ABSTRACT

In Chapter Two, we examined how young monks argued that it was important to prepare themselves to defend the nation by undertaking military training and how they articulated that they could subordinate their religious commitment to the fulfillment of national duty by replacing the precept of non-killing with that of compassionate killing. Their arguments, however, can be understood only in light of the contemporary social, political, and military contexts in which nationalism and patriotism reigned supreme. As war loomed during the 1930s, Buddhist propaganda criticizing Japanese aggression intensified. Articles in such propaganda described Japanese as “devils” (guizi 鬼子) and Japan as imperialistic; Buddhist support for the nation against the Japanese invasion continued throughout the eight years of the war. This chapter explores the role of Buddhist propaganda in criticism of Japanese aggression in China and calling for Chinese resistance.