SKY ABOVE GREAT WIND THE LIFE AND POETRY OF ZEN MASTER RYOKAN
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Ryokan (1758–1831) is, along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the three giants of Zen in Japan. But unlike his two renowned colleagues, Ryokan was a societal dropout, living mostly as a hermit and a beggar. He was never head of a monastery or temple. He liked playing with children. He had no dharma heir. Even so, people recognized the depth of his realization, and he was sought out by people of all walks of life for the teaching to be experienced in just being around him. His poetry and art were wildly popular even in his lifetime. He is now regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Edo Period, along with Basho, Buson, and Issa. He was also a master artist-calligrapher with a very distinctive style, due mostly to his unique and irrepressible spirit, but also because he was so poor he didn't usually have materials: his distinctive thin line was due to the fact that he often used twigs rather than the brushes he couldn't afford. He was said to practice his brushwork with his fingers in the air when he didn't have any paper. There are hilarious stories about how people tried to trick him into doing art for them, and about how he frustrated their attempts. As an old man, he fell in love with a young Zen nun who also became his student. His affection for her colors the mature poems of his late period. This collection contains more than 140 of Ryokan's poems, with selections of his art, and of the very funny anecdotes about him.
Author : John Stevens
ISBN : 9780834824966
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 74.80 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The hermit-monk Ryokan, long beloved in Japan both for his poetry and for his character, belongs in the tradition of the great Zen eccentrics of China and Japan. His reclusive life and celebration of nature and the natural life also bring to mind his younger American contemporary, Thoreau. Ryokan's poetry is that of the mature Zen master, its deceptive simplicity revealing an art that surpasses artifice. Although Ryokan was born in eighteenth-century Japan, his extraordinary poems, capturing in a few luminous phrases both the beauty and the pathos of human life, reach far beyond time and place to touch the springs of humanity.
Ryokan (1758-1831), a Buddhist monk in the Zen sect, was a major figure in Tokugawa poetry. Though a Zen master, he never headed a temple but chose to live alone in simple huts and to support himself by begging. His poems are mainly a record of his daily activities--of chores, lonely snowbound winters, begging expeditions to town, meetings with friends, romps with the village children. At the same time they show us how rich a spiritual and intellectual life a man could enjoy in the midst of poverty. Ryokan's unusual personality and outlook are evident in this volume. His Japanese poems (waka) were influenced by the poets of the eighth-century Man'yoshu anthology. Eighty-three representative works are presented here. He also wrote Chinese poems (Kanshi), some doctrinal in nature and many inspired by Han-shan, a Buddhist recluse and Master of Cold Mountain. Forty-three of these are included in the collection. To enrich the text, the original Japanese poems are provided in romanized form. Also included are an explanation of the Buddhist practice of begging for food, and an introduction by Burton Watson.
Author : Ryōkan
ISBN : 9781590301081
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 83.55 MB
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The Japanese poet-recluse Ryokan (1758–1831) is one of the most beloved figures of Asian literature, renowned for his beautiful verse, exquisite calligraphy, and eccentric character. Deceptively simple, Ryokan's poems transcend artifice, presenting spontaneous expressions of pure Zen spirit. Like his contemporary Thoreau, Ryokan celebrates nature and the natural life, but his poems touch the whole range of human experience: joy and sadness, pleasure and pain, enlightenment and illusion, love and loneliness. This collection of translations reflects the full spectrum of Ryokan's spiritual and poetic vision, including Japanese haiku, longer folk songs, and Chinese-style verse. Fifteen ink paintings by Koshi no Sengai (1895–1958) complement these translations and beautifully depict the spirit of this famous poet.
This collection of Zen poetry by 19th century Japanese Buddhist monk and hermit Ryokan is a masterful exploration of life and nature. Ryokan's zen poems are celebration of the joys and sadness of everyday life. His spare, direct style is remarkable for its immediacy and intimacy. This bilingual collection contains more than 150 of his finest poems in Japanese and Chinese, including his famous lyrical correspondence with the nun Teishin, who befriended him in his later years. It also includes a biographical essay on Ryokan, and useful notes on the poems themselves.
A poet-priest of the late Edo period, Ryokan (1758-1831) was the most important Japanese poet of his age. This volume contains not only the largest English translation yet made of his principal poems, but also an introduction that sets the poetry in its historical and literary context and a biographical sketch of the poet himself. Originally published in 1981. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
This anthology, jointly translated by a Japanese scholar and an American poet, is the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind to appear in English. Their collaboration has rendered translations both precise and sublime, and their selection, which span 1,500 years, from the early T’ang dynasty to the present day, includes many poems that have never before been translated into English. Stryk and Ikemoto offer us Zen poetry in all its diversity: Chinese poems of enlightenment and death, poems of the Japanese masters, many haiku — the quintessential Zen art — and an impressive selection of poems by Shinkichi Takahashi, Japan’s greatest contemporary Zen poet. With Zen Poetry, Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto have graced us with a compellingly beautiful collection, which in their translations is pure literary pleasure, illuminating the world vision to which these poems give permanent expression.
A Zen poem is nothing other than an expression of the enlightened mind, a handful of simple words that disappear beneath the moment of insight to which it bears witness. Poetry has been an essential aid to Zen Buddhist practice from the dawn of Zen—and Zen has also had a profound influence on the secular poetry of the countries in which it has flourished. Here, two of America’s most renowned poets and translators provide an overview of Zen poetry from China and Japan in all its rich variety, from the earliest days to the twentieth century. Included are works by Lao Tzu, Han Shan, Li Po, Dogen Kigen, Saigyo, Basho, Chiao Jan, Yuan Mei, Ryokan, and many others. Hamill and Seaton provide illuminating introductions to the Chinese and Japanese sections that set the poets and their work in historical and philosophical context. Short biographies of the poets are also included.