Great Fool has 68 ratings and 3 reviews. Priyank said: This book is a collection of Japanese Zen master Ryokan’s kanshi poems, composed in classical Chin. Ryōkan Taigu (良寛大愚) (–) was a quiet and eccentric Sōtō Zen Buddhist monk who . Great Fool: Zen Master Ryōkan: Poems, Letters, and Other Writings (ISBN X), , by Ryuichi Abe (with Peter Haskel). Ryokan. The Zen Poet Ryokan Taigu (–) is one of the most . Great Fool: Zen Master Ryōkan: Poems, Letters, and Other Writings,

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– Great Fool: Zen Master Ryokan Poems, Letters, and Other Writings by Ryuichi Abe

Taigu Ryokan remains one of the most popular figures in Japanese Buddhist history. Despite his religious and artistic sophistication he excelled in scriptural studies, in calligraphy, and in poetryRyokan referred to himself as “Great Fool, ” refusing to place himself within any established religious institution.

In contrast to Zen yrokan of his time who pr Taigu Ryokan remains one of the most popular figures in Japanese Buddhist history. In contrast to Zen masters of his time who presided over large monasteries, trained students, or produced recondite treatises, Ryokan followed a life of mendicancy in the countryside.

Instead of delivering sermons, he expressed himself through kanshi poems composed in classical Chinese and waka poems in Japanese syllabary and could typically be found playing with the village children in the course of his daily rounds of begging. Great Fool is the first study in a Western language to offer a comprehensive picture of the legendary poet-monk and his oeuvre.

It includes not only an extensive collection of the master’s kanshi, topically arranged to facilitate an appreciation of Ryokan’s colorful world, but selections of his waka, essays, and letters. The volume also presents for the first time in English the Ryokan zenji kiwa Curious Accounts of the Zen Master Ryokana firsthand source composed by a former student less than sixteen years after Ryokan’s death.

Consisting of anecdotes and episodes, sketches from Ryokan’s everyday life, the Curious Accounts is invaluable for showing how Ryokan was understood and remembered by his contemporaries. To further assist the reader, three introductory essays approach Ryokan from the diverse perspectives of his personal history and literary work. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Great Foolplease sign up.

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Feb 27, Priyank Chauhan rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is a collection of Japanese Zen master Ryokan’s kanshi poems, composed in classical Chinese, waka poems, composed in Japanese syllabary, some letters and his reflections on Buddhism. The poems are masetr reflections on his own life combined with Zen wisdom.

Walking along I followed the drifting stream to its source but reaching the headwaters left me stunned That’s when I realized that the true source is’t a particular place you can reach So now, wherever my staff sets down I ju This book is a collection of Japanese Zen master Ryokan’s kanshi poems, composed in classical Chinese, waka poems, composed in Japanese syllabary, some letters and his reflections on Buddhism.

Walking along I followed the drifting stream to its source but reaching the headwaters left me stunned That’s when I realized that the true source is’t a particular place you can reach So now, wherever my staff sets down I just play in the current’s eddies and swirls.

The letters are mostly about thanking his patrons for the gifts that were sent and some are accompanied grewt haiku poems. The last part of the book deals with his reflections on Buddhism, in which after writing a short history of Buddhism and its many schools, he notes the sectarian factionalism that plagues the Buddhism of Japan in his time, and bemoans that monks are getting too consumed by intellectual curiosities and have fpol the path that Buddha walked.

Great Fool: Zen Master Ryōkan; Poems, Letters, and Other Writings

At the end of these reflections, he has a simple piece of advice for everyone. Don’t take long naps. Don’t do things you know you shouldn’t be doing. Don’t do thinsg halfway. Don’t try to hide from your worries.

Keep your head shaved. This one might be for monks alone. Cut fingernails and toenails. Rinse greta mouth and clean the teeth. Apr 30, Ed rated it it was amazing. It’s easy to see why Ryokan is still very popular with the Japanese apparently you can still readily find collections greay his poems at Gool newsstands. His simplicity and gentle humor make him, perhaps, the most approachable ryokxn personable of the old Zen masters.

While he doesn’t shy away from describing the challenges of poverty and old age, his indomitable spirit gently conquers all. I read a few of his brief poems every morning with coffee, and discovered a new friend. Great historical note It’s easy to see why Ryokan is still very popular with ruokan Japanese apparently you can still readily find collections of his poems at Japan newsstands.

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Great historical notes and biographical info as well. I also liked how he zne many of his letters: Mar 30, christopher leibow rated it it was amazing. Wonderful stories about one of the most interesting Zen Monks of all time.

Heart warming, tender and honest. Daniel Vargas rated it really liked it Aug 08, James Riley rated it it was amazing Nov 17, Brandon rated it it was amazing Jul 26, Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez rated it it was amazing Jan 19, Roger rated it it was amazing Sep 15, Michael rated it liked it Apr 26, Diego rated it it was amazing Jan 01, Jughead rated maste it was amazing May 02, Jan Gomola rated it really liked it Aug 08, Ralphe Wiggins rated it it was amazing Jan 10, mxster Matt rated it it was amazing Jan 21, Nyiti rated it it was amazing Sep 24, Antti rated it it was amazing Nov 15, Shpino rated it really liked it Nov 16, Karen rated it it ffool amazing Dec 15, Juho rated it really liked it Jun 02, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Oct 31, Can rated it it was amazing Apr 01, Marcela rated it it was amazing Sep 02, Mark Frank rated it it was amazing Apr 26, Malini rated it it was amazing May 28, Carol Dommermuth rated it it was amazing Dec 30, Muumuu House rated it it was amazing Feb 17, Karyl Severson rated it it was amazing Nov 23, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

However, even though he lived his simple and pure life, he also displayed characteristics that under normal circumstances would be out of line for a normal monk. Trivia About Great Fool: No trivia or quizzes yet.

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