Daiun Sōgaku Harada


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An influential Sōtō zen master of the modern period. He was born in Obama city (Fukui prefecture) on 13 October 1871, and ordained as a Sōtō monk in 1883. From 1911 till 1923, he was a professor of Sōtō-shū Daigakurin (later to become Komazawa University) after completing his own course of studies there. He became the abbot in the Hosshin-ji temple in 1924, and also served as the abbot of a number of other temples. Harada was eclectic and modernizing, and sought to transcend traditional Sōtō–Rinzai sectarian rivalries in order to utilise the strong points of both schools. Thus, unlike most Sōtō monks, he made use of kōans and encouraged students to work actively towards enlightenment (bodhi). His disciple Hakuun Yasutani was instrumental in transmitting the Zen tradition to America after his arrival there in 1962.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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