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Harada Roshi

Hakuin`s Drawings

Last week the world's most renowned scholar  on Hakuin Zenji Yoshizawa Katsuhiro gave a lecture in the Hondo of Sogenji. It was organized by the Rinzaikai and 15 original Hakuin drawings were on display.

Mr gave detailed explanations on three of Hakuin's drawing. When he was young he found the character of Hakuin too rough and expressive, but now having seen that Hakuin himself went through many phases in his life and thus his style of writing also developed and changed, he explained that in every detail of Hakuin's work there was a deeper meaning to be found.
Mr stressed, that Hakuin's often Manga like drawings are full of humor and always have an extra service added, a small extra note written in some corner of the drawing for example, to explain the point he is making further.
Nowadays it is difficult to read the kana and kanji mixture in his writing which is due to the fact that during the Edo period actually more kanas were used than exist nowadays, so during the Edo time normal people were able to read Hakuin's words. Which was his main purpose of all his works, to use the drawings as expedient means for teaching the Buddha Dharma.
Hakuin would give his works also to high ranking people, yet always a deeper message was hidden within, pointing to how the politicians for example should view their work and responsibility. Other drawings include koan like questions addressing the viewer directly, asking for an answer on their view of the truth.
Next year is the 250 th anniversary of Hakuin Zenji's death, thus this special event was organized in memory and deep respect for Hakuin Zenji.


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