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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
92 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Bdk ameriCa Taking advantage of Japan’s rapid expansion of manufacturing dur ing the midtwentieth century, Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata returned to his home country after studying in California to start a profitable business that specialized in crafting measuring instruments, such as calipers and micrometers. He named his company the Mitutoyo Cor poration, “mitutoyo” meaning “three abundances,” which refers to Buddhism’s three jewels: buddha, dharma, and sangha. In December 1965, having firmly established Mitutoyo Corpora tion, Numata undertook his lifelong dream of sharing Buddhism with the world by founding Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, a private foun dation dedicated to the promotion of Buddhism. BDK America was founded in 1978 as the foundation’s first overseas affiliate. Today, it is a leading supporter of Buddhist academics, literature, and educa tion in the West. “Our goal has never been to convert anyone to Buddhism,” says Rev. Brian Nagata, director of education for BDK America. “Our goal, like our founder’s, is simply to introduce Buddhist thought.” Inspired by the Gideon Bibles that Numata saw in hotel rooms, BDK’s first project was the development and distribution of Teach- ings of the Buddha, commonly known as the “Buddhist Bible.” The book, with its bright orange rising sun on the cover, can be found in hotels, schools, prisons, military facilities, and hospitals around the world. Translated into fortyeight languages, the book has more than 9.5 million copies in circulation. Next, Numata aimed to translate the entire Chinese Buddhist canon into English. To support this project, he established the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research in California,