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.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Kongoji in Koyasan 天野山金剛寺

Photo by Jiang Wu
Photo by Jiang Wu

During our study tour in June 2017, we visited the Shingon temple Amanosan Kongoji 天野山金剛寺 to survey the location where a manuscript canon used to be stored. The temple has a long history and was founded by Emperor Shomu 聖武. It was said Kukai 空海 was trained here as well. The courtyard has a beautiful garden. About four thousand scrolls of manuscript texts are preserved and among them are rare copies. For a short review by OCHIAI Toshinori 落合俊典, see 日本の古寫經と中國佛教文獻 ― 天野山金剛寺藏平安後期寫 『優婆塞五戒經 の成立と流傳を巡って.

Amanosan kongoji zenpon sokan
Author: 後藤昭雄監修. 後藤, 昭雄, 後藤, 昭雄, 仁木, 夏実 中川, 真弓 ; ; Akio Goto; Natsumi Niki; Mayumi Nakagawa
Publisher: 勉誠出版, Benseishuppan.

Photo by Jiang Wu

Photo by Jiang Wu

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Jissō-in 実相院 and Emperor Gomizunoo 後水尾天皇

During our Kyoto tour in June 2017, we visited Jissō-in 実相院 in the Iwakura district. This is a small but beautiful temple with deep connection to the imperial household in early Edo period, especially with Emperor Gomizunoo 後水尾天皇 (Master Yinyuan's disciple and dharma heir) and his wife Tōfuku-mon'in 東福門院, formerly Tokugawa Masako (徳川和子, 1607–1678). I brought a replica of the Emperor's calligraphy. It was close to Iwakura Tomomi's old residence.

Here is a book on this place.
京都実相院門跡 /
Kyōto Jissōin Monzeki
Author: 編集宇野日出生. 宇野日出生, ; ; Hideo Uno; Jissōin (Kyoto, Japan); Kyōto-fu Kyōto Bunka Hakubutsukan,
Publisher: 思文閣出版, Kyōto-shi : Shibunkaku Shuppan, 2016.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

2017 China-Canada-US Buddhist Forum at Cham Shan Temple in Toronto

I am glad to attend the China-Canada-Buddhist Forum organized by Cham Shan Temple 湛山精舍 in Toronto from June 15-22 2017.
I presented my research on Yinyuan and the Nagasaki overseas Chinese community 日本黄檗宗開山祖師中國禅僧隐元隆琦東渡之謎再探:以長崎的禪宗與海外華人社區為中心.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Miidera 三井寺 and the Revolving Canon 輪藏

We are glad to visit the Tendai monastery Miidera 三井寺 or Onjoji園城寺, which is one of the most famous temples in Japan. It was burnt down and rebuilt several times and the current structure was built in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century.  What attracted me is the device of the Revolving Canon 輪藏 which was moved here in 1602. It is supposed to hold the entire Goryeo Canon or Tripitaka Koreana but can not revolve. The device was invented by Fudashi 傅大士 in China in the sixth century. The altar for him and his two sons has disappeared. I have a discussion about this device in my paper collected in Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asian: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon.
Here is the full reference:
From the "Cult of the Book" to the "Cult of the Canon": A Neglected Tradition in Chinese Buddhism, by Jiang Wu
In Wu, Jiang and Lucille Chia. 2015. Spreading buddha's word in east asia: The formation and transformation of the chinese buddhist canon. New York: Columbia University Press.
Photo by Jiang Wu

Photo by Jiang Wu

Photo by Jiang Wu

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Iwakura Mansion 岩倉具視幽棲旧宅 and Taigaku Archive 対岳文庫

Photo by Jiang Wu
I happened to be in the region close to the Old Iwakura Mansion 岩倉具視幽棲旧宅 where Iwakura Tomomi 岩倉具視 (1825 –1883), the major plotter of the Meiji restoration, lived in exile before the restoration. It is a nice compound with an achieve of historical materials (Taigaku Archive 対岳文庫) related to him. I have been working on the relationship between him and the Obaku canon 黄檗藏 he sent to the India Office Library in London after his famous travel in America and Europe in 1872. Although I didn't find anything in the archive, it was nice to visit the place in such a pleasant weather.
Photo by Jiang Wu

Photo by Jiang Wu

Photo by Jiang Wu

Monday, June 5, 2017

Eizan Bunko 叡山文庫 and Tenkai Canon 天海藏

We are glad to visit Eizan Bunko at Enryakuji 比叡山延暦寺. Although we mostly examine Shingon texts in the twelvth century, it is a treasure of Buddhist texts, including a complete Tenkai canon 天海藏 carved with movable types. This canon was carved before the Tetsugen Obaku Canon and was not researched very well. It seems that this edition in Eizan was donated by the Obaku monk Ryōō 了翁. See a few references below.

天海蔵について : 日光天海蔵を中心に

叡山文庫文書絵図目錄 /
Eizan Bunko monjo ezu mokuroku

Author: 延暦寺編. ; Eizan Bunko.; Enryakuji (Ōtsu-shi, Japan)
Publisher: 臨川書店, Kyōto-shi : Rinsen Shoten, Heisei 6 [1994]

Author: 長沢 規矩也
Edition/Format: Article Article
Publication: 日本古書通信 / 日本古書通信社 [編]. v30 n10 (1965-10):

叡山文庫天海蔵識語集成 /
Eizan Bunko Tenkaizō shikigo shūsei
Author: 天海, 1536-1643. 叡山文庫調查会編著. ; Tenkai; Eizan Bunko Chōsakai.
Publisher: [叡山文庫調查会], [Kyoto] : [Eizan Bunko Chōsakai], Heisei 12 [2000]

新抄物資料集成 /
Shin Shōmono shiryō shūsei
Author: 大塚光信編. 惟高妙安, 大塚光信, ; ; Ikō Myōan; Mitsunobu Ōtsuka
Publisher: 清文堂, Ōsaka-shi : Seibundō, 2000-

Author: 渡辺 麻里子; ワタナベ マリコ; Watanabe Mariko
Edition/Format: Article Article : Japanese
Publication: 山家学会紀要 / 山家学会 [編]. n9 (2007-7): 21-36

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Special Exhibition on Fushimi castle and Yodo castle 伏見城と淀城 at Kyoto City Archaeological Museum 京都市考古資料館

During my stay in Kyoto, there was a special exhibition on the Fushimi castle and Yodo castle 伏見城と淀城 at Kyoto City Archaeological Museum 京都市考古資料館. Because Manpukuji 萬福寺 is located close to these two strategic towns in southern Kyoto, it is very important to understand the history of these two castles. The rise of these two castles has a lot to do with the transportation, fishing industry, and military actions during the Edo period. In front of the museum, there was a huge stele on Nishijin 西陣 textile. The building used to be a museum for Nishijin textile industry.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Manuscript Buddhist Canon in Matsuo Shrine 松尾大社 and Myorenji 妙蓮寺 May 29 2017

As part of the Canadian project "From the Ground up," one of our missions in Japan is to investigate the Matsuo Canon  松尾社一切經 preserved in Myorenji  妙蓮寺. According to George Keyworth, the copies were commissioned by the Hata 秦 clan around the early twelfth century and were stored in the Matsuo Shinto Shrine 松尾大社. After their creation, the copies were checked by monks from Enryakuji 延暦寺 and Miidera 三井寺 , which we also visited and seem to have formed a monastic network. They were added continuously in later times and in the late nineteenth century were purchased by Myorenji where 3545 rolls of the canon were discovered in 1993. It was a great experience to examine these precious scriptures.

Here are a few references for research.

Apocryphal Chinese books in the Buddhist canon at Matsuo Shintō shrine by George A. Keyworth

日本現存八種一切経対照目錄 /
Nihon genzon hasshu Issaikyō taishō mokuroku
Author: 国際仏教学大学院大学学術フロンティア実行委員会. ; ; Kokusai Bukkyōgaku Daigakuin Daigaku Gakujutsu Furontia Jikkō Iinkai.
Publisher: 国際仏教学大学院大学学術フロンティア実行委員会, Tōkyō : Kokusai Bukkyōgaku Daigakuin Daigaku Gakujutsu Furontia Jikkō Iinkai, Heisei 18 [2006]

京都妙蓮寺蔵「松尾社一切経」調查報告書 /
Kyōto Myōrenji zō "Matsuosha issaikyō" chōsa hōkokusho
Author: [編集中尾堯]. 中尾堯, ; ; Takashi Nakao; Myōrenji (Kyoto, Japan)
Publisher: 大塚巧芸社, Tōkyō : Ōtsuka Kōgeisha, Heisei 9 [1997]

Myorenji Garden. photo by Jiang Wu

Matsuo Shrine Garden

Matsuo Shrine