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Behind the Scenes: Journey Through Japan Continues …

June 1, 2015

… from Behind The Scenes: A Sanbo Zen Documentary ….


One of the walkways of Sojiji monastery – a major Soto Zen training institution, where Harada Sogaku Daiun (Great Cloud) Roshi was abbot for a while, before exploring further training within the Rinzai school. Today hundreds of monks spend one to three years in training here, learning to become professional monks or priests. It was founded by Dogen’s “Dharma great-grandson” Keizan, who compiled the Denkoroku book of koans.






San’un Zendo in Kamakura, founded in 1960 by Yasutani Haku’un (White Cloud) Roshi and Yamada Koun (Cultivating Cloud) Roshi. It is smaller than Mountain Cloud’s zendo but can seat sometimes as many as 75 people, including a smaller upstairs zendo. This main room often has over 40 people siting in it. The zabutons are quite small, and a second row is placed staggered with the first row down each side when needed. The calligraphy above the altar says: ” Bringing No Fear.”





Engakuji in Kamakura – a temple where Yamada Koun used to come on his bicycle at 5am each morning to sit and have dokusan, before catching the train to work in Tokyo.







Horisawa Sensei, abbot of the Tendai monastery Sanzen-in in the foothills of Mount Hiei. He spent 12 years living as a hermit on the mountain. With him is Azuma-san Sumiko, a Zen student of Ryoun Roshi’s who sits regularly at San’un Zendo and who graciously guided us around Kyoto and Obama in the west, and Henry, just after a fine lunch at a restaurant just below the monastery.





Azuma-san explaining the calligraphy above the main gatehouse to Hosshinji in Obama, where Harada Daiun Roshi taught for the last few decades of his life.





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