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Japanese imperialism and Mongolian Buddhism, 1932-1945

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Between 1932 and 1945 imperial Japan had strong political and strategic interests in the Mongol lands. To win Mongol backing for the Japanese war effort and to strengthen the Mongol regions as a base for Japanese operations elsewhere on the Asian mainland, the Japanese military authorities developed a complex policy to support and reform Mongolian Buddhism. In pursuit of their goals, they promoted changes in Buddhist religious practices and fostered the use of monasteries as conduits for modern education and health care. Mongolian Buddhists themselves took part in these reforms but they generally accepted only those changes that were already a part of Mongol political and religious thinking.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-12-01

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