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Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...




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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