One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryōkan

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Weatherhill, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 85 pages
13 Reviews
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.

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Review: One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan

User Review  - Jan Leent - Goodreads

This translation and introduction by John Stevens is highly recommended for its beauty. It is also a marvellous introduction to the way of living of the Japanese hermit-monk Ryokan One example: after ... Read full review

Review: One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan

User Review  - Pake Hall - Goodreads

If you just want one book on poetry, Zen and life... This is the one! Read full review


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About the author (2006)

John Stevens is Professor of Buddhist Studies and Aikido instructor at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, Japan. He is the author or translator of over twenty books on Buddhism, Zen, Aikido, and Asian culture. He has practiced and taught Aikido all over the world.

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