Hisao Inagaki was born in 1929 in Kobe. He is Professor Emeritus of the Ryukoku University in Kyoto (Japan). He received his PhD from the University of London and taught Buddhism at the university. He returned to Japan to become a professor at the Ryukoku University.
In addition he served as a visiting professor at the University of California (Berkeley), the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Aside from teaching, Inagaki also held offices for the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies and has written numerous books.
He was the recipient of the 43rd Bukkyo Dendo Distinguished Service Award. The honour is presented to personalities who have made important contributions to the promotion of Buddhism.