The Record of Linji

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Overview

"The Linji lu (Record of Linji) has been an essential text of Chinese and Japanese Zen Buddhism for nearly a thousand years. A compilation of sermons, statements, and acts attributed to the great Chinese Zen master Linji Yixuan (d. 866), it serves as both an authoritative statement of Zen's basic standpoint and a central source of material for Zen koan practice. Scholars study the text for its importance in understanding both Zen thought and East Asian Mahayana doctrine, while Zen practitioners cherish it for its unusual simplicity, directness, and ability to inspire." "One of the earliest attempts to translate this important work into English was by Sasaki Shigetsu (1882-1945), a pioneer Zen master in the U.S. and the founder of the First Zen Institute of America. At the time of his death, he entrusted the project to his wife, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who in 1949 moved to Japan and there founded a branch of the First Zen Institute at Daitoku-ji. Mrs. Sasaki, determined to produce a definitive translation, assembled a team of talented young scholars, both Japanese and Western, who in the following years retranslated the text in accordance with modern research on Tang-dynasty colloquial Chinese. As they worked on the translation, they compiled hundreds of detailed notes explaining every technical term, vernacular expression, and literary reference. One of the team, Yanagida Seizan (later Japan's preeminent Zen historian), produced a lengthy introduction that outlined the emergence of Chinese Zen, presented a biography of Linji, and traced the textual development of the Linji lu. The sudden death of Mrs. Sasaki in 1967 brought the nearly completed project to a halt. An abbreviatedversion of the book was published in 1975, but neither this nor any other English translations that subsequently appeared contain the type of detailed historical, linguistic, and doctrinal annotation that was central to Mrs. Sasaki's plan." The materials assembled by Mrs. Sasaki and her team are finally available in the present edition of the Record of Linji. Chinese readings have been changed to Pinyin and the translation itself has been revised in line with subsequent research by Iriya Yoshitaka and Yanagida Seizan, the scholars who advised Mrs. Sasaki. The notes, nearly six hundred in all, are almost entirely based on primary sources and thus retain their value despite the nearly forty years since their preparation. They provide a rich context for Linji's teachings, supplying a wealth of information on Tang colloquial expressions, Buddhist thought, and Zen history, much of which is unavailable anywhere else in English. This revised edition of the Record of Linji is certain to be of great value to Buddhist scholars, Zen practitioners, and readers interested in Asian Buddhism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824828219
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Language: Chinese
  • Series: Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 494
  • Sales rank: 974,296
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Yamada Mumon Mumon, Yamada

Preface to the 1975 Edition Furuta Kazuhiro Kazuhiro, Furuta

Abbreviations

The Record of Linji, translated by Ruth Fuller Sasaki 1

Discourses 3

Critical Examinations 34

Record of Pilgrimages 42

Preface to the Recorded Sayings of Chan Master Linji Huizhao of Zhenzhou 54

Historical Introduction and Commentary 57

Historical Introduction to the Record of Linji Yanagida Seizan Seizan, Yanagida 59

Commentary Ruth Fuller Sasaki Sasaki, Ruth Fuller 117

Chinese Text 347

The Linji lu in Chinese 349

Bibliography 365

List of Personal Names 437

Cumulative Index 451

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