By Helen Josephine Baroni
Appears to be like on the contributions of an immense determine in Buddhism and gives translations of his writings.
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Extra resources for Iron Eyes: The Life And Teachings of Obaku Zen Master Tetsugen Doko
Within a month of his return to Osaka, Tetsugen could see that the famine was so extensive that his resources would not suﬃce for long. He wrote a lengthy letter beseeching a wealthy merchant in Edo, Yamazaki Hanzaemon, to donate additional funds (Letter to Yamazaki). Yamazaki was a lay patron of Tetsugen’s scripture project, but little else is known about him. The letter is an invaluable resource of information not only about the famine and Tetsugen’s social welfare work, but also as an aid for understanding Tetsugen’s attitudes regarding the Buddhist principle of compassion.
The text of Kurushima’s letter does not seem to have been preserved, but Tetsugen makes reference to it in his own letter. (Letter to Kurushima) In this response to Kurushima, dated the sixth day of the ﬁrst month, Tetsugen asked that the monks be pardoned and their lives spared. Since what occurred at that time concerned the Dharma, it is distinct from worldly matters. I would be still more grateful to you if you would pardon their oﬀenses and restore them to their previous positions. . Although nothing happened and no crime was committed, after the event took place, it seemed as if a crime had occurred.
62 TETSUGEN’S WORK IN THE FAMINE OF 1681–1682 The Ōbaku edition of the Buddhist scriptures came to completion in 1680, and Tetsugen carried a complete copy to Edo, along with a dedication letter addressed to the shōgun. Tetsugen planned to present the copy to the shōgun and apply for permission from the government to commence printing and distribution of the scriptures. While Tetsugen waited in Edo in 1681 for the government to respond, a terrible famine ravaged the entire Osaka and Kyoto region.
Iron Eyes: The Life And Teachings of Obaku Zen Master Tetsugen Doko by Helen Josephine Baroni