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Master Dogen's Shobogenzo, Book 2 Paperback – September 20, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (September 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419613162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419613166
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By tepi on October 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
MASTER DOGEN'S SHOBOGENZO - Book 2. Translated by Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross. 304 pp. London : Windbell Publications Ltd., 1996. ISBN 0 9523002 2 2 (Pbk).

The works of Zen Master Dogen (1200-53) are profound. They express the point-of-view of an enlightened Master. Such works, especially when written in a sinograph-based language such as Japanese or Chinese, present very real problems of interpretation, and there are few who are equal to the task of competently translating them. Of these few, Nishijima Roshi would certainly seem to be one.
Born in 1919 in Yokohama, he is a graduate of the prestigious Law Department of Tokyo University. Between 1940 and 1973 - when he became a Zen priest - he combined a career in the Ministry of Finance with daily practice in Zazen and study of the 'Shobogenzo.' In his brief but extremely interesting Preface he writes:
"I think that reading Shobogenzo is the best way to come to an exact understanding of Buddhist theory, because Master Dogen was outstanding in his ability to understand and explain Buddhism rationally" (page ix).
In comparing the present translation with three four others I have on my shelves, I was struck by what seems to me to be its greater clarity. Here, for example, is Norman Waddell's translation of the closing lines of Book 1, Fascicle 11 - Uji - Existence-Time :
"Such investigations in thoroughgoing practice, reaching here and not reaching there - that is the time of being-time" ('Eastern Buddhist,' Vol XII No.1, May 1979, page 129).
Here is the Nishijima-Cross translation of the same lines :
"When we experience coming and experience leaving, and when we experience presence and experience absence, like this [i.e.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Warner on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
This English translation of Shobogenzo is the best there ever was or will be. Not only does Gudo Nishijima know his stuff when translating ancient Japanese to English (with invaluable assistance from student Chodo Cross who makes the prose clear and easy to read without sacrificing a bit of the original), he has been living the message of Shobogenzo for more than six decades. Nishijima doesn't just cherry pick his favorite chapters. He gives you the whole thing - including the controversial stuff many modern scholars would like to avoid! This is the version of Shobogenzo referenced in my own book Hardcore Zen, which is also available from Amazon.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Derek Ledayn on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Although book 2 of the highly regarded 4 volume translation of Master Dogen's Shobogenzo is listed as available, unfortunately it is out of print and Amazon advised it cannot be obtained. Nor can I find it anywhere else. The publishers still have books 1, 3 and 4 available. It would be good to see a reprint of book 2 so the whole set was available again.
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