foreign Languages and created a partner university relationship with Lakehead University in Canada, which took him to Canada for a semester with students year after year. He became an ordained Shin Buddhist teacher in 1985.

For additional information, please visit www.

Shin Buddhism: An Introduction
Takafumi Hirose
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5004-1 154 pages $14.95 US Perfectbound
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5659-3 154 pages $24.95 US Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5687-6 $9.99 US eBook

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

Dog Ear Publishing partners with authors to shape content that resonates with readers as diverse as the books we publish. Our mission is to leverage expertise, technology and relationships to form a meaningful and lasting bond between creators, content and culture as a whole. Dog Ear Publishing is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and can be contacted by phone at (317) 228-3656 or through our website,
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