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Noiri (Hakusan) Kōjun rōshi (1914-2007)

*Formal photograph of Kôjun Noiri rôshi (Shimada, 1967)
taken for his disciple, Gabor Terebess (
元祥 Shaku Genshō)

Zenpan 禅板
Álltámasz ülve alváshoz
Chin rest with calligraphy by Kôjun Noiri rôshi > more calligraphies by him
size/mérete: 48 x 6,6 x 1 cm (circle/lyuk átmérő: 3,5 cm; talpától a lyukig: 38 cm)

A board used to provide support during
zazen (seated meditation) so that the
meditator can rest or even nap while
seated in the lotus position. The board
is long and narrow, measuring approximately
21 inches long (52 cm), 2.4
inches wide (6 cm), and less than half
an inch thick (10 mm). The zenpan has
a small, round hole cut toward the top.
In some cases, a cord was passed
through the hole and attached to wall
behind, such that the person meditating
could rest on a diagonal against the
flat of the board. Today, it is rested flat
across the knees or used as a chin rest to
prop up the head.

The circle, ensō (円相) symbolizes the absolute enlightenment and the void.
A kör alakú lyuk az ürességet, a megvilágosulást jelképezi.

不 fu
覆 fuku
蔵 zō

"Do not hide your mind under a cover."
"Ne född el a szíved!"


Personal seal impressions of Kôjun Noiri rôshi


The zen lineage chart of Noiri rôshi


Hakoussan Koojun / Noiri Roshi
Source: www.multimania.com/lademeure/maitres.htm

Kojun Roshi (roshi: vieux Maître; titre honorifique) est maintenant agé de 85 ans. Il vit au temple de Kanyo-an.* C'est maintenant sa disciple, Myozen Terayama Roshi, qui s'occupe du temple et des disciples.
Kojun Roshi est célebre au japon pour 2 choses: d'une part... sa sévérite envers ses disciples! C'est un maître stict, qui a dédié toute sa vie au Dharma.
Il a suivi les préceptes des moines, sans famille, mais aupres de son Maître puis avec ses disciples.
Il a reçu l'enseignement des Maîtres de l'Ecole Soto et il a retransmis a tous les disciples assez courageux pour affronter la force de la "Montagne Blanche" (Haku San).
Il a eu deux successeurs, la nonne Myozen Roshi et Moriyama Roshi.
Il est également un grand lettré, spécialiste des caracteres chinois. Il fut le premier a faire imprimer les poemes écrits en chinois par Maître Dogen, le Eiheikoroku. Comme une grande montagne, Kojun Roshi passe quotidiennement une grande partie de la journée en méditation.

* 静岡県 Shizuoka-ken, 島田市 Shimada-shi, 御請 Ouke : 官養庵 Kan'yōan


Hakuzan Koojun (nombre de monje)
Noiri Roshi (nombre de familia)


Kojun Roshi (Roshi es un título honorífico: viejo Maestro) vive en el templo de Kanyo-an. Su discípula Myozen Terayama Roshi es la que se ocupa del templo y de sus discípulos.
Kojun Roshi es célebre en Japón por 2 cosas: por un lado, su severidad hacia sus discípulos, es un maestro muy estricto, que dedicó toda su vida al Dharma.
Siguió los preceptos de los monjes, sin familia, cerca de su Maestro, recibiendo la ensenanza de los maestros de la Escuela Soto y luego él a su vez la retransmitió a todos aquellos discípulos lo suficientemente valientes como para enfrentar la fuerza de la "Montana Blanca" (Hakusan)
Dejó dos sucesores: la monja Myozen Terayama Roshi y Daigyo Moriyama Roshi
Kojun Roshi es muy ilustrado, especialista en los caracteres chinos. Fue el primero en hacer imprimir los poemas de Dogen, escritos en chino, el Eiheikoroku.
Como una gran montana pasa gran parte de su jornada en meditación

Poema de Noiri Roshi:

La trasmisión correcta
es la prosternación
en signo de gratitud

El Despertar correcto es el verdadero Maestro

Cuando la fe pura aparece
práctica y acción correcta
no son más que una

Sobre el techo
de tejas azules
la luna
como una pelota de niño

Noiri zen mester verse:

a helyes tanátadás
csak le kell borulni
hálás köszönettel

igazi mestered
a helyes magadra-eszmélés

tiszta hit fényében
a helyes lelkigyakorlat és tett
egy és ugyanaz

kékcserepes tetőn
egy kisgyerek labdája
a hold


A 1973 interview with Hakusan Kojun Noiri discussing Shunryu Suzuki

These are the exact notes that were taken that day as I received them in 1994 from Peter Schneider.

Hoichi is Hoitsu Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki's oldest son and dharma heir. Peter and Jane are Peter and Jane Schneider. Peter had been ordained as a priest by Suzuki. Carl Bielefeldt was a student of Suzuki's who went to Japan to study Zen and who there married Fumiko. He is now a highly respected Soto Zen and Buddhist scholar and professor at Stanford University.

Noiri Roshi is a highly respected priest in the Soto sect in Japan. I know this because of how highly Soto monks I knew spoke of him when I was there. Daiji and other monks at Shogoji in Kyushu, Japan, where I was in 1988 thought of Noiri as the most respected living Soto Zen priest. I think the word "revered" would be appropriate. In the introduction to Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Richard Baker said of Shunryu Suzuki that he was "already a respected Zen master in Japan." Noiri is the only Soto priest I know of who seems to concur. But that's a pretty good recommendation.

Today, August 9, 2005, I put these notes on cuke.com - DC


[Hoichi-San, Peter, Fumiko, Carl Bielefeldt, Jane talking about their untaped meeting with Noiri]

Beginning in 1946 the temple of Kishizawa-roshi, Gyokudenin, is a temple under Rinsoin. Consequently at New Year's time there was a natural connection between the two temples. Moreover Kishizawa-roshi was great Zen Master of the time, so he had a lot of contact with Rinsoin, even though Rinsoin was above his temple in the hierarchy. So Suzuki-roshi had the position of Koshi at Kasuisai [How many monks were there? What was it like there?] and after So-on-roshi's [Suzuki's 1st teacher] death (1 or 2 years after[?]) he went to Rinsoin.

Peter: What was Suzuki-roshi's function as Koshi?

Noiri: Teach meditation to Unsui [new monks], lecturer on the Buddhist priest's life, etc.

Peter: Did he live there? Kasuisai or Zounin?

Noiri: He was head at Zounin and lived there and went nearby to Kasuisai to teach.

Because of fact of being head of Rinsoin, he never lived with Kishizawa-roshi and didn't commit himself to Kishizawa-roshi as his disciple, but as head of Rinsoin had to attend to his own duties, but went to Kishizawa-roshi when some crisis or turning point in his own practice came up or for a question.

Suzuki-roshi forty years younger than Kishizawa-roshi.

In addition to relation they had (because Suzuki-roshi head of Rinsoin) Suzuki-roshi came to Kishizawa-roshi for his own questions and also he came once a month to Kishizawa-roshi lectures. Suzuki-roshi came as often as possible to those. So basically he (Suzuki-roshi) had those two types of student relationship with Kishizawa-roshi.

Carl: Were the lectures of Kishizawa-roshi at that time on Shobogenzo?

The group that met once a month in which Suzuki-roshi often participated were made up of Kishizawa-roshi students who for one reason or another were unable to live and practice full time with Kishizawa-roshi. The lectures were about Zen precepts. The group of such students formed this group to continue studying with him.

In Suzuki-roshi's shinsanshiki [mountain seat ceremony u installing him as abbot of Rinsoin] (usually person makes his own verse in ceremony) since he had such a highly respected and famous teacher, he (Suzuki-roshi) asked Kishizawa-roshi to write his verse for him, which was very unusual to do. Even though Suzuki-roshi was able to do it, Kishizawa-roshi did and this is now in his memoirs (Kishizawa-roshi's) [Can we get that?].

Rinsoin had a jukai [lay ordination ceremony] after his shinsanshiki (2 or 3 days after) and 300 or 400 people gathered at Rinsoin for one week. Suzuki-roshi thought this was a good opportunity to give Kishizawa-roshi's dharma to everyone. Kishizawa-roshi led this week session. These are examples of how Suzuki-roshi efforts to spread Kishizawa-roshi teachings to many people.

Big precept ceremony at Jokoji and Suzuki-roshi went there as head of Rinsoin and most important person there. He was surrounded by many older and more experienced people all who were watching him. Suzuki-roshi's bearing through the ceremony (he was leading it) was very strong and profound and demonstrated how much he understood meditation. Particularly how he opened his bowing mat, zagu.

Spring 1949 lectures by Kishizawa-roshi on Gakudo Yoginsu[?] and Jissoku[?] given at Rinsoin. [see immediately below]


Examples of the way in which Suzuki-roshi took every opportunity to spread Kishizawa-roshi's teaching. And the one example that he said was famous or not famous but important in the history of Soto Zen was that Kishizawa-roshi had discovered a text by Dogen called the Gakudo Yojin Jissoku[?] which was a new version. So Suzuki-roshi asked him to lecture on the texts at Rinsoin. And so for ten days they had a lecture thing with he thinks around 30 people or more of Kishizawa-roshi's disciples at Rinsoin. And this was, Noiri-roshi thinks, a sort of crucial event in the history of the scholarship of Dogen's studies.

Another story that Noiri told about the relationship of Kishizawa-roshi and Suzuki-roshi, said to demonstrate Kishizawa-roshi's special kind of strictness also. Shortly after Suzuki-roshi had his shinsanshiki at Rinsoin, at the jukai 3 days later, over 400 people to receive layman's precepts, which goes on for a week to ten days. And Kishizawa-roshi came to that. And in the middle of that ceremony he scolded Suzuki-roshi, criticized him in front of everybody, for something he had done during the ceremony. Noiri-roshi wasn't in the room at the time of the ceremony so he doesn't know what it was. Hoitsu also didn't know, but his interpretation of it is that Kishizawa-roshi wanted to correct the entire ceremony, all the people in the ceremony, he wanted to give them some lesson, and he singled out Suzuki-roshi who was the top person there, the person who was responsible for everything and scolded him in front of everyone right in the middle of the ceremony. And in that way gave a lesson to everyone in the most dramatic possible fashion.

But Suzuki-roshi immediately took the position of representative of the whole group and accepted the scolding with a gasho, without any anger, and Noiri-roshi gave this as an example of something that couldn't happen in an ordinary social situation. A Master couldn't, an ordinary person wouldn't scold someone in that situation, and the person who was scolded couldn't respond with that kind of understanding of not taking it personally.

Carl: Noiri Roshi said without the precepts as given to you by a true teacher, that the sanmai, samadhi, that a student has is not the true samadhi passed down (from the patriarchs) .

This is the meaning of Noiri Roshi's example of precept teaching, making the implication that Kishizawa-roshi and Suzuki-roshi were in the proper student-teacher relationship.

Carl: Noiri Roshi also said that Kishizawa-roshi understood that Suzuki-roshi was strong enough to stand up as representative of the whole group, and be criticized in that way, that he had confidence in Suzuki-roshi to single him out and criticize him in front of everyone.

As an example of how impressed Noiri-roshi was with Suzuki-roshi, Noiri Roshi gave the time when there was another lay precepts ceremony at Jokoji, a famous temple, to which many famous priests came, and since Jokoji was a subtemple of Rinsoin, in the very middle day of the precept ceremony, there was a part to which Suzuki-roshi had to come and be the leader, and Noiri-roshi was there at that time and said that what struck him about Suzuki-roshi was that perfection with which he carried himself. The way he moved, the way he handled his zagu, the way he bowed, these kinds of things were so perfect and the tempo just right for the situation, that he felt that this kind of perfection could not have been achieved in one lifetime, but was based on his practice from previous lives.

In trying to describe Suzuki-roshi's special quality, Noiri-roshi said, that if you make a kind of artificial distinction in enlightenment, you can say that there are basically two types. One is the bodhi-type enlightenment, and the other the Nirvana-type enlightenment, and roughly the Rinzai style enlightenment can be called the bodhi-style and Dogen's enlightenment can be called the Nirvana. And this type of Nirvana-enlightenment has come down from Shakyamuni Buddha, a very profound stillness or peace that characterizes this kind of enlightenment was characteristic of Suzuki-roshi.

One instance in which Noiri Roshi felt very strongly the feeling of this stillness in Suzuki-roshi, when once at Yaizu station they happened to pass each other and Suzuki-roshi just gave a quick greeting, hi, and went by him, and Noiri-roshi felt that deep profound stillness in Suzuki-roshi at that time and as he watched Suzuki-roshi go up the stairs to the platform he had a very deep impression of him that he can still recall today.

In that greeting, although he just said hi and went by, the impression was that Suzuki-roshi was in that very simple way encouraging his own practice. Noiri-roshi was very busy at the time; he'd just published a book on Dogen's Eihei-Koroku, so he was very busy, was dashing past Suzuki-roshi and it was the contrast Fumiko corrects. He had just finished publishing this work and in the Suzuki-roshi greeting, what he felt was a kind of gokurosama, a thank you and encouragement for the work that he had done. Suzuki-roshi didn't say, "You did a good job," just "Hi," but Noiri-roshi felt Suzuki-roshi recognized the effort he had made and was not congratulating him but encouraging him. Then as he walked up the stairs he was left with this image of Suzuki-roshi which he can still recall today.

We American students had probably also felt the same kind of thing, a very special kind of stillness and peace in Suzuki-roshi whether he is alone, sitting, walking, whether he is in the middle of a crowd, that same kind of peacefulness about him. This kind of peacefulness is the enlightenment of Dogen and we as students of Suzuki-roshi should continue this tradition and maintain this kind of still Nirvana enlightenment. The Bodhi-style of Rinzai Zen is often mistakenly considered to be the Zen type enlightenment and what is perhaps most attractive at first glance in Zen, a kind of flashy, quick powerful image that we have of a Zen Master. But if we think that this is all that enlightenment is, then we are badly mistaken. And as students of Suzuki-roshi we should try to maintain this Nirvana enlightenment tradition.

Hoichi-san's interpretation is the relationship between the stillness that Noiri-roshi felt and the importance of the precepts in Zen practice. In Kishizawa-roshi's tradition the emphasis is upon zazen within the context of the precepts, zazen in daily life, so that the order of the daily life makes possible the emergence of this Buddha nature that Hoichi-san mentioned in the story of the monk who forgot his hat[?]. That kind of reawakening to what you already have becomes possible through the precepts working not just in your mind but in body, in your daily life, when your body is completely in accord with the precepts and your daily life is just this continuous practice of the precepts. Then the power of meditation comes out in this and you remember what you already have. And this is Kishizawa-roshi's teaching. Kishizawa-roshi is known for being very strict, but his strictness is not in any kind of physical strictness, like beatings or very arduous practice physically. The strictness is rather in maintaining the precepts. So Hoichi-san's explanation of this is in the context of an interesting thing that Noiri-roshi said about our responsibility as students of Suzuki-roshi.

Noiri spoke about biographies of Zen masters. Basically it is impossible for someone to write about the life of a Zen master unless he himself has reached the kind of samadhi that the Zen Master has. In writing a biography, one of the reasons that he declined to give us any dates or facts was that he felt that unless the biography itself is written in such a way that the dharma of, in this case Suzuki-roshi, was transmitted through the biography, it was not really a Zen Master's biography, but just a worldly or mundane biography. In other words, the biography itself must be written in a way that will transmit Suzuki-roshi's dharma.

But to write biography you have to meet many many people and that is a kind of practice for the disciple to meet many people and you may not get the right information, maybe just one out of ten, but in that way only can you write the biography.

In that way he emphasized it is important to have accurate biography. In some sense what we said was one-sided, just emphasizing the spiritual. He says we should make a big effort and really search out completely the whole thing (it is not enough just to be enlightened).

An example Noiri Roshi gave of respect which Suzuki-roshi had for Kishizawa-roshi was the fact that Suzuki-roshi used to take Hoichi-san to Kishizawa-roshi's temple when he was a very small child and before he could understand anything of Buddhism or Kishizawa-roshi's talks on Buddhism. He took him simply to have the personal contact with Kishizawa-roshi, believing that Hoichi-san would thereby gain some sense of Kishizawa-roshi's dharma, and Noiri-roshi said that Kishizawa-roshi once showed a sea shell to Hoichi-san and asked him if he wanted it and Hoichi-san said, "Yes," and that seashell now hangs in Rinsoin and Noiri-roshi said that he thought that when Hoichi sees this seashell today he is seeing in it both Kishizawa-roshi and Suzuki-roshi.


More interviews about Shunryu Suzuki roshi (1904-1971) and his relationship with Kôjun Noiri rôshi



Interview with Demian Nyoze Kwong
http://www.zen.is/uploads/3/8/5/9/38592775/mountain_wind-2015-1.pdf pp. 15-16.

Nyoze received Shiho*, also called Denpo (Dharma transmission) from Jakusho Kwong-roshi**. Shiho consists of Kegyo - 6 days of supplemental practice leading up to the actual ceremony, and on the 7th day finishing with Denpo when the teacher transmits and the student receives.

We reviewed Roshi's notes written on old paper of when he received shiho from Hoitsu Suzuki-roshi at Rinsoin (Shunryu Suzuki's home temple) in Japan, 1978. Kojun Noiri-roshi was the guiding teacher and lead Suzuki-roshi and Kwong-roshi through the entire transmission process. At that time Noiri-roshi was one of the leading transmission masters in Japan. The transmission ceremony was his specialty. Noiri roshi was very strict! I mean a good strict! I met him when I was 8 years old. Being in his presence you could not help but be awake and stand up straight! Shunryu Suzuki-roshi wanted Noiri-roshi to transmit the tradition of transmission ceremony to America but it never happened.

*Shihō (嗣法) refers to a series of ceremonies in Sōtō Zen Buddhism wherein a unsui receives Dharma transmission, becoming part of the dharma lineage of his or her teacher.

**Jakusho Kwong (1935-), born William Kwong



Ceaseless Effort: The Life of Dainin Katagiri


Dainin Katagiri met Tomoe Kanazawa in 1960. They met through Tomoe‘s former English
teacher and then friend, Miss Tanaka.Tomoe was born on February 16, 1932, in Tokyo and was raised
there. Near the end of World War II, she missed a year of school because she was ill with tuberculosis.
When she returned she attended a different school and, unlike her old school, this new one taught English.
Tomoe found herself far behind the other students. So, to catch up, she had private English lessons at a
small juku (after-school school) taught by Miss Tanaka. Later, after she graduated university, Tomoe
became a teacher herself and had a juku in her parents‘ home. She remained friends with Miss Tanaka, and
visited her home often. It was there that she met Dainin Katagiri. Soon they decided to marry.

Tomoe recalls, ”Before we married, I went to a one-week sesshin with Kojun Noiri Roshi at Daitoin temple
near Fukuroi. Hojo-san (as Katagiri Roshi was later addressed as abbot in Minnesota) and his friend Yokoi
suggested that I go. My English teacher was a lay disciple of Noiri Roshi, and Noiri Roshi and Yokoi
Roshi were dharma brothers through Ian Kishizawa Roshi. Hojo-san respected Noiri Roshi and Kishizawa
Roshi very much. And so I went. There were many people at the sesshin: all were monks who came from
outside or lay people. Kosen Nishiyama, who later translated the Shobogenzo with John Stevens, was there.
He was very young, a freshman at the university. Hoitsu Suzuki, who was a sophomore at Komazawa
University, was also there. That was the first time I met Suzuki Roshi‘s oldest son and dharma heir.”
Dainin and Tomoe were married in October 1960 by Shosai Hatori, one of Katagiri‘s graduate school
teachers. She was twenty-eight and he was four years older. During their almost thirty-year marriage, they
were blessed with two sons, Yasuhiko, born in Japan, and Ejyo, born in California, and now there are also
three grandsons.



Master of Kôjun Noiri rôshi:

岸澤 (眠芳) 惟安 Kishizawa (Minpō) Ian (1865-1955)

Kishizawa Ian zen mesternek (aki Kôjun Noiri rôshi tanítója) legfőbb gyakorlata a földre borulás volt: "Szeretnék mélyebbre borulni, de nem hagyja a föld!" - mondogatta.

Shunryu Suzuki roshi mesélte Kishizawa mesterről:
"Mesteremnek az arcra borulástól bőrkeményedés lett a homlokán. Tudta magáról, hogy makacs és önfejű szerzet, ezért aztán leborult, és leborult, és leborult. Ennek az volt az oka, hogy mindig hallotta belülről mesterének korholását. Harminc évesen lépett a Soto rendbe, ami japán papoknál viszonylag késői időpont. Míg fiatalok vagyunk, kevésbé vagyunk önfejűek, és így könnyebb önzésünktől megszabadulni. Mestere tehát így szólította mesteremet "te-későn-jött-szerzet", és korholta a késői belépés miatt. Tulajdonképpen azonban szerette őt önfejű természetéért. Mesterem, mikor hetven éves lett, azt mondta: "Fiatal koromban olyan voltam, mint egy tigris, most viszont olyan vagyok, mint egy macska!" Meg volt elégedve azzal, hogy olyan, mint egy macska.
A leborulás segít eloszlatni önközéppontú felfogásunkat. Ez bizony nem könnyű. Nehéz ettől a felfogástól megszabadulni, ezért is nagyon értékes gyakorlat a leborulás. Nem az eredmény az, ami számít; a magunkat javító erőfeszítés az, ami sokat ér. Ennek a leborulásnak soha sincs vége."
(A zen szellem: a kezdők szelleme, A leborulás c. fejezetben)

Soto Zen master, leading interpreter of Dogen's Shobogenzo, and third abbot of Antai-ji. He received dharma transmission from Nishiari Bokusan and succeeded Oka Sotan and Genpo Kitano as official lecturer on the Shobogenzo at Eihei-ji. He was the spiritual master of Kojun Noiri roshi. Shunryu Suzuki roshi also attended him at Eihei-ji monastery and later studied with him for many years.

永平道元禪師清規 : 大清規 / Eihei Dōgen Zenji Shingi : dai shingi
道元 著, 岸澤惟安 老師校譯 / Dōgen cho, Kishizawa Ian rōshi kōyaku.
Published by Kōjun Noiri rōshi at his temple: 官養庵 Kan'yōan (静岡県 Shizuoka-ken, 島田市 Shimada-shi, 御請 Ouke)
Shōwa 42 [1967], 271 pages 

Table of Contents:

•  目次 / (0008.jp2)

•  序 / (0006.jp2)

•  凡例 / p5 (0009.jp2)

•  永平道元禪師清規 / p1 (0016.jp2)

•  乾之卷 / p1 (0016.jp2)

•  序 / (0011.jp2)

•  校訂冠註永平淸規凡例 / (0014.jp2)

•  典座敎訓 宇治縣興聖寺 / p1 (0017.jp2)

•  辨道法 越州大拂寺 附僧堂四板被位圖並凡例 / p38 (0035.jp2)

•  赴粥飯法 永平寺 附僧堂十二板首鉢位圖並凡例 / p68 (0050.jp2)

•  坤之卷 / p109 (0070.jp2)

•  衆寮淸規 永平寺 附衆寮十二板圖並凡例 / p110 (0071.jp2)

•  對大己法 永平寺 / p130 (0081.jp2)

•  知事淸規 永平寺 / p144 (0088.jp2)

•  跋 / p251 (0141.jp2)

•  註  ― 訓點並字文訂正の典據 ― / p255 (0143.jp2)


Carl Bielefeldt, “Soto Zen at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century.”
Wind Bell
32:2 (1998), pp. 17-24.

[About Kishizawa roshi, pp. 23-24:]

Suzuki Roshi studied a chapter of the Shobogenzo in his graduation thesis, but his deeper study of the Shobogenzo seems to have taken place after he left Komazawa. In 1930, he graduated and went to Eiheiji for a short period of training. At Eiheiji he was assigned as attendant to a famous monk named Kishizawa Ian. This was the beginning of a long association between Suzuki Roshi and this older monk.

Kishizawa Ian was perhaps the leading interpreter of the Shobogenzo of his day. He had been a student of the most famous Meiji scholar of the Shobogenzo, Nishiari Bokusan, who was also the teacher of Oka Sotan. Nishiari was, in some ways, the leading figure of the Soto-shu in the 19th Century, not only as a scholar but also as an appointed daikogi (master lecturer) at the new religious academy called the Kyobu-sho. This had been established by the Meiji government to provide for the study and administration of Buddhism and Shinto. Nishiari represented Soto-shu teaching at that academy and eventually went on to become the abbot of Sojiji and the head of the Soto-shu. But he's best known for the work that he did on the Shobogenzo, especially a famous commentary called the "Shobogenzo keiteki," which still, to this day, is probably the favorite commentary for most Shobogenzo scholars.

Kishizawa Roshi, Suzuki Roshi's mentor at Eiheiji, was born in 1865. His career was not typical of Soto monks at this time. That is to say, he s tarted out in a secular career as a school teacher and then, after studying with Nishiari Bokusan, converted to Buddhism and was ordained at the age of 32. He received shiho (dharma transmission) from Nishiari at the age of 36. Kishizawa went on to become abbot of several temples and then to take up residence at Eiheiji, where Suzuki Roshi met him, as what is called a seido (former abbot).

Kishizawa Roshi lectured at Eiheiji for thirteen years in the Genzo'e, as it's called (the lecture series on the Shobogenzo). He published prolifically: he wrote on the five-rank theory of Soto-shu, on the Soto-shu precepts, and so on. But he's best known for a very large commentary on the Shobogenzo. During the years that Suzuki Roshi was studying with him, Ian Roshi was lecturing constantly on the Shobogenzo in what he called kattoshu (葛藤集 "collections of tangles"). He would write about different fascicles of the Shobogenzo and publish them in various places, and eventually his lectures were brought together many years later in what I believe to be the most extensive commentary ever done on the Shobogenzo, his twenty-four-volume work entitled "正法眼蔵全講 Shobogenzo zenko."

After studying with this renowned teacher, Suzuki Roshi returned to his own temple, Zoun'in, and then to Rinsoin. But Kishizawa Roshi also left Eiheiji a couple of years after Suzuki Roshi. He moved to a temple called Gyokudenin. which was located in Shizuoka just a few miles from Rinsoin. And there he set himself up and continued his lectures on the Shobogenzo. Suzuki Roshi then commuted to Gyokudenin to study with Kishizawa Roshi from 1993 right up until the latter's death in 1955, soon after which Suzuki Roshi himself left for America.

丘 大潤 宗潭 Oka (Daijun) Sōtan (1860-1921) – 1st abbot of Antaiji; teacher of Kishizawa Ian, Gyokujun So-on, Eko Hashimoto, Sawaki Kōdō, Harada Sōgaku, et al. "Oka Sōtan-rōshi … was the … source of power of all the teachers."

西有 瑾英 穆山 Nishiari (Kin'ei) Bokusan (1821-1910), the most prominent Meiji scholar of the Shobogenzo. He was a teacher of both Oka Sōtan and Kishizawa Ian, eventually becoming abbot of Sōji-ji.

丘 (大潤) 宗潭 Oka (Daijun) Sōtan (1860-1921); 西有 (瑾英) 穆山 Nishiari (Kin'ei) Bokusan (1821-1910); 日置 (維室) 黙仙 Hioki (Ishitsu) Mokusen (1837-1920)
Photo taken at 修善寺 Shuzenji, 1905


c.1950, Kishizawa zenji sitting in the middle
Kishizawa Ian-roshi, when asked how low one's head should be in bowing to the floor, answered that the forehead should touch the floor. He added, “I would like to bow even lower, but the floor stops me.”


Shunryu Suzuki tells a Kishizawa Story

Maybe before I finish my lecture I'll, talk more about Kishizawa. I was rather angry with him! [Laughs] because I was fooled by him for maybe more than thirty years! [Laughs]. And I found out that I was fooled by him some thirty years ago.

He told a Zen story during sesshin. We were sitting in a cold, cold zendo for seven days at Eiheiji – deep snow. And we were very serious in our practice. Of course, we were so young! [Laughs].

One morning the late Kishizawa Zenji - at that time he was Kanin, director of Eiheiji monastery – came to the zendo and gave us a Zen story.

He said, "Do you understand this story? A sparrow broke a big stone gate." Ishi no torii. A big gate built of stone. As thick as this [gesturing]. I don't know how big. But, a sparrow broke it. I don't know how – maybe by stepping on it! [Laughs].

And he said, "Do you understand?" We thought that it is some koan we must solve during the seven-day sesshin! And he started to talk about it, in very serious mood.

I didn't like that kind of story. Zen story. So-called Zen story. Whenever I read or heard that type of Zen story, I felt as if I was being fooled by it [Laughs]! Not giving much reason for it, talking about something funny.

So because I didn't like it, I remembered what he said. I still remember it. But the other day when I thought about what he said, when I repeated it, ("Ko suzume ga, ishi no torii wo fumiota). What does it mean? Of course, in Japanese, I'm sorry. It is Japanese. Fumiota means to step on and break it. But another meaning may be fundeita. [Laughs]. A sparrow was stepping on the stone gate – fundeita. [Laughs]. For me, always one meaning is to break and the other meaning is stepping on it.

So, [laughs] he was, seriously talking about it as if a sparrow had broken the big stone gate. But before he started to explain that koan, he repeated, "Did you understand?" [Laughs]. Did you understand! You know, no one could understand that is was joke! [Laughs]. Because we were too serious! [Laughs]. No one talked about his joke, or his koan after sesshin because no one could understand what he meant! [Laughs]. Or, no one could understand that was just a joke! [Laughs].

That is another side of serious practice. That is, if we could know that was just a joke – we were practicing very good practice – not too much effort, but not too little! [Laughs].

Maybe we were wasting our effort, making some excessive effort, too much effort – so we adjusted our usual thinking mind. That is how we obtain our true practice. He was a really great Zen master. That is how you'll solve problems.

If the governor of the United States is like him there won't be much problem! [Laughs]. Even though someone is very mad at him, they'll treat him just right. Not too strong or not too soft. That is not something which we can attain by a skill, by repeating things. But if you just know what is real practice, then, you can do things just right.

Thank you very much.


Kishizawa's Calligraphy
語句等: 渓声耳に入り月目を穿つ 華叟安
Text: "The sounds of a valley stream enter your ears, and the moonlight clean."
Pen name: Suikyo, Haketsu-shi, Keishu-ken, Tekkan-ro, Shusui-ijin. Dharma transmission from Nishiari Bokusan (1821-1910). He once was a teacher in a elementary school. But at his age 32, he was ordained by Bokuzan Kin'ei. He devoted his life to study and practice 'Shobo Genzo'. The founder of Kyokuden-in in Shizuoka.

More calligraphies: http://www.kihindo.jp/kobokuseki/soutou/ian.html.


from Bowing
Shunryu Suzuki Lecture, December 2, 1965, Thursday morning lecture, Los Altos
(title from book: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, p. 43)

[After demonstration of Buddhist bow] To bow is very important-- one of the important practice. By bow we can eliminate our selfish, self-centered idea. My teacher had hard skin on his forehead because he bowed and bowed and bowed so many times and he knew that he was very obstinate, stubborn fellow, so he bowed and bowed and bowed and he always heard his master's scolding voice. That is why he bowed. And he joined our order when he was thirty. For Japanese priest to join the order at the age of thirty is not early. So his master always called him ‘You lately-joined fellow'. He said, [Japanese phrase missing in transcript]. It means priest who joined our order when he is old. When we join order when we are young we have little -- it is easy to get rid of our selfishness. But when we have very stubborn, selfish idea it is rather hard to get rid of it. So he was always scolded because he joined our order so late. To scold does not mean slight people, or it does not mean to -- actually his teacher was not actually scolding him. His master loved him very much because of his stubborn character.

When he was seventy he said, “I -- when I was young I was like a tiger but now I am a cat.” He was very pleased to be a cat and to be like a cat. “Now I am cat”, he said. And to bow means to eliminate our self-centered idea. It is not so -- actually it is not so difficult -- easy -- and although it is difficult to try to get rid of it is very valuable practice. The result is not the point but effort to improve ourselves is valuable. There is no end in our practice.



A propos du livre de D. Chadwick
"Crooked cucumber — The life and teaching of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi"
Introduction par Jôshin Sensei

Nous sommes en 1930, Suzuki Roshi, alors jeune moine "Shunryu San" est envoyé par son Maître passer un an au Temple-Racine de l'école Sôtô, le temple fondé par Maître Dôgen, Eiheiji.
Il y est nommé "jisha" (assistant) de Maître Kishizawa. C'est là que se croisent nos lignages pour la première fois: en effet Maître Kishizawa fut le Maître de Dharma à la fois de Noïri Kôjun Roshi (Hakusan Kôjun Daïosho, le Maître de Moriyama Roshi) et de Niwa Zenji (le fondateur de la Demeure).
Suzuki Roshi restera l'élève de Maître Kishizawa aussi longtemps qu'il vivra au Japon — et il déclarait toujours à ses élèves aux USA " J'ai une grande reconnais-sance envers mon Maître So-on, mais c'est avec Maître Kishizawa que j'ai tout appris du Zen ".
Trente cinq ans plus tard, Maître Moriyama — lui-même jeune Sensei croisera Maître Suzuki aux USA, lorsqu'il reprendra Sôkôji, le temple Zen de San Francisco.
Vingt ans plus tard, Jôshin Sensei — après 3 ans de vie monastique au Japon — sera envoyée par Moriyama Roshi passer plusieurs mois, au Zen Center de San Francisco afin d'approfondir sa future pratique d'enseignante en étudiant la pratique occidentale transmise de Maître en disciple, d'Est en Ouest.
Graines de karma... "Innen" — pour boucler cette boucle de rencontres du Dharma; j'arrivai au Zen Center de San Francisco fin novembre, deux jours après commençait Rohatsu Sesshin dirigée par Katagiri Roshi. Je fus désignée pour travailler à la cuisine, et le tenzo à Zen Center, à ce moment-là, était David Chadwick. Il me parla beaucoup de Moriyama Roshi, qu'il avait rencontré quinze ans avant "Un jeune moine timide, avec des lunettes"...
Encore quinze ans plus tard : une fois par semaine, dans les zendos et dojos dirigés par Jôshin Sensei, les étudiants de la Voie lisent et étudient le texte de Suzuki Roshi "Esprit Zen esprit neuf" — après avoir pratiqué le zazen de Maître Kishizawa, transmis par Noïri Kôjun Roshi et Moriyama Roshi.


Disciples of Kôjun Noiri rôshi:

森山 (法輪) 大行 老師

Moriyama (Hōrin) Daigyō rōshi (1938-2011)


釈 元祥
Shaku Genshô [=Gábor Terebess, Hungary] (1944-)


Satō Jōkō (1953-)

住職 jūshoku, master of his own temple, 高建寺 Kōkenji

"I was born at Kokenji Temple in 1953. After graduation from Waseda University in Tokyo, I studied at Eiheiji Monastery for two years. Then I practiced in Shimada, Shizuoka prefecture in the south of Tokyo as an attendant of Kojun Noiri Roshi who used to be a teacher of Genzo-e (a yearly intensive lecture of Shobogenzo in Eiheiji Monastery).
In 1993, I became an abbot of Kokenji to follow my father. At the same time, I vowed the erection of International Zendo to reestablish and revive the practice closely advocated by Dogen Zen Master who brought Zen to Japan in the 13th century.
In 2000, I actually got started with Takuhatsu (asking for contributions) to raise the funds across the whole country. The buildings finally completed in 2006, since then I've got more and more foreign students here to practice from Western countries. At the moment, networking with Zen associations of Germany, France, USA and so forth is expanding."

鳥海山国際禅堂 Chōkai-san International Zendo

高建寺 Kōkenji, 立石 Tateishi, 矢島町 Yashima-machi, 由利本荘市 Yurihonjō-shi, 秋田県 Akita-ken, Japan 015-0414 

The site and all the wood used to build this zendo was donated from the locality. It was completed in 2006. This Zendo welcomes anyone who wished to experience the practices of a traditional Zen temple, including zazen, sutra chanting, formal temple meals or daily work.
English explanations are offered for most activities. When attending the temple you should bring loose fitting clothes for zazen and and other clothes for working. The charge for meals and lodging is whatever you think is appropriate (around ¥3,000). The temple is open from the middle of April to middle of December. It is closed the rest of the year.
The head priest (堂長) is Jōkō Satō (佐藤成孝), but you can call him Satō-san. He lives with his wife Mariko at Koukenji (高建寺) temple. They both speak English. You can meet them at their temple and travel to the Zendo together, it's just 6 kilometers away.



Jeff Broadbent (1944-)

"Jeff first encountered Zen in 1956 at the age of twelve at a Quaker retreat center in Pennsylvania when he met Sohaku Ogata from Shokokuji in Kyoto. After entering college young, dropping out, and involvement with civil rights and peace movements, in 1964 he started practicing with Hakuun Yasutani and Eido Shimano at New York Zen Studies. As a conscientious objector he worked in a hospital. After meeting Shunryu Suzuki and Richard Baker in New York in 1967 he went West and became an early Tassajara student. He returned to college, majoring in Religious Studies-Buddhism at UC Berkeley, living at the Berkeley Zendo. Following Suzuki's advice, he studied in Japan for a year starting in 1971 and became a lay disciple of Suzuki's younger brother monk, the revered Hakusan Kojun Noiri. After further practice with renowned teachers in Thailand and India, Jeff studied sociology with the eminent sociologist Robert Bellah at UCB and then did graduate work at Harvard in the sociology of religion. He spent three years in Japan working on his thesis about environmental protest. He joined the sociology faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1986 and practiced with Dainin Katagiri. For years Jeff has been leading a global research project on climate change."
(by David Chadwick at http://www.cuke.com/people/broadbent-jeff.htm)