Tsugen Jakurei

Japanese Buddhist monk and poet

Tsugen Jakurei (1322 - May 5, 1391) was a Japanese Zen monk and poet, known as one of the main disciples of Gasan.

Quotes edit

  • From the day of my coming hither
    Full seventy years have passed.
    Now, setting out on my final path
    My two legs trample the sky.
    • Japanese Death Poems. Compiled by Yoel Hoffmann. ISBN 978-0-8048-3179-6; Cited : Sushila Blackman. Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die. 2005. p. 66

Quotes about Tsugen Jakurei edit

  • Tsugen Jakurei (1322-1391), whose teaching was most widely inherited in the Soto sect, is famous for his 'pit of burying-alive'. When an itinerant priest came to him in order to receive training, it was said, he tested the newcomer and if he perceived in the latter any impurity of motivation, he then simply threw him down into the pit.
    • Hajime Nakamura, The Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples, 1960/1991. p. 412
  • Jakurei of Yotaku. The zen master's initiatory name was Jakurei; he was styled Tsugen. He was from Kyoto. He was orphaned as a child and was raised by his grandmother. He saw that he was physically unfit for worldly occupations, and climbed Mount Hiei to have his head shaved.
    • Thomas F. Cleary. Timeless Spring: A Soto Zen Anthology. 1980. p. 140
  • Tsugen Jakurei (1322-1391) is the best known of the five chief disciples of Gasan. Highly gifted, he read the Buddhist sutras as a young boy and at seventeen decided to be a monk. He took his first steps in the monastic life in his native Kyushu, but soon traveled north to present himself before the doors of Daijo-ji in Kaga, where Meiho Sotetsu received him warmly. Tsugen, a determined searcher of the Way, carried on his practice continually by day and by night and elicited the admiration and wonder not only of his fellow monks but also of the surrounding population. After more than ten years at Daijo-ji, he moved to Soji-ji in 1352, hoping that Gasan's direction would bring his progress along the path of enlightenment to completion. In 1356 he had an experience of the great enlightenment at Soji-ji.
    • Heinrich Dumoulin, ‎James W. Heisig, ‎Paul F. Knitter. Zen Buddhism: a history. 1989. p. 210