a compilation of some projects ofJiryu Rutschman-Byler
Sōtō Zen in Meiji Japan:The Life and Times of Nishiari Bokusan
Meiji Japan (1868-1912), a period of radical transformation -and Westernization - of Buddhism, and the era of the birth of what is known today as the Soto Sect.
Nishiari Bokusan 西有穆山 (1821-1910) —the teacher of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s teacherKishizawa Ian, the most influential commentator on Dogen in the twentieth century, and the scholar-priestsometimes called the “father of the modern Soto Sect”— is largely ignored in English language writingson Zen despite his tremendous importance.
Available for free downloador at-costprinting.
In this paper, an edition of Jiryu’s MA thesis written under the guidance of the Group in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley, Nishiari Bokusan’s life storyis presented for the first time in English. It is told in the context of thepersecution and transformation of Buddhism in the Meiji Period, and againstthe backdrop of the history of the institutional birth of Soto Zen. This editionincludes a preface for the American Sangha.