(Aug 1, 1994)
A native of Tokyo, Hidetake YANO was matriculated in the Department of Sociology at Hosei University, and as part of his undergraduate studies, he spend one year as an exchange student at the University of California, Davis (1988-1989), After graduating from Hosei University in 1991, YANO received his M. A. in Religious Studies at the University of Tokyo (1993), where he is currently continuing his studies as a member of the Ph. D program.
YANO has expressed an interest in Japanese new religious movements since his undergraduate period, and his current work focuses on the comparative study of new religious movements in the West and Japan, while also venturing into the area of new Buddhist groups in Thailand.
At present, YANO is engaged in research on the activities, thought, and history of the Thai temple and Foundation called Thammakaai, which has experienced great growth since the 1 970s. Through this research, he hopes to shed light on the relationship of Thai modernization and urbanization to the transformation of traditional Thai culture, as well as to ascertain the social consciousness and values of the so-called new urban middle class and their status in Thai society.
Since April of this year, YANO has also been an Adjunct Researcher at the Institute of Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University, where he both assists with the publication of this Newsletter and participates in work on other Institute projects.