Zen and Japanese Culture

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9780691017709: Zen and Japanese Culture


One of this century's leading works on Zen, this book is a valuable source for those wishing to understand its concepts in the context of Japanese life and art. In simple, often poetic, language, Daisetz Suzuki describes what Zen is, how it evolved, and how its emphasis on primitive simplicity and self-effacement have helped to shape an aesthetics found throughout Japanese culture. He explores the surprising role of Zen in the philosophy of the samurai, and subtly portrays the relationship between Zen and swordsmanship, haiku, tea ceremonies, and the Japanese love of nature. Suzuki's contemplative discussion is enhanced by anecdotes, poetry, and illustrations showing silk screens, calligraphy, and examples of architecture.


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About the Author:

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki was Japan's foremost authority on Zen Buddhism and the author of over one hundred works on the subject. He was trained as a Buddhist disciple in the great Zen monastery at Kamakura. From 1897 to 1908 he worked in the United States as an editor and translator and later became a lecturer at Tokyo Imperial University. In 1950, at eighty, he returned to the United States and spent most of the decade teaching, lecturing, and writing, particularly at Columbia and Harvard. Returning to Japan, he died in Tokyo in 1966 at the age of ninety-five. Christopher Reed has been teaching Buddhism and Buddhist meditation for fifteen years. He received transmission as a Dharma teacher from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. He has been influenced by the tradition of socially/politically engaged Buddhism, and works toward the integration of traditional Buddhist teaching with the demands of everyday life. He is co-founder and director of the Ordinary Dharma Meditation Center of Los Angeles and the Manzanita Village Retreat Center in San Diego.

Review:

"As one turns the pages of this delightful book, one seems to catch intimations of how and why certain aspects of the "spirit of Zen' are making themselves felt in America today."--The New York Times

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Daisetz T. Suzuki
Published by Princeton University Press (1970)
ISBN 10: 0691017700 ISBN 13: 9780691017709
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