Filed in Zen (Chan), Koans, History

Yasutani Roshi: The Hardest Koan

Brian Victoria uncovers the wartime anti-Semitism of one of America’s most seminal Zen masters. Responses to this material from: Robert Aitken, Bernie Glassman, Bodhin Kjolhede, and Lawrence Shainberg

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A look at the nationalism, militarism, and anti-Semitism of the Zen master whose teachings (through The Three Pillars of Zen and numerous disciples) place him among the most influential voices in the transmission of Japanese Zen to the West.


Courtesy Zen Center of Los AngelesIn Zen at War (Weatherhill, 1997), Brian Victoria examined how the Japanese Zen clergy interpreted Buddhist teachings in ways that made Zen dharma—and themselves—complicit with the Imperial Forces for the success of what was called "The Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere."

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