Balliol College has learned with great sadness of the death of the Revd Toshihide Numata, Chairman of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (BDK), on 16 February 2017.
Under Revd Numata’s chairmanship, BDK, a society for the promotion of Buddhism, made a generous benefaction which established the Numata Professorship of Buddhist Studies at Oxford University. The Professor is a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and a Fellow of Balliol College; the Chair is named after the founder of BDK, Yehan Numata.
Professor Stefano Zacchetti, the present Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies, said of Revd Numata: ‘His contribution to Oxford has been extraordinary: the study of Buddhism would not have become an established, thriving subject here without his generosity and vision.’ He also paid tribute to Revd Numata’s immensely important role in supporting Buddhism and Buddhist Studies by increasing the number of Numata Chairs at other universities and through other educational initiatives.
Balliol is delighted to have had the privilege of welcoming Revd Numata to the College on several occasions, the last one during a visit to the UK last September.
Below: Revd Numata on a visit to Balliol in 2006, with Andrew Graham, Master of Balliol at the time.