Tuesday, September 29, 2009

23rd wedding anniversary in Kamakura

"Let's go for a Kamakura walk!" Taking advantage of my business trip to Japan, Tomoko and I had planned to visit Kamakura to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary.

We took a train from Shinjuku and arrived at Kita-Kamakura before 11am.

The first place we walked to was Engaku-ji temple.
Engaku-ji (円覚寺), is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temple complexes in Japan and is ranked second among Kamakura's Five Mountains.
The temple was founded in 1282.

I asked a monk walking by about Dr. D.T.Suzuki, as I remember he practiced Zen at this temple. And the monk said that his grave is at Tokei-ji temple next to Engaku-ji.

We walked down to Tokei-ji.

Suzuki, D.T. (18 Oct. 1870-12 July 1966) is the foremost exponent of Zen Buddhism in the West. He studied and practiced Zen under his master, Soen Shaku, at Engaku-ji. His increasingly strong belief that westerners needed a lot of assistance in their attempts to understand Buddhism led Suzuki to publish his first original book in English, Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism, in 1907. His encounter in London in 1936 with the twenty-year-old Allan Watts resulted in the publication, later the same year, of Watts's first book, The Spirit of Zen.

I was excited when I found his grave. Offering sincere prayer of gratitude to him at his grave, I felt D. T. Suzuki's presence. "Thank you, D.T. Suzuki." I renewed my vow to share the Dharma in the U.S.

I was also able to find the grave of Rev. Soen Shaku, the prominent Zen master. This Kannon bodhisattva statue is the grave of Rev. Soen Shaku.

Tomoko and I walked in the Kamakura hills, where we happened to meet a kind gentleman, Mr.Kawahara, who kindly showed the hiking path leading to the Great Buddha. On the way, we departed from the main path and took a picture in front of the statue of Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199), Founder of the first warrior government (bakufu) in Kamakura.

Ups and Downs. Tomoko and I enjoyed this hiking. This is just like our life. Tomoko and I were always together, in joyful times and also difficult times.

Finally we arrived at the Great Buddha of Kamakura.
The statue was cast in 1252.
I would like to continue to walk the way of the Buddha with Tomoko.

1 comment:

Rachel Bird said...

I can hear your voice when I read this and it makes me happy!