Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho: The Collection of Passages Expounding the True Teaching, Living, Faith, and Realizing of the Pure Land

ISBN : 9780199863105

Shinran; Sengaku Mayeda; Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
336 Pages
162 x 239 mm
Pub date
Oct 2012
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  • Publication will coincide with the 750th Memorial of Shinran.
  • Brings together the religious perspectives of two of the most influential religious thinkers in Japanese history: Shinran and D.T. Suzuki.
  • Suzuki's newly found and edited introduction appears for the first time
  • Glossary offers explanations of 208 terms as rendered by Suzuki, with the complete glossary (289 terms) available in English and Japanese online at the Center for Shin Buddhist Studies

This annotated translation by Daisetz Suzuki (1870-1966) comprises the first four of six chapters of the Kyogyoshinsho, the definitive doctrinal work of Shinran (1173-1262). Shinran founded the Jodo Shin sect of Pure Land Buddhism, now the largest religious organization in Japan. 

Writing in Classical Chinese, Shinran began this, his magnum opus, while in exile and spent the better part of thirty years after his return to Kyoto revising the text. Although unfinished, Suzuki's translation conveys the text's core religious message, showing how Shinran offered a new understanding of faith through studying teachings before engaging in praxis, rather than the more common and far more limited view of faith in Buddhism as relevant to one just beginning their pursuit of Buddhist truth. 

Although Suzuki is best known for his scholarship on Zen Buddhism, he took a lifelong interest in Pure Land Buddhism. Suzuki's own religious perspective is evident in his translation of gyo as ''True Living'' rather than the expected ''Practice,'' and of sho as ''True Realizing of the Pure Land'' rather than the expected ''Enlightenment'' or ''Confirmation.'' This book contains the second edition of Suzuki's translation. It includes a number of corrections to the original 1973 edition, long out of print, as well as Suzuki's unfinished preface in its original form for the first time.


List of Illustrations
Editorial Foreword by Sengaku Mayeda, Supervisor
Introduction to the D.T. Suzuki Translation of Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho by Mark L. Blum, Editor
Translator's Introduction
The Forty-Eight Prayers
The Prayers Summarized (Jusei-ge)
Vasubandhu's Gatha on a Birth [in the Pure Land] (Gansho-ge)
The Kyogyoshinsho by D.T. Suzuki
[I] The True Teaching
[II] The True Living
[III] The True Faith
Part One
Part Two
[IV] The True Realizing
Afterword by Hiroyuki Honda, Editor
Notes & Sources of Quotations
Selected Bibliography on Shin Buddhism in Western Languages

About the author: 

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki: Author of numerous books about Zen Buddhism (deceased)
Foreword by Sengaku Mayeda, Shinshu Otani-ha Higashi Honganji, Japan
Introduction by Mark Blum, Professor of Japanese Religion, SUNY Albany, Japan


"In D.T. Suzuki's hands, the stereotypical perception, particularly in the West, of Pure Land Buddhism takes on a different look. Amida Buddha is no longer equivalent to 'God,' and Pure Land is not merely a paradise. Suzuki boldly opts for non-traditional translations of key concepts so that 'vow' is rendered 'prayer' and 'practice' becomes 'living.' Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho is thus illuminated as one of the great Mahayana Buddhist works." - -Kenneth Tanaka, Professor, Musashino University, Tokyo and President, International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies

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