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Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
Religion Rinzai
Education Waseda University
Personal
Born (1870-10-18)October 18, 1870
Honda-machi, Ishikawa prefecture, Kanazawa, Japan
Died July 22, 1966(1966-07-22) (aged 95)
Senior posting
Based in Otani University
Tokyo University
Columbia University
University of Kyoto
Eastern Buddhist Society

Dr. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (鈴木 大拙 Suzuki Daisetsu, October 18 1870July 22 1966) was a Japanese scholar on Japanese Buddhism and Rinzai believed to have provided the Western world with its first significant introduction to Zen Buddhism—due in large part to his three volumes of essays published from 1927 to 1934 under the title Essays in Zen Buddhism. Over his career Suzuki had published approximately thirty books on Buddhism in the English language, in addition to his journal writings and ninety-plus books in the Japanese language. A student of Imakita Kosen and Soyen Shaku—the first Zen master believed to have taught in the United States—Suzuki was highly proficient in the English language. As a visiting professor at Columbia University teaching courses on Zen Buddhism, he particularly affected the future course of Zen Buddhism in the United States.

Biography[edit]

Daisetz Teitarō Suzuki was born as Teitarō Suzuki on October 18, 1870 in Honda-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan. Raised in a religious family, he was immersed throughout his upbringing in the traditions of Zen and Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism.[1] Before attending university at today's Waseda University, Suzuki taught English to schoolchildren in primary schools and—while in college—he began receiving Zen instruction from Soyen Shaku at Engakuji in Kamakura, Japan and later translated for Shaku the speech he would give at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions.[2] While attending the World's Parliament, Shaku befriended several individuals interested in Buddhism—in particular, the writer Paul Carus. Under the instruction of his teacher Shaku, Suzuki came to the United States in 1897 to work with Carus at Open Court Publishing Company, located in La Salle, Illinois.[3] He stayed with the Carus family until 1908, providing translations and writing his first book in English on Buddhism in 1907, titled Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism.[2] Suzuki returned to Japan in 1909, where he continued sanzen with Soyen Shaku at Engakuji and lectured at Tokyo University.[4] In 1911 he then married the American Beatrice Lane, who became his collaborator and an author of her own works concerning Mahayana Buddhism.[2] When Shaku died in 1919, Suzuki left Engakuji and began teaching philosophy and religion at the University of Kyoto.[3] In 1921, Suzuki accepted a professorship in Buddhist philosophy at Otani University located in Kyoto.[2]

Also in 1921, Suzuki founded the Eastern Buddhist Society (which publishes the journal The Eastern Buddhist)[5]—a society which proved helpful in opening dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism.[6]

Criticism[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

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Other media[edit]

Books[edit]

Video[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Suzuki, vii
  2. ^ a b c d A Modern Buddhist Bible, 68-69
  3. ^ a b Smith & Novak, 152
  4. ^ Curators of the Buddha, 150
  5. ^ Nishitani, xlii
  6. ^ Shoshūkyō Kenkyū Sentā, 55

References[edit]

  • Sentā, Shoshūkyō Kenkyū (1977). Japanese Religions. Christian Center for the Study of Japanese Religions. 
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Category:1870 births Category:1966 deaths