Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)Waseda University


YAO, Fumi


YAO, Fumi


Doctor of Letters


Assistant Professor



Monthly Spotlight

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Excavating Sutras: In Search of Ancient Indian Buddhist Scriptures Fumi Yao, Assistant Professor

Research Topic

Sūtras” embedded in the Vinayavastu and the Kṣudrakavastu of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya

I am working on Buddhist monastic law codes called Vinaya, and especially focus on the Vinaya of a school called Mūlasarvāstivāda, which is said to have once flourished in and around India.
Although each of Indian Buddhist schools seems to have transmitted its canon consisting of three divisions, namely, the Sūtrapiṭaka, the Vinayapiṭaka, and the Abhidharmapiṭaka, only some parts of these schools’ canons are extant. The Mūlasarvāstivāda’s Sūtrapiṭaka is only partially preserved, whereas their Vinayapiṭaka survives in its entirety. Interestingly, there are a considerable number of sūtras, i.e. components of the Sūtrapiṭaka, embedded in this Vinaya. This fact means that even though the majority of the Sūtrapiṭaka no longer exists, we can obtain part of it through a survey of the Vinayapiṭaka.
Today, the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya survives in Sanskrit manuscripts, a Tibetan translation, and a Chinese translation. Through extracting sūtras from these materials and analyzing their relationships with parallel texts and the context of the Vinaya, I would like to clarify what was in the lost Sūtrapiṭaka of the Mūlasarvāstivāda.

Education and Academic Employment

2000-2004 BA, Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, the University of Tokyo
2004-2006 MA, Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, the University of Tokyo
2006-2010 PhD, Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, the University of Tokyo
2010-2012 Project Researcher, the University of Tokyo
2012-2015 JSPS Research Fellow, Hanazono University
2015-2017 JSPS Research Fellow, McMaster University
2017- Assistant Professor, Waseda Institute for Advanced Studies, Waseda University

Fields of Research Interests

Indian Buddhism

Academic Publications
  • Fumi Yao, Konponsetsuissaiuburitsu Yakuji [The Bhaiṣajyavastu of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya (annotated Japanese translation)] Tokyo, 2013
  • Fumi Yao, “The Story of Dharmadinnā: Ordination by Messenger in the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya,” Indo-Iranian Journal 58(3), 2015
  • Fumi Yao, “A Preliminary Report on the Newly Found Sanskrit Manuscript Fragments of the Bhaiṣajyavastu of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya,” Indian Logic 8, 2015
  • Fumi Yao, “Dharmadinnā Becomes a Nun: A Story of Ordination by Messenger from the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya, Translated from the Tibetan version.” Asian Literature and Translation 4(1), 2017
  • Fumi Yao, “Two Sanskrit Manuscripts of the Mūlasarvāstivādin Bhaiṣajyavastu from Gilgit.” WIAS Research Bulletin 10. 2018
  • Fumi Yao, “Konponsetsuissaiuburitsu yakuji no shinshutsu shahon: genson jōkyō, kōsei no mondai, girugitto shahon tono kankei [The Newly Identified Manuscript of the Bhaiṣajyavastu of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya: Its Present Status, Structure, and Relationship with the Gilgit Manuscript].” Bukkyōgaku 60, 2019, pp. (1) – (19)
Other Interests


Affiliated Academic Organizations

Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies
International Association of Buddhist Studies
Japanese Association for Religious Studies
Association of Buddhist Philosophy
The Institute of Eastern Culture


2013: The 55th JAIBS Prize, the Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies.

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