Book

Purifying Zen

Tetsuro Watsuji

Published by University of Hawaii Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780824835101
Published online November 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780824868505
Purifying Zen

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In 1223 the monk Dōgen Kigen (1200–1253) came to the conclusion that Japanese Buddhism had become hopelessly corrupt. He undertook a dangerous pilgrimage to China to bring back a purer form of Buddhism and went on to become one of the founders of Sōtō Zen. Seven hundred years later, the philosopher Watsuji Tetsurō (1889–1960) also saw corruption in the Buddhism of his day. In his search for Japan's intellectual past, Watsuji discovered writings by Dōgen that had been hidden away by the monk's own sect. Watsuji later penned Shamon Dōgen (Dōgen the monk), which single-handedly rescued Dōgen from the brink of obscurity, reintroducing Japan to its first great philosophical mind. This book is the first English translation of Watsuji's landmark text, which delves into the complexities of individuals in social relationships, lamenting the stark egoism and loneliness of life in an increasingly Westernized Japan. It considers the nature of faith and the role of responsibility in Watsuji's vision of Dōgen's Zen. It also examines the technical terms of Dōgen's philosophy and the role of written language in Dōgen's thought.

Keywords: faith; Dōgen Kigen; Japanese Buddhism; Sōtō Zen; Watsuji Tetsurō; egoism; Shamon Dōgen; Westernized Japan; responsibility

Book.  192 pages. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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Table of Contents

Introductions in Purifying Zen

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Notes on the Translation in Purifying Zen

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Preface in Purifying Zen

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The First Sermon in Purifying Zen

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Concerning Excellence in Purifying Zen

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Concerning Social Problems in Purifying Zen

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Criticism of Art in Purifying Zen

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