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Old 11-26-2004, 10:57 AM   #9
Dojo: Aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 15
Re: Budo and Buddhism

Hi Eric,

nice paper!
i've often wrestled with the apparent contradictions between
the warrior and the buddhist and i guess i'm never really satisfied with the answers i come up with.

David Lowry wrote a couple essays in his book "Traditions", which describe in a historical context how zen and bujutsu merged together. He discusses how, for the most
part, samurai were never enthusiastic practitioners of zen. They
were into Shingon buddhism. Zen was introduced to
bujutsu, relatively late, through Yagyu Munenori in the 1600's.
He was friends with Takuan Soho who used analogies taken
from kenjutsu to explain zen ideas.

This was news to me. From such books as Suzuki's "Zen and Japanese Culture", i got the impression that zen and bujutsu were much more tightly knit together.

So maybe it is better to focus on the particular details of Shingon (very different from other sects) to see how buddhist ethics complimented bushido...

Just my 2 cents...

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." (Bertrand Russell)
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