Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Poet Henry Shukman and his Buddhist Lineage

Glad to have the award-winning poet Henry Shukman to give a talk at UA Center for Buddhist Studies. He belonged to Sanbo Kyodan (三宝教団 Sanbō Kyōdan, literally "Three Treasures Religious Organization") which was founded by the Japanese teachers Ryōkō Yasutani (安谷 量衡) and Hakuun Yasutani (安谷 白雲 Yasutani Haku'un, 1885–1973).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

University of Arizona Launches Center for Buddhist Studies

We are happy to announce the founding of Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Arizona.
See this special report at

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Yinyuan's Mount Fuji Garden at Manpukuji

I was delighted to peek inside the East Abbot's Compound 東方丈 at Manpukuji when I visited Kyoto in early June 2017. If I am right, the garden is the famous Mount Fuji Garden Yinyuan built. Yinyuan felt deep affection towards Mount Fuji 富士山 and wrote several poems about it. See my another post Yinyuan and Mount Fuji.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meeting Thomas Kirchner at Hanazono and Rinzairoku Documents from Ruth Sasaki

Thanks to George Keyworth's arrangement, on June 2 2017 we visited Thomas Kirchner, an American Zen monk at Hanazono University International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism 花園大学国際禅学研究所. He has worked with Ruth Fuller Sasaki to translate Linji Yixuan's Record of Linji 臨濟錄, which is available for download from here. (I wrote a review of the book in. Journal of Chinese Religion, vol. 37 (2009): 133—138. ) He told us a lot of personal stories about working with Ruth Sasaki, Iriya Yoshitaka 入矢義高 , and Yanagida Seizan 柳田聖山(also known as Yokoi). He also showed us several binders of original translations and notes. These are all part of modern Zen history and need to be rescued from dust collecting.

Iriya Yoshitaka Notes to Rinzai roku, photo by Jiang Wu

Yanagida Seizan's note and translation, photo by Jiang Wu
Yanagida Seizan's note and translation, photo by Jiang Wu
Yanagida Seizan's note and translation, photo by Jiang Wu
Yanagida Seizan's note and translation, photo by Jiang Wu
Ruth Sasaki's note and translation, photo by Jiang Wu

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Obaku Exhibition at Manpukuji Bunkaden 黄檗山の名宝と河口慧海生誕152年記念・松本章男寄贈資料記念展

It was my great pleasure to attend the special Obaku Art Exhibition at Manpukuji Bunkaden 黄檗山の名宝と河口慧海生誕152年記念・松本章男寄贈資料記念展 which marked the 152th birthday of the Obaku monk-traveler Kawaguchi Ekai 河口慧海 and was supplemented by books donated by author and essayist Matsumoto Akio 松本章男. Although it was late, Tanaka Chisei 田中智誠 osho extended the exhibition for a week to allow me, Prof. Narusawa Katsushi 成澤勝嗣 and his students from Waseda University to see it. Many thanks to Tanaka san's guide and Ms. Yang Kuei-hsiang's 楊桂香 translation.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Special exhibition on Emperor Gomizunoo 後水尾天皇 at Furuta Oribe Art Museum 古田織部美術館

In June 2017, I visited a special exhibition on the influence of Furuta Oribe 古田織部 on Emperor Gomizunoo 後水尾天皇 and his wife at Furuta Oribe Art Museum 古田織部美術館. It is entitled "Oribe's Lingering Influence: Emperor Gomizunoo and Empress Tofukumonin" 織部の遺響~後水尾天皇と東福門院和子. The emperor married Tokugawa Hidetada's daughter Tokugawa Masako 徳川和子, also known as the Tōfuku mon-in 東福門院. The emperor was listed as Yinyuan's dharma heir through Yinyuan's Japanese disciple Ryukei Shosen 龍溪性潛 (1602-1670). I have discussions in my book Leaving for the Rising Sun. I also bought a ceramic tea cup made by Sasaki Jiro 佐々木二郎 from the museum.