Skip to content Skip to footer

Our History

Establishment of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai in Berkeley, CA

Establishment of the Society for the Advancement of Buddhist Understanding (predecessor of BDK America) to initially distribute copies of “The Teaching of Buddha” within the continental United States to hotels, motels, schools and the public.  Thus far, world wide distribution is over 9 million copies in 43 different language versions.


Tripitaka Project

Inauguration of the BDK English Tripitaka Project which Rev. Dr. Numata undertook to start the translation of the Buddhist Canon from classical Chinese into English so that the teachings of the Buddha could be shared with western societies.


Establishment of the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research

Rev. Dr. Numata established the first Numata Program in Buddhist Studies at his alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, from which he had graduated some sixty years earlier.  Currently, there are 17 programs in major universities in North America and Europe.

In order to coordinate the work on the BDK English Tripitaka Project between committees in Tokyo and the US, as well as  working with the universities holding Numata Programs in Buddhist Studies, the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research was established in Berkeley, CA.


Toshi Award

Establishment of the Toshihide Numata Book Prize in Buddhist Literature by BDK America in honor of BDK Chairman Toshihide Numata (1933-2017), awarded for the best academic book on Buddhism selected by an impartial academic selection committee.


BDK America, Inc.

The operations and management of the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research were merged together with BDK America, and BDK America becoming the remaining organization.

BDK America operations are moved to a new office in Moraga, CA.


Berkeley, CA
Moraga, CA

BDK America

BDK America is the U.S. branch of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai, the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism, an international organization with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.  As a non-sectarian organization, BDK promotes better understandings of Buddhism through its publications, community activities, and academic programs at major universities.

We Serve the United States

BDK America distributes The Teaching of Buddha and other books to hotels, temples, schools, prisons and other organizations throughout our nation.  We also sponsor programs at temples within and outside of California, and support Ekoji Buddhist Temple on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.  BDK America has established Numata Programs in Buddhist Studies at eight American universities, including Harvard and Princeton. 

We Serve Moraga and Berkeley

BDK America has offices in Moraga and Berkeley, CA.  Our local programs include exhibitions, symposiums, and classes in the Japanese cultural arts. 


Translation Project
Numata Programs in Buddhist Studies
Toshi Award
In Memory

Latest Photos