Justin B. Stein is a doctoral candidate and course instructor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. His research deals with transnational exchanges of religious culture in the modern North Pacific. Justin’s dissertation research on the twentieth-century development of Usui Reiki Ryōhō investigates intersections between this spiritual healing system and Buddhist practice in Japan, Hawaii, and North America, including Reiki’s roots in Japanese healing practices employing mikkyō (esoteric Buddhism), its pre-war dissemination through Buddhist infrastructure in Hawaii’s Japanese diaspora, and the dovetail of its post-war success with the rise of other secularized Asian religious practices Buddhist meditation, in Cold War North America. He has begun work on a second project about a transnational, inter-sectarian Buddhist peace movement organized in the 1930s by Jōdo Shin (True Pure Land) youth groups in Japan, Hawaii, and North America.
(photo by Silke Reents)