- 言語と文化 (ISSN:13475967)
- vol.6, pp.11-23, 2004-01-31
James Joyce (1882-1941) Iearned much about Buddhism through Theosophy and referred to it in Stephen Hero, Ulysses and Finnegans Wahe. Buddhism and Oriental paciflsm were concepts that interested Joyce. In this paper I discuss how Buddhism influenced Joyce's works in comparison with his contemporary, Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933). One major source of Joyce's Buddhist allusions was Henry Steel Olcott's The Buddhist Catechism. Joyce's copy of the book was dated May 7, 1901. With the booklet's world-wide fame, Olcott, known as a "White Buddhist" among the Japanese Buddhists, was invited to Japan to give many lectures all over Japan. He was the key Bliddhist linking Joyce with Miyazawa. There are numerous allusions to Buddhism in Joyce's works. In Stephen Hero, Stephen monologues," but Buddha's character seems to have been superior to that of Jesus with respect monologues" to unaffected sanctity" (SH 190). Buddhist or Hindu doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma, which are the central beliefs for Theosophists, are found everywhere in Ulysses. Numerous allusions to the Buddha's biography can be found in Finnegans Wake. Kenji Miyazawa, writer of children's stories, poet, etc. was born in Hanamaki Iwate Unlike Joyce, who left his city Dublin and became an exile in Europe, Miyazawa spent most of his short life in the countryside of Iwate. He wrote many poems and stories influenced by Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, especially the Lotus Sutra. Joyce and Miyazawa lived apart without knowing each other, but both of them tried to find a "path" in Buddhism at the beginning of the age of world war.