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The Record of Linji (Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture) Paperback – April 22, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This new edition will be the translation of choice for Western Zen communities, college courses, and all who want to know that the translation they are reading is faithful to the original." - Victor Sogen Hori, McGill University" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ruth Fuller Sasaki (1892-1967) devoted herself to helping Westerners interested in Zen and producing a highly regarded series of books, including Zen Dust (1966), The Recorded Sayings of Layman P'ang (1971), and The Record of Lin-chi (1975). Thomas Yuho Kirchner is associate researcher at the International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism at Hanazono University in Kyoto. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture
  • Paperback: 485 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press (April 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824833198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824833190
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently I wrote a quick review of the Burton Watson translation of the Linji Lu, which has always been my favorite for its rendering of obscure T'ang/Song era colloquialisms into smooth English, but I was unaware that this new revision of the Sasaki translation, exhaustively edited by Thomas Yuho Kirchner, had just been published by the Univ. of Hawaii Press.

Readers of the 1975 edition of the Ruth Fuller Sasaki's translation will see much new material here, not only fresh renderings of passages taking into account modern Japanese scholarship, but also an extensive amount of footnotes clarifying passages in the text. While these footnotes do not "explain" the passages from a Zen (Chan) student's viewpoint (and indeed, the meaning of many passages like the famous "formulas" defy definite clarification even by experts), the extensive collection of notes are very helpful for wading through some occasionally rather difficult T'ang/Song vernacular.

Kirchner himself deserves huge praise for wading into such a time-consuming project in making this edition available for publication, a truly imposing task. It indeed must have been a labor of love. Needless to say, anyone interested in world religious literature in general, much less zen scholars and practitioners specifically, should consider the Linji Lu required reading. And this rendition, along with the commentary, will not likely be superseded for quite some time. Buy it, study it, and try to see eye-to-eye with a towering chan master (or at least a Song Period version of him), if you can :-).
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Format: Hardcover
By far the best English translation of the Record of Lin-chi (Rinzai) to date.

The wealth of supplemental material included in this new edition is itself worth the price of the book!

While there are a couple of quality English translations available, this new edition goes way above and beyond anything else previously available.

This work on the vastly influential Record of Linji (aka. Lin-chi, Jap. Rinzai) is the result of decades of work by a veritable multitude of preeminent Zen scholars. This translation was first conceived and begun by Sasaki Shigetsu (1882-1945). Unfinished at the time of his death, the project was continued by Sasaki Shigetsu's wife, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who revisioned the project, and wanted to greatly expand the amount of supplemental material included.

With the assistance of a small army of Japanese and Western scholars, she managed to compile a wealth of notes and research material and was well on the way to what would certainly have been a definitive edition when she died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1967. An abridged version of the book was released in 1975. Although it was a quality publication, it fell way short of Ruth Fuller Sasaki's original intention.

Then, in recent years a team of scholars brought the many discoveries and advances of modern Zen scholarship to bear and completely revised and updated the wealth of material compiled by Sasaki and her team. The result of their efforts is, "The Record of Linji."

To give you an idea of the vast amount of supplemental material included in this massive volume of Zen wisdom, consider that the translation itself runs for only about 50 pages. The book contains 500 pages!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as part of my priestly studies in the Hollow Bones order, an American Rinzai/Linji order led by Junpo Denis Kelly, Roshi. Anyone practicing zen, or any form of Buddhism for that matter, would benefit from this book. Also, Buddhists would do well to know of the enormous contribution Ruth Fuller Sasaki have given to the tradition through publishing only the highest quality discourses and translations. She deserves to be recognized as a lamp bearer. The depth and accuracy and spirit that was put in to the publishing of this book must not be underestimated. The historical, cultural and practical value in these pages is enormous. It is most definitely for the serious practitioner and/or scholar. If you are new to zen and not a sponge for historical accounts and scholarly exposition, but are not just "spiritually shopping," check out titles by John Daido Loori. _||_
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