Buddhist practice in Turfan: BuddhistRoad team member Yukiyo Kasai receives venia legendi in the discipline of Central Asian Religions


Yukiyo Kasai, researcher in the ERC-funded BuddhistRoad project successfully delivered her inaugural lecture at the Midday Forum of the Faculty of East Asian Studies at RUB on April 13, 2022 and was awarded the venia legendi in the discipline of Central Asian Religions. The lecture, entitled “Buddhist Practice in the Turfan Oasis (10th–12th C.),” provided an overview of religious diversity among the Uyghurs and indicated Tocharian and Chinese influences in the reception of Buddhist practice. After receiving her habilitation from the Faculty of East Asian Studies at RUB on July 26, 2021, Yukiyo Kasai, together with Anke Scherer from the Faculty of East Asian Studies, will also teach a course this summer semester with the title “Japanese in the Tang Empire (618–907).”

Yukiyo Kasai began her doctoral studies at Osaka University (2001–2002), specialising in the field of the history of Uyghur Buddhism. She completed her dissertation at the Institute of Turkology, Freie Universität Berlin (2002–2005) and participated in the “Akademienvorhaben Turfanforschung” of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. After her PhD, Yukiyo Kasai conducted research as a fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (2006–2007) and the DFG (2008). From 2008 to 2016, she was research associate in the “Akademienvorhaben Turfanforschung” at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and was awarded the Prize for the Humanities at Göttingen Academy of Sciences in 2011. Her cumulative habilitation thesis, submitted to the Faculty of East Asian Studies at RUB in 2021, deals with religions in pre-Islamic Uyghur society (8th–14th centuries). It encompasses both philological and historical analysis, also with regard to the history of religions, and reflects her many years of research with these materials.