The purpose of this study is to explore how the discourse of the Kamakura New Buddhism-centric historical view became the focus of Japanese Buddhism research in the Meiji and post-war periods. The works of scholars of post-war thoughts and Buddhism, such as Ienaga Saburo (1913–2002), Maruyama Masao (1914–1996), and Kuroda Toshio (1926–1993), are used as reference to clarify the following two questions: 1) The modernity origin of the Kamakura New Buddhism in the medieval age; 2) The significance of the universalizing shift of Kamakura New Buddhism represented by Shinran (1173–1263) and Eisai (also Yousai, 1141–1215). The Kamakura New Buddhism-centric historical view was started in the Meiji period when Shimaji Mokurai and other Jōdo Shinshū monks who sailed overseas actively responded to the modernization of Japan and compelled the Meiji government to publish the regulations on freedom of religion. Moreover, with the emergence of modern scientific thinking and post-war progressivism’s denial of superstition and Vajrayana mantras at the time, Kamakura New Buddhism was regarded as equivalent to the Protestant Reformation in Western Europe. Its innovation and modernity in terms of the concentration on meditative cultivation, easy progress, disconnection to mantras, no worship of gods, public relief, and anti-political power, had attracted the attention of scholars, who consequently tried to reseek the value of “basso ostinato” by looking back to the past. Maruyama Masao’s theory of Japanese intellectual history was formed from the “old layer” to the transcendence of the old layer. The “new layer” was established through the contact between the old layer and foreign cultures, and Buddhism was the first to attempt the concept of transcending the prototype. Shinran and Eisai, two representatives of Kamakura New Buddhism, are good examples. The former reinterpreted Buddhist scriptures and absorbed a large number of civilians, while the latter combined the Japanese Way of Tea with Chinese Zen and had it widely circulated among the samurai class. Both of them broke through the old conventions of aristocratic Buddhism and universalized Japanese Buddhism. From the two historical views of the old and the new Buddhism, it can be seen that the post-war Kamakura Buddhism research had an issue of common concern for how Japanese Buddhism moved towards the religious community that Benedict Anderson (1936–2015) argued by transcending from “Sectarian history” to “holistic history” as the goal.