Dr. Baskind received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2006. His area of academic research is Japanese Buddhism and culture, with a focus on how Chinese models—represented by the Obaku School—were received in Edo-period Japan. Other areas of research and writing include Buddhist-Christian interaction in early modern Japan, as well as the Zen/Pure Land dialectic as it pertains to Japanese Buddhist discourse. His current project critically examines tea culture in East Asia, and how it became widely perceived as inextricably linked with Zen and its associated arts. Most recently he held the position of Associate Professor of Japanese Thought at Nagoya City University in Nagoya, Japan. While in Japan his research was supported by numerous grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Apart from his academic pursuits he has also studied and practiced the tea ceremony (both sencha and matcha) as well as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which he currently teaches. In addition, he has nearly completed a book on the cultural history of jiu-jitsu, entitled, Jiu-jitsu: A History of Soft Power.