Ronald Y. Nakasone is heir to the age-old East Asian literati tradition that encourages self-cultivation, self-transformation, and self-realization through scholarship, community involvement, and the arts. An academic, he has produced more than 150 scholarly publications on Buddhist doctrine, ethics, aesthetics, aging and spirituality, and Ryūkyūan (Okinawan) Studies. His books include, Ethics of Enlightenment (Dharma Cloud Publishers, 1900), Okinawa Diaspora (Hawai‘i, 2010), Asian American Religious Cultures (co-editor, ABC-CLIO, 2015).
Students and colleagues contributed essays to Memory and Imagination, Essays and Explorations in Buddhist Thought and Culture (Nagata, 2010), a festschrift that commemorated his completion of one life cycle (60 years) according to the Chinese zodiac. He is a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, and a long-time faculty at the Stanford University Center for Geriatric Education (1990-2012).
Born and raised in Hawai‘i, he studied at University of Hawai‘i, Ryūkoku University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Harvard University. He received special recognition from the Thai Royal family for contributions to Buddhist studies in 2008 and was the recipient of the 2011 Sarlo Excellence in Teaching from the GTU. He is an ordained Jōdo Shinshū (Pure Land) priest.
His webpage is: http://www.formlessform.net/exhibits. A short video, “A Calligrapher’s Pilgrimage” can be seen at the following site: vimeo.com/106988457. “Ron Nakasone on the Art of Sho” can be accessed at http://www.conversations.org/story.php?sid=441. His views on aging and spirituality are articulated in an interview, “Spiritual Genealogy Inspires Gratitude,” Aging Horizons, September/October; it can be accessed at http://aginghorizons.com/2013/09/interview-spiritual-genealogy-inspires-gratitude/.
Some of his publications on the art and aesthetics on the art of sho are:
2016 “Beauty Is the Color of Truth: The Aesthetic Geography of the Art of Sho.” In Religion: Material Culture. Jonathan Vereecke, ed. McMillian Reference.
2014 “On Learning and Teaching the Art of Sho (calligraphy),” Spotlight on Teaching Religions and Religiosity. American Academy of Religion, vol. 19 no., https://www.aarweb.org/publications/rsn-may-2014-on-learning-and-teaching-the-art-of-sho-calligraphy
2011 “Formless-form: the aesthetics of sho (calligraphy).” Arts in Religion and Theological Studies, 21(2): 4-11.