Akira Hirakawa

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Akira Hirakawa (1915-2002) was an eminent Buddhist studies scholar from Japan. He works included A History of Indian Buddhism: From Śākyamuni to Early Mahāyāna.

He has written over 240 articles on various aspects of Buddhism, covering a wide range of topics, such as the usage of fundamental terms or the roles of particular figures in Indian Buddhism.[1]

Hirakawa also served as Chairman of the Directors of the Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies for eight years (1983-1991), where he made tremendous contributions toward the advancement of the Association. In 1993 he was selected to be a member of the Japan Academy. He went on to become Chairman and Professor at the International College for Advanced Buddhist Studies (established in 1996), where in addition to his duties as the director of research and education, he was responsible for the general administration of the College. He held this position until passing away.[2]

Further reading:


  1. Hirakawa, Akira (1993), A History of Indian Buddhism: From Śākyamuni to Early Mahāyāna, translated by Groner, Paul, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0955-0 , Translator's Preface, p. 7
  2. Tsadra commons icon.jpg Akira Hirakawa, Buddha Nature: A Tsadra Foundation Initiative