Publication Date



American Buddhism, Kenneth Tanaka, Traditional and Modern Aspects, Authenticity, Inclusivity


In fairly recent history Buddhism has spread west to the United States. In doing so, it has faced many changes and transformations as people from different backgrounds have begun practicing and spreading its practices. In this process, many of the traditional aspects of Buddhism have been lost or traded for more modern ones, which has in turn led to the exclusion of many Buddhists of color from many primarily white, American Buddhist spaces. In analyzing the works of Kenneth Tanaka, the importance of utilizing both modern and traditional aspects of Buddhism within American Buddhism become clear as he discusses how the two can intersect to further authenticity in practice. In relation to other works, Tanaka’s findings can be used to conclude how when we allow modern and traditional aspects to intersect, a more authentic and inclusive experience can be had for all.