Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei by Bankei

By Bankei

The eccentric Bankei has lengthy been an underground hero on this planet of Zen. At a time while Zen used to be turning into overly formalized in Japan, he under pressure its relevance to way of life, insisting at the value of naturalness and spontaneity.

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Extra resources for Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei

Sample text

Oh friends, let us combine our righteous strengths together so we may turn all our countryside and all of our lives into a large single four-dimensional art . . Conclusion What we need is the transparent will and the large power and heat that wrap the Galaxy Kenji then lined up his thoughts on each topic. Among the ones he included in the introduction, “What we together are to discuss from now on,” for example, are: We are all farmers. We are extremely busy and our work is hard. We’d like to Wnd a way to lead a brighter, livelier life.

3 0 \ I N T R O D U C T I O N Above all, to go about pulling a rear cart was beyond belief. In Hanamaki in those days there were only a few mercantile houses owning one, and having one meant a big house. It would be comparable to today’s Mercedes-Benz, and you couldn’t use such a thing selling vegetables. Kenji liked uniforms. He once designed what he called “farm-work clothes,” which resemble today’s work clothes, and had the design printed in the bulletin of the Iwate Prefectural Farm Association.

Kenji took to his bed as soon as he reached an inn. He was convinced he was about to die. The following day he wrote a brief letter to his parents and another to his siblings. In the former he said: “All my life you have bestowed on me the kind of considerateness that no child anywhere could expect to receive, but I have always been selWsh and have ended up like this. ”42 At the end of the month Masajiro arranged to have him transported home in a sleeping car. It was during that fall that Kenji scribbled the poem “November 3rd” in a pocket notebook.

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