2010年8月21日土曜日

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's book "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is translated to Japanese

In 1970, Moriyama Roshi traveled San Francisco to assist Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in Soko-ji temple. At that time, Suzuki Roshi was also teaching American practitioners in San Francisco Zen Center.

Suzuki Roshi moved to United State in 1959 at the age of 55 to become the abbot of Soko-ji temple, a Soto Temple in San Francisco. Then, to accommodate growing number of American practitioners in 1960's, he established San Francisco Zen Center. "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" is the most popular book among English Zen Buddhism books written by Japanese Zen Masters, and is like one of Zen text books among western practitioners.  Because of the great popularity in United State, the book was translated into Japanese many years ago. Unfortunately, the book didn't receive similar popularity in Japan.

In this August 2010, 40th year since the publication of the original book, new version of Japanese translation of "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" was published. The translated book uses more plain daily Japanese words and much less special terms of Zen Buddhism. Some Japanese practioners or poeple who are used to read sutras and traditional Zen books may feel odd when reading the book with simple and plain words. On the other hand, for beginners, it is an excellent book.  The book helps reader to feel Zen Buddhism closer, and that Zen is not something far away from reader's daily life. Particularly, because of having less special terms of Zen Buddhism, readers can learn Zen Buddhism in a purer form, without introducing any prejudice and misunderstanding many Japanese have on Zen Buddhism.

Here is a video of Suzuki Roshi's Dharma talk in 1970 (San Francisco Zen Center). It is English version with plain English. Suzuki Roshi was occasionally mistaken for the Zen scholar D.T. Suzuki, to which Suzuki Roshi replied, "No, he is the big Suzuki, I'm the little Suzuki."

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