Gerta Ital

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Gerta Maria Luise Karoline Ital (1904 – 1988) was a German-born actress who entered a Japanese Zen Buddhist monastery late in life. She was born in Hanover. She was the first western woman allowed to stay in a zen monastery (in 1963). She studied with Eugen Herrigel from 1953 to 1955. She was also in contact with Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle. Her master in Japan was Mumon Yamada.

She recorded her experiences in two books, The Master, the Monks and I: A Western Woman's Experience of Zen, and On the Way to Satori: A Woman's Experience of Enlightenment. Both books were published in German in the mid-1960s, but were not translated into English until much later.