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The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...




The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen








Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen was
introduced into Japan by Ei-sai and Do-gen. Nobilities that had so
long governed the island were nobilities no more. Enervated by their
luxuries, effeminated by their ease, made insipient by their
debauchery, they were entirely powerless. All that they possessed in
reality was the nominal rank and hereditary birth. On the contrary,
despised as the ignorant, sneered at as the upstart, put in contempt
as the vulgar, the Samurai or military class had everything in their
hands. It was the time when Yori-tomo (1148-1199) conquered
all over the empire, and established the Samurai Government at
Kama-kura. It was the time when even the emperors were dethroned or
exiled at will by the Samurai. It was the time when even the
Buddhist monks frequently took up arms to force their will.
It was the time when Japan's independence was endangered by Kublai,
the terror of the world. It was the time when the whole nation was
full of martial spirit. It is beyond doubt that to these rising
Samurais, rude and simple, the philosophical doctrines of Buddhism,
represented by Ten Dai and Shin Gon, were too complicated and too
alien to their nature. But in Zen they could find something
congenial to their nature, something that touched their chord of
sympathy, because Zen was the doctrine of chivalry in a certain sense.


The Samurai Government was first established by Yoritomo, of
the Minamoto family, in 1186, and Japan was under the control of the
military class until 1867, when the political power was finally
restored to the Imperial house.

They were degenerated monks (who were called monk-soldiers),
belonging to great monasteries such as En-ryaku-ji (Hi-yei),
Ko-fuku-ji (at Nara), Mi-i-dera, etc.






Next: The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai

Previous: The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect



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