He received his Ph.D. from Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut) in the Department of Religious Studies, where he specialized in Buddhist Studies under the direction of Professor Stanley Weinstein. In addition to Yale, he also received graduate training at the Institute of Health and Sport Science (Taiiku Kagaku Kenkyuka), Tsukuba University (Tsukuba, Japan), where he studied the intellectual history of martial arts in Japan under the direction of Professor Watanabe Ichiro, and at the Graduate School of Buddhist Studies, Komazawa University (Tokyo, Japan), where he studied Asian Religions under the direction of Professors Kagamishima Genryu and Ishikawa Rikizan.
His research spans the medieval, early modern, and contemporary periods of Japanese history. Currently he is investigating religion during the Tokugawa period, especially those aspects of Japanese culture associated with manuscripts, printing, secrecy, education, and proselytizing. Although many of his publications focus on Zen Buddhism (especially Soto Zen), he also researches Tendai and Vinaya Buddhist traditions, Shinto, folklore and popular religions, as well as Japanese martial arts and traditional approaches to health and physical culture.
He is a member of the editorial boards of "Cursor Mundi: Viator Studies of the Medieval and Early Modern World" (UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), "Studies in East Asian Buddhism" and "Classics in East Asian Buddhism" (Kuroda Institute). (Source Accessed June 30, 2021)