Institution: University of Southern California

Position: PhD Candidate (ABD)

2008–2010. BA in Asian Studies, focus Japan. University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, USA.

2013–2015. MA in Japanese Culture. Kyushu University, Japan.

2015–present. PhD Candidate in Japanese Premodern Religions. University of Southern California, USA. PhD expected in 2022.

My dissertation project traces the transmission of the Song dynasty Water and Land Rite 水陸會 from China to Japan and analyzes the transformation of the rite into the segaki 施餓鬼 ghost-feeding ritual by Chan/Zen priests in late medieval Japan (14th–16th century). By focusing on a single element of Song dynasty Buddhist culture, my project offers a corrective to notions of a monolithic Song Buddhism that was transplanted to Japan. Instead, my project reveals the processes of transformation through which Chinese and Japanese Chan/Zen priests adapted elements of Chinese Buddhist culture for their patrons in Japan.

Lisa Kochinski