Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tainan Fahua Temple 台南法華寺

Front gate of Fahua Temple
Fahua Temple in Tainan 台南法華寺 used to be an important Buddhist site. It was started by a Ming loyalist Li Maochun 李茂春 when Zheng Chenggong took over Taiwan. Li was the friend of Chen Yonghua 陳永華 and they often met in this place which was Li's residence before. There might be some connections with Tainan Huangbo Temple because they were built around the same time.  I visited this place in Dec. 2015 and found out it is a rebuilt temple. A free pamphlet distributed by the monastery gave a detailed history of the temple. It seems the temple has involved in a long-term dispute with Tainan municipal government because the city insisted the temple is a historical site and prohibits its expansion project. The abbot Ven. Qingxu  晴虛 is leading a petition and argues there is no historical relics in the temple and the government should allow its expansion. Dr. Yang Kuei-hsiang told me Ven. Qingxu used to be abbot in Lingquan Temple in Jilong 靈泉禪寺 as well. Lingquan Temple is very important in reviving Taiwan Buddhism in the modern period. 

Temple History by Fahua Temple
Expansion plan
Petition by Ven. Qingxu

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cult of Zheng Chenggong in Tainan

It is no doubt that you will see a lot of relics related to Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功 in Tainan. At the end of the Qing dynasty, the government approved it as an official cult because many local Taiwanese worshiped him for his efficacy in protection. Of course, he also protected Zen master Yinyuan traveling to Japan. I have a whole chapter 3 on his relation with Yinyuan in my book Leaving for the Rising Sun.  Here is a guide to the famous shrines in Tainan about Zheng Chenggong. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Location of Tainan Huangbo Temple 台南黄檗寺

Original Site of Huangbo Monastery, northward, photo by Jiang Wu

Original site of Huangbo Temple, southward, photo by Jiang Wu
I know there was a Huangbo Temple in Tainan which has been destroyed for a long time. It used to be the residence of Chen Yonghua 陳永華 and later was converted as Huangbo Monastery. This monastery has a close connection with the Ming loyalists and the resistance movement. I thought it was inside Tainan No.2 Middle School 台南二中. But at the suggestion of Mr. Cao Guodong 曹國棟, I finally found the place. It was located in an empty lot at the northern corner of the intersection of Xiaodong Road 小東路 and Beimen Road 北門路, to the east side of Tainan Park. A blog by a local historian named Yunhai Youzi 雲海遊子 explained the history of Huangbo Temple very well. See 黃檗寺-陳近南故居

There are also the following useful references to the temple:
野川博之,<臺南黃檗寺考>,載《黃檗文華》第123, 2003, p.53-75
吳敏霞 2007 《日據時期的臺灣佛教》。臺中:太平慈光寺。
江燦騰2001 《日據時期臺灣佛教文化發展史》。臺北:南天書局。
王見川、李世偉(合著) 1999 〈日治時期臺灣佛教的認同與選擇:以中臺交流為例〉,收於王見川、李世偉合著,《臺灣的宗 教與文化》,頁 29-67。臺北:博揚文化事業有限公司。
釋慧嚴 2008 《臺灣與閩日佛教交流史》。高雄:春暉出版社。

Monday, December 14, 2015

Kaiyuan Temple 開元寺 in Tainan and Huangbo Dharma Transmission

I visited Tainan Kaiyuan Temple 開元寺 in the afternoon of Dec. 12, 2015. This used to be the villa of the Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功family in Tainan and was converted to a Buddhist monastery after the Qing government conquered Taiwan. It was a famous Chan temple in Tainan and one of its dharma transmission was derived from Huangbo Monastery 黃檗寺 in Fujian, where Master Yinyuan was abbot and later went to Japan. Several inscriptions of Linji abbots were preserved in the temple. Taiwan scholar Jiang Canteng 江燦騰 is writing a detailed history of Kaiyuan Temple. It was fortunate that I also met Mr. Zeng Guodong 曾國棟 , director of Tainan Cultural Property Association 台南市文化資產保護協會 here and asked him questions about the location of Huangbo Monastery in Tainan.

Note: The location is Kaiyuan Temple. But I don't know why Google shows it is Wei Kang Library.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Master Sheng Yen's Last Residence at Sheng Yen Education Foundation

In his last two years before he passed away in 2009, Master Sheng Yen 聖嚴 lived in this place where is now Sheng Yen Education Foundation. There is a small exhibition hall of Master Sheng Yen's life and we were having meeting in the buddha hall next door.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Dharma Drum Mountain and Dharma Drum College of Liberal Arts

After the workshop, Dr. Yang Zhanmei 楊展楣 kindly showed as about the beautiful Dharma Drum Mountain area and the newly founded Dharma Drum College of Liberal Arts. I now have a better idea about its history and how Master Sheng Yen started it.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Conversation on Zen Buddhism with Bill Porter

A year ago, my friend Bill Porter came to Tucson for a lecture. We had some time to sit down and did this interview together. I have it translated into Chinese as well. This is nothing about Obaku but should be of interest to students of Zen Buddhism in general.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Kōraku-en 後樂園 in Tokyo

During my short stay in Tokyo at the end of September, 2015, I was fortunate to have Dr. Yang Kuei Hsiang as my guide. In September 29, I was honored to have Tanaka Shōzō 田中昭三 and Prof. Hayashi Masako 林正子 in my company to visit a few Obaku related historical sites in Tokyo. Mr. Tanaka is an expert in Japanese gardens and published a lot on the topic. He introduced me to Kōraku-en 後樂園 next to the famous Tokyo Dome. It was built in 1630s by the Mito lord Mitsukuni 德川光圀. Advised by the Ming loyalist Zhu Shunshui 朱舜水, the garden was named after Mencius' famous words "Enjoy this pleasure only after becoming the worthies" “贤者而后乐此” (Mencius, Lianghuiwang chapter, part I). The garden is full of allusions to and imitations of famous sites in Chinese landscape, probably at the suggestion of Zhu Shunshui as well. We were joking that this was daimyo's Disneyland in Edo Japan.
Entrance to Korakuen, photo by Jiang Wu

Su Dike 蘇堤 imitating Chinese West Lake in Hangzhou

Chinese Style Arched Bridge, photo by Jiang Wu

View from the Paved Path way from original entrance, photo by Jiang Wu

Poster for a Conference on Donggao Xinyue and Mito Domain, photo by Jiang Wu

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Earliest European Discovery of Zhu Shunshui 朱舜水 and Donggao Xinyue 東皋心越 in 1896

Ernest Clement
Donggao Xinyue

Zhu Shunshui

Most people thought the Dutch scholar-diplomatic Van Gulik 高羅佩 was the first European who discovered Donggao Xinyue 東皋心越 . He published two related works in 1940s. However, I came across an article dated to 1896 by Ernest W. Clement I1860-1941) who already introduced both Zhu Shunshui 朱舜水 and Donggao in Mito. No Chinese scholars would have known Zhu Shunshui and Donggao without the efforts of these two European scholars.

The full reference of the article is:

Journal/Book Title: Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan.
Article Title:      Chinese refugees of the seventeenth century in Mito.
Article Author:     Clement, Ernest
Year:               1896

Reference to van Gulik's works:

明末義僧東臯禪師集刊 / Ming mo yi seng Donggao chan shi ji kan 
商務印書館 : 民國 33 [1944]   Chongqing : Shang wu yin shu guan, Minguo 33 [1944], [19], 152 p. 
Chan master Donggao. Chinese. With added preface in English.

The Ch'an master Tung-Kao : a loyal monk of the end of the Ming period 
by R. H. van Gulik. 
Chungking, China : Commercial Press, 1944. 1 v. (unpaged) : ill.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tokugawa Descendents and Tokugawa Musuem

日本德川博物館藏品錄 I:朱舜水文獻釋解

During the Obaku conference from Oct. 2-3, 2015 in Taiwan University, it was my great honor to meet the 15th generation heirs of the Tokugawa clan in the Mito line, Tokugawa Narimasa德川斉正 and Tokugawa Maki 德川真木, who are running the
Tokugawa Museum and Shōkōkan 彰考館. They are also active in publishing rare sources preserved in Mito, especially related to Zhu Shunshui  朱舜水 and Donggao Xinyue 東皋心越. I am fortunate to receive a copy of recent publications from them.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Gate of Tojinyashiki 唐人屋敷 in Kofukuji

Gate of Tojinyashiki at Kofukuji. Photo by Jiang Wu, July 2013
Tojin yashiki 唐人屋敷 is a forgotten place in Nagasaki. Most people will visit Christian churches and western gardens and enjoy the city as an opening window to Western culture. People rarely think about the Chinese residents who used to live in a fenced quarter called Tojin yashiki. Its gate is now moved to Kofukuji.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Zen Reading Group at 2015 American Academy of Religion in Atlanta, Nov. 21, 2015

I am going to join a Zen reading group at the upcoming AAR meeting in Atlanta. I will present a short encounter dialogue (jiyuan wenda 機緣問答) between Miyun Yuanwu 密雲圓悟 and Hanyue Fazang 漢月法藏, who were involved in a fierce dispute about the principle of Linji teaching (Linji zongzhi 臨濟宗旨). Miyun was the dharma grandfather of Yinyuan.

AAR 2015 in Atlanta: M21-404

Zen Reading Group
Theme: Second Annual Meeting
Saturday - 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
Marriott-International 9 (International Level)

Aim: In-depth discussion of close readings of issues in translation & interpretation of selected Zen texts circulated in advance of the meeting. This session is open to all who wish to attend; please request the passages by contacting Steven Heine at

Steven Heine, Florida International University
Introduction to Zen Readings

Mario Poceski, University of Florida
Mazu's Texts

Jiang Wu, University of Arizona
Seventeenth-Century Chinese Chan

Gereon Kopf, Luther College
New Approaches to Dōgen

Jin Y Park, American University

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Obaku Archbishop Ven. Kondo Hiromichi's 近藤博道 Inauguration Ceremony in Oct. 27, 2015

On Oct.27, 2015 (today), a new Obaku Archbishop Ven. Kondo Hiromichi近藤博道 will be inaugurated as the sixty-second abbot of Manpukuji. I am always fascinated by the ritual ceremonies of the Obaku sect in Japan and wondering how much have been preserved since Yinyuan's time. The agenda below shows the basic structure of the ceremony still maintains some elements from the seventeenth century. It will be a great topic to do religious and ethnographic research. The inauguration ceremony of the Sixtieth generation abbot Sengoku Taizan 仙石泰山 on Oct. 28, 2001 has been put on Youtube and a link is provided below.


来る十月二十七日 (火) 黄檗宗大本山萬福寺 第六十二代堂頭、黄檗宗管長近藤博道大和尚晋山式を挙行いたします。
08:00総門より晋山 三門祝問 諸堂巡拝
09:00維那 上堂第一請東方丈寿位の間にて
12:00本堂前にて記念撮影 祝辞 鏡開き

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Imperial Palace (Edo Castle) Yinyuan Visited in 1658

Ote Gate of the Tokyo Imperial Palace from which Yinyuan might have entered, photo by Jiang Wu
During my recent trip to Japan, I stayed at Grand Arc Hanzomon Hotel which is next to the imperial palace, old Edo Castle. I was unable to get in but this is the place Yinyuan visited when he had an audience with the fourth Shogun Ietsuna 徳川 家綱  (1641 – 1680) in the winter of 1658. I have a very detailed description of this meeting of a Chinese monk and the Japanese rule in my book Leaving for the Rising Sun, pages 128-131. I know the palace has been changed a lot after the Meiji emperor took it over. But maybe we can find some interesting things preserved in their archive.
Overview of the Palace from Grand Arc Hanzomon Hotel, photo by Jiang Wu
Overlooking the Palace from Ote Gate, photo by Jiang Wu

The Korean Gate高麗門 , photo by Jiang Wu

Map of Places Yinyuan visited in Edo City, created by Jiang Wu

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Special Exhibitions at Manpukuji Archive

Painted by Chen Xian, Inscribed by Yinyuan


記事 文華殿 (2015/10/14) Today!
文華殿 昭和47年(1972) 黄檗文華の殿堂として、その宝物・資料の収蔵保管と展示のために、開山隠元禅師300年大遠諱を記念して建立されました。

収蔵品には、隠元禅師の画像を多く描いた喜多元規の作品をはじめ、しばしば寺に出入りしたという伊藤若沖 (じゃくちゅう) や池大雅の名画があり、さらに隠元禅師の遺品や中国伝来の品々も多数保存されています。
一般公開は、年2回 春と秋に特別展を約1ヶ月間開催しています (月曜休館)。


黄檗山萬福寺文華殿 秋季特別展(40)
〔講演会〕『明清文人の生活空間』 京都大学人文科学研究所助教 髙井たかね氏
日時:11月15日(日) 14:00
※( )は30名以上の団体時、別途入山料が必要となります。

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Yinyuan, Mu'an, and Jifei's Calligraphy Folding Screen at Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum has a magnificent folding screen of Zen words (Zengo Byōbu 禪語屏風) featuring the calligraphy by Yinyuan 隱元, Mu'an 木庵, and Jifei 即非. No other information about its origin so far.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Obaku monk's long scroll at Tokyo National Museum

Displays in a national museum in any country are not a small matter. They are reflections of a nation's historical memory. During my recent stop in Tokyo, I went to Japan's National Museum at Ueno Park to see how the Obaku art by immigrant Chinese monks is displayed. To my surprise, Yinyuan and other Chinese monks' works are featured prominently as the art of Japan. One of them is this long scroll of calligraphy by eighteen Chinese monks led by Yinyuan. Apparently, Yinyuan and these Chinese monks wrote at the same time on a long piece of paper. It must be a magnificent event. This piece of art has been adorned by late Edo Confucians as well and became the collections of Saitō Setsudō  斎藤 拙堂(さいとう せつどう) and Koga Seiri 古賀 精里(こが せいり).

Saturday, October 3, 2015

New Book on the Chinese Buddhist Canon Available for Sale now

"Bringing together leading specialists in the Chinese Buddhist canon, Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asia makes a major contribution to our understanding of both the textual and the social history of one of the most impressive textual projects in the history of the world." — John Kieschnick, Stanford University

"The Sinitic Buddhist canons rank among the largest bodies of sacred literature ever produced by any religious tradition. The compilation, editing, and publication of these massive collections required a commitment of money and manpower that was the medieval equivalent of the moon landings of the 1960s. This ground-breaking volume gives these canons the sustained attention they have long deserved from the scholarly community and will help to demonstrate that they are among the preeminent cultural achievements of the wider Sinitic world." — Robert E. Buswell, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles

"One measure of the maturity of a discipline is its critical awareness of its sources. This collection of nine expert and ground-breaking essays on the Chinese Buddhist canon, augmented by a magisterial preface by a doyen of the field and by two eminently useful bibliographical appendices, marks a genuine advance in the study of Chinese Buddhism. All students of Buddhism in China have necessarily been explorers and exploiters of the vast textual treasury of the Chinese Buddhist tradition, but they have not always been fully aware of the nature, the scope, the formation, and the limitations of great resource on which they draw. Now, with the appearance of this quite essential book, they have a reliable map and a guide to what is arguably the largest single collection of authoritative texts of any of the world's great religions. All who study Chinese Buddhism must be grateful to Professors Wu and Chia and their colleagues, and must keep this book of theirs ever handy as they pursue their research into scholarly territory now more clearly mapped." — Robert M. Gimello, The University of Notre Dame

Preface, by Lewis Lancaster

Introduction, by Jiang Wu and Lucille Chia
Part I: Overview
1. The Chinese Buddhist Canon Through the Ages: Essential Categories and Critical Issues in the Study of a Textual Tradition, by Jiang Wu
2. From the "Cult of the Book" to the "Cult of the Canon": A Neglected Tradition in Chinese Buddhism, by Jiang Wu
Part II: The Formative Period
3. Notions and Visions of the Canon in Early Chinese Buddhism, by Stefano Zacchetti
4. Fei Changfang's Lidai sanbao ji and Its Role in the Formation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon, by Tanya Storch
Part III: The Advent of Printing
5. The Birth of the First Printed Canon: The Kaibao Edition and Its Impact, by Jiang Wu, Lucille Chia, and Chen Zhichao
6. The Life and Afterlife of Qisha Canon, by Lucille Chia
7. Managing the Dharma Treasure: Collation, Carving, Printing, and Distribution of the Canon in Late Imperial China, by Darui Long
Part IV: The Canon Beyond China
8. Better Than the Original: The Creation of Goryeo Canon and the Formation of Giyang Pulgyo, by Jiang Wu and Ron Dziwenka
9. Taisho Canon: Devotion, Scholarship, and Nationalism in the Creation of the Modern Buddhist Canon in Japan, by Greg Wilkinson
Appendix 1. A Brief Survey of the Printed Editions of the Chinese Buddhist Canon, by Li Fuhua and He Mei
Appendix 2. The Creation of the CBETA Electronic Tripitaka Collection in Taiwan, by Aming Tu
List of Contributors

Jiang Wu is professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona. His research interests include Chinese Buddhism, especially Chan/Zen Buddhism and the Chinese Buddhist canon, Sino-Japanese Buddhist exchanges, and the application of GIS tools in the study of Chinese culture and religion.

Lucille Chia is professor of history at the University of California at Riverside. Her research interests include Chinese book culture, most recently the history of Buddhist publishing in imperial China. She is the author of Printing for Profit: The Commercial Publishers of Jianyang, Song-Ming (960-1644) and coeditor of Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print: China, 900-1400.