Kōshō Uchiyama

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Kōshō Uchiyama
DiedMarch 1998 (aged 85–86)
ReligionZen Buddhism
EducationM.A. (Waseda Univ.)
Senior posting
Based inAntai-ji
PredecessorKodo Sawaki
SuccessorKoho Watanabe
Shohaku Okumura
Joichi Yamamoto
Shusoku Kushiya

Kosho Uchiyama (内山 興正, Uchiyama Kōshō, 1912 – March 13, 1998) was a Sōtō priest, origami master, and abbot of Antai-ji near Kyoto, Japan.

Uchiyama was author of more than twenty books on Zen Buddhism and origami, {sfn|Uchiyama|Wright|Warner|Okumura|2004|p=201}} of which Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice is best known.

Education and career[edit]

Uchiyama graduated from Waseda University with a masters degree in Western philosophy in 1937 and was ordained a priest in 1941 by his teacher Kōdō Sawaki.[1] Throughout his life, Uchiyama lived with the damaging effects of tuberculosis.[2]

Uchiyama became abbot of Antai-ji following Sawaki's death in 1965 until he retired in 1975 to Nokei-in, also near Kyoto, where he lived with his wife.[3] Following the death of his teacher he led a forty-nine-day sesshin in memorial of his teacher.[1] In retirement he continued his writing, the majority of which consisted of poetry.[2]

Opening the Hand of Thought[edit]

Opening the Hand of Thought was published in 2004 in English, translated and edited by Jishō Cary Warner and Thomas Wright (who helped with the book's earlier editions in 1973 and 1993),[4] as well as Uchiyama's Dharma heir Shohaku Okumura. The book attempts to describe Zen and zazen. Uchiyama compares Buddhism and Christianity.[5] His summary is:

"one zazen, two practices, three minds"[6]

which refers to his own formula: two practices of "vow" and "repentance", and three minds: "magnanimous mind, nurturing mind and joyful mind".[7] He says his book covers butsudō, the effort of an individual to actualize their universal self.[8]



  1. ^ a b Ford 2006, p. 139.
  2. ^ a b Wright & Warner 2006.
  3. ^ Uchiyama et al. 2004, p. 201.
  4. ^ Uchiyama et al. 2004, p. 202.
  5. ^ Uchiyama et al. 2004, pp. 110–111.
  6. ^ Uchiyama et al. 2004, p. 158.
  7. ^ Uchiyama et al. 2004, p. 158–161.
  8. ^ Uchiyama et al. 2004, pp. xxxv–xxxvi.


External links[edit]