Lisa Levin

Lady Nijo and Nuns Today: Challenges and Opportunities
Comparative Literature & Interdisciplinary Field Studies
Fall 2013

Towazugatari (Confessions of Lady Nijo) is an autobiographical text by a woman who left her position in the Japanese medieval courts to become a Buddhist nun. At the First International Buddhist Nuns Conference in Paro (Bhutan), I will be discussing Nijo’s life as a nun in an interactive presentation. The conference will be attended by Buddhist nuns and scholars of Buddhism from around the world and promises to be a truly cross-cultural exchange. I aim to meet the conference’s mission to “inspire and empower the nuns” by generating discussion among the participants to compare their experiences to those chronicled by Nijo – the challenges faced by nuns today, and ways in which empowerment is possible despite them.