Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

I was introduced to Takuan Sōhō’s writings on Zen and swordsmanship not long after enrolling as a graduate student in the East Asian Languages and Cultures department of Columbia University. My advisor, Yoshito Hakeda, had translated excerpts from...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

Many people have contributed to the preparation of this book. Along with Professor Hakeda, who first inspired me to take up Takuan and taught me the theory of “no fixed mind,” and Charlie...

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Chapter 1. An Introduction to Takuan’s Writings on Zen and Swordsmanship

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pp. 1-32

Like many Zen priests of his day, Takuan was a literary as well as a religious figure. Besides extensive correspondence and quantities of poems in both Chinese and Japanese, the master produced a number of independent prose works...

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Chapter 2. Translations

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pp. 33-57

The ignorance of attachment as the ground of delusion (mumyō jūji bonnō) . The term “ignorance” is made up of the characters for “no light”—that is to say, delusion. The term “attachment” is made up of characters meaning “to stop” and “stage.”...

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Chapter 3. Happenings in a Dream

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pp. 58-124

Takuan’s life, like the difficult times in which he came of age, was marked by periods of considerable turbulence and uncertainty, and, though a dedicated Zen monk with a penchant for seclusion and rural retreat, the master encountered the sorts of extreme...

Notes

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pp. 125-170

Bibliography

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pp. 171-176

Index

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pp. 177-182