Friday, May 29, 2015

Former Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing mentioned Yinyuan at the International Symposium on Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century (2015/02/12)

Nowadays Chinese leaders mentioned Yinyuan 隱元 frequently. In a conference on maritime Silk Road, former Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing 李肇星 delivered a keynote speech and at the end he cited a saying of Master Yinyuan as one of the three "witty remarks." Here is what he said:

The second one I recalled from my visit to Kyoto many years ago. In the Manpuku-ji Temple, there is a couplet written by the Fujian born high priest Yinyuan Longqi (Ingen Ryuki in Japanese) that reads, "there isn't a door that separates the believers and non-believers, and one can always move forward uninterrupted as long as one pursues the correct path".

The Chinese version cited the original as "法门无内外,大道无遮拦.” However, I checked Obakusan no ren to gaku 黄檗山の聯と額, this should be written by the sixth abbot Qiandai Xing'an 千呆性侒 (Note: "Dai" is also pronounced as "ai". It was often written as "敱") at the back of the front gate 山門. The full version should be

大道沒遮攔 進步直登兜率天
法門無內外 翻身拶如旃檀林

Obakusan no ren to gaku, page 15

Here is the full English translation of Li's talk from the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People's Republic of China. Chinese version is also pasted below from a Chinese website.

Building the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century with Open Mind and Bold Courage

—Address by Mr. Li Zhaoxing, Former Foreign Minister and Chairman of China Public Diplomacy Association at the International Symposium on Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century

12 February 2015 Quanzhou, Fujian Province

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to come to this renowned historical and cultural city of Quanzhou to participate in the International Symposium on Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations for this event on behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and China Public Diplomacy Association.

I grew up in a small coastal village in Shandong province. The middle school I went to actually built its students dormitories on the beach. I remember seawater flooding under my bed during the high tide and when it fell away, the floor was covered with sea mud. There were also days when we would take a dip in the water, or play by the beach, or simply sit there and watch the tides. I think for those of us who have grown up near the coast, we all share an emotional bond with the sea and deeply admire its greatness. As our common home, the blue waters unite us altogether.

This symposium takes place at a great moment, because the Belt and Road initiative, and particularly the development of the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century, are very instrumental in promoting the development of the ocean economy and maritime cooperation among participating countries.

In less than a year and a half since the Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road initiative, China together with its partners are already delivering fruitful results. China has made substantive progress in policy planning and mechanism building. Through a series domestic and international conferences, different local regions, the academia, business community, cultural sector, and overseas Chinese communities have all been mobilized to contribute to the initiative. People have expressed high appreciations for the Silk Road Spirit and the proposal of Economic Cooperation Corridor among major economies. Over 50 states and the EU, ASEAN, SCO, UN ESCAP and other international organizations have responded positively the initiative. China has signed the Belt and Road cooperation agreements with Kazakhstan and other states, achieving breakthroughs with partner countries on projects and programs ranging from transport infrastructure to industrial development, and to people-to-people exchange. In addition, the Silk Road Fund has been successfully launched, and 26 states have signed up as charter members to establish the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

In many ways, the Chinese government and people coming from multiple sectors have all played an active part in promoting these progresses. However, these achievements wouldn't have been possible without the support and participation of the governments and people of our partners. When President Xi Jinping worked here in Fujian Province in 1988, he proposed a campaign called "chorus on economic development", borrowing wisdom from the Chinese proverb that says, "when many people help add the firewood, the flame would rise high". Great things can happen when friends and partners combine efforts towards the same goal. The Belt and Road initiative is proposed by China, but it's not a "patent" exclusively owned by China. On the contrary, we see it as a symphony and team performance instead of a solo or one-man show. And I am very pleased to see that "One Belt, One Road" has grown to become the shared efforts and aspiration of all populace along its path.

Recently, I have been asked by a number of friends from abroad about the relationship between the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century. They asked me why we put the two together and which one ranks higher in our priority: the Belt or the Road? In my view, since the ancient times, the Silk Road has always been developing both on the continent and at sea. In some sense, camels and sailing boats have epitomized the trade and cultural exchanges across the Eurasia continent and beyond into the vast oceans. The routes we have pioneered overland and across the seas complemented each other in coexistence. Today, the Belt and the Road are like the two wings of Asia. To fly high, we need both wings to be powerful. Therefore, we attach equal importance to the Belt and the Road so that the two would reinforce each other. Situated on the crossroads of the Asia Pacific and the European economies, it is essential that countries in the South and West Asia grow land and maritime cooperation in sync. We believe that all partners along the routes of the Belt and Road, whether coastal countries or landlocked ones, could make unique contributions to promoting connectivity and international trade, and as equal contributors to and beneficiaries of this initiative, we should all enjoy the rights to participate in the international maritime cooperation.

Compared with the Silk Road overland, the Maritime Silk Road shares similarities but also has its unique characters. It has its own set of advantages, potentials, as well as difficulties and challenges. Going forward, I believe the success of the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century would require effective efforts to coordinate our cooperation. To make that happen, we must equip ourselves with an open mind as broad as that of an ocean and muster courage strong enough to brave winds and waves.

Why the open-mind? Like the vastness of the ocean comes from its accepting of thousands of rivers, to ensure constant progress under this initiative, China will continue, as we've always done, to earnestly heed the opinions and advice and fully consider the interests and concerns of all our partners. We will remain committed to open regionalism, and will refrain from closed blocs and arrangements targeted at the third party. We will seek to cooperate with other regional initiatives and mechanisms, and would welcome countries outside the region to actively participate in appropriate ways. In the future, the Belt and Road will foster large numbers of economic and people-to-people cooperation projects. We look forward to the valuable contribution from international organizations, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

Why the courage? As we navigate through the adjustment after the international financial crisis, we must seize the opportunities of rapidly growing global ocean economy, and establish pivots and corridors for maritime economic cooperation. To achieve the goal, we will intensify efforts to promote maritime transportation, resources development, environment protection, scientific research, tourism, archaeology, and port economic zone development. China will strive to strengthen strategic consensus and mutual trust. Our priorities will be focused on economic and people-to-people projects, and we will first proceed on initiatives that are within our capabilities and of easier external conditions, handle contradictions and differences in proper and peaceful ways, so as to avoid the disruptions of controversial issues in our cooperation.

In my home province Shandong, there is a saying that speaks of fishermen's know-how: cast the net up front of the boat, and sail the vessel up against the wind. Indeed, in the face of winds and waves, what matters most is to find out the wind direction so that we can sail with its strength. In the face of sunken reeves, what matters most is to make right choices on each case: some reeves can be safely crossed during high tides, yet some must require a detour. I have met friends from other countries who have been very candid in telling me that while they believe a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road would do good, they also worry that it might cause maritime disputes, security issues, and turf fights among major powers. In response, I often tell them that the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is a cooperation blueprint shared by all Eurasian countries. In this 21st century, we must get rid of the Cold War mentality, commit ourselves to a new type of international relations featuring cooperation and win-win, and press ahead ocean cooperation with more confidence, openness, and trust. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is a fine example of China's neighborhood foreign policy concept of "closeness, sincerity, shared prosperity, and inclusiveness". There is no hidden strategic agenda to use this initiative as a means to gain sphere of influence, still less to violate other's sovereignty. That said, China will continue to firmly uphold its maritime rights and interests, safeguard global and regional maritime order, and work earnestly to provide public goods and ensure a harmonious ocean environment.

During the 4th APEC Ocean-Related Ministerial Meeting, which was held last August in Xiamen, not far from here, ministers adopted the Xiamen Declaration, calling for the establishment of new partnership for Asia-Pacific ocean cooperation that is more comprehensive, sustainable, inclusive, and mutually beneficial. In my view, coordinated cooperation stands as the most effective way to realize such partnership at three levels.

First, coordination across time. The Maritime Silk Road has its historical legacy that can be traced back to more that two millennia ago when the Chinese, Hindus, and Arabs exchanged goods through maritime sailing. During the Song and Yuan Dynasties (960-1368 AD), Quanzhou had become the largest oriental port, on a par with Alexandria of Egypt. Ten days ago, India launched the "Visit India Year 2015" campaign in Beijing. In his congratulatory video message, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "for several thousand years, India and China have together built inseparable bonds. When the ancient Chinese monk Xuan Zang paid his pilgrimage to India for Buddhist scriptures, he had been to my home state Gujarat. Upon his return, he had gone back to Xi'An, the hometown of the Chinese President Xi Jinping." Home to ancient civilizations, China and India have contributed enormously to the world in the past. In the 21st century for Asia, China and India will continue to join hands and contribute to the world development. To make the 21st Century Silk Road a success, we must tap into the our historical and cultural legacies, carry forward the spirit of peaceful cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefit and win-win, and boost the confidence of the Asian people in pioneering maritime exploration, development, and cooperation.

Second, coordination across space. The development of port cities constitutes an integral part of multiple international economic cooperation corridors, including the new Eurasian Continental Bridge, China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, and China-Indo China Peninsula corridors. On the other hand, the hinterland development and its transportation networks are also essential in supporting and sustaining major port cities and areas. We hope that the Belt and Road initiative will help realize the free flow of land and maritime economic factors, promote cultural exchange and mix between coastal and inland regions, and facilitate the development of safe and efficient land-and-sea major transportation channels, bringing forth common prosperity for both the coastal and inland population.

Third, coordination across borders. It is high time that we coordinated many of our national development strategies and plans. Coordination across the border does not mean that one country would have the power to decide for others or would let others to decide for oneself. Rather, we should find common ground and areas of cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, and work together to plan and facilitate joint projects of cooperation. For instance, Indonesia's development strategy to become a marine power, particularly its marine highway program put forward by President Joko Widodo, fits perfectly well with the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, making ocean cooperation a new growth engine for the bilateral ties between China and Indonesia.

And then, the most foudamental element for effective coordination is our people. We should always put our people first and find ways to deepen mutual understanding and friendship among our peoples. My colleague, Ambassador Wang Yusheng, has deep feelings for the people of Sri Lanka. Previously, he has worked there for over a decade. His wife passed away there. Not long ago, at an advanced age of 84, he once again returned to Sri Lanka for a symposium. He delivered his remarks on the Maritime Silk Road in the Sinhala language and has been warmly received by the audience. When he paid a visit to his late wife in the cemetery, his tears came down, but there is no bitter regrets. Very often I tell people that the Maritime Silk Road is not something newly coined out of nothing, but a legacy that carries the efforts and aspirations of several generations of diplomats and people from various sectors.

During the Silk Road Youth Touring Program organized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry last year, we have brought some foreign students studying in Nanjing to Silk Road historic sites around Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province. An Indonesian student said afterwards, although Zheng He has the world's largest naval fleet back then, he brought to the people in Southeast Asia peace, goods, and friendship. Having seen the treasure ship with his own eyes, he is more convinced that China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development. Moving ahead, we need more young people to experience, understand, and devote to the undertaking of the Maritime Silk Road.

To end my speech today, I would like leave you three witty remarks. The first one comes from a national hero from Fujian Province, Lin Zexu. He has once written a famous poetic couplet that says, "the vastness of the ocean comes from its accepting of thousands of rivers, the resilience of thousands of cliffs comes from their absence of desire". The second one I recalled from my visit to Kyoto many years ago. In the Manpuku-ji Temple, there is a couplet written by the Fujian born high priest Yinyuan Longqi (Ingen Ryuki in Japanese) that reads, "there isn't a door that separates the believers and non-believers, and one can always move forward uninterrupted as long as one pursues the correct path". And the last but not the least, as the Chair of China Shakespeare Studies Association, I would also like to quote his words, "unite closely around you those time-tested friends". I believe these words would lend much wisdom to our discussions today and to the building of the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century in the time ahead.

Thank you!

Here is the Chinese version.

李肇星:以海纳百川胸怀 共建21世纪海上丝绸之路 (/ 1)
发布时间: 2015-02-12 14:50:09  |  来源: 中国网  |  作者: 佚名  |  责任编辑: 吴佳潼

2月12日,21世纪海上丝绸之路国际研讨会高峰论坛在福建泉州举办,外交部原部长、中国公共外交协会会长李肇星出席并讲话。中国网记者 郑亮 摄



(2015年2月12日 福建泉州)

中国公共外交协会会长 李肇星




















Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What is 'Zen' diplomacy? From Chinese monk to ambassador | OUPblog

Click the following link to see the full article:

What is 'Zen' diplomacy? From Chinese monk to ambassador | OUPblog

This short piece of writing was commissioned by Oxford Scholarship Online editors a few months ago. I am glad it is published right after Chinese president Xi Jinping praised Yinyuan in his May 23 speech to a Japanese delegation. I asked the editor to add a paragraph at the end of my writing as a nice footnote to President Xi's mention of Yinyuan. However, it was too late because my writing has gone up to the publishing pipeline. Anyway, I posted the last paragraph I added below. By the way, the editor changed the title as well. It is more straightforward and I appreciated it.

"On the China side, Chinese leadership starts to realize the importance of Yinyuan as well. Just a few days ago (May 23, 2015), Chinese president Xi Jinping gave a speech in Beijing to 3,000 Japanese guests led by Toshihiro Nikai, chairman of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party's General Council, who delivered Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's personal letter to Xi during the meeting. This talk was widely viewed as a conciliatory gesture by both sides after the escalation of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute since 2012. In this talk, President Xi might have surprised everyone when he cited Yinyuan as an example of Sino-Japanese friendship and mentioned his knowledge of Yinyuan during his tenure as governor of Fujian province between 1999-2002. If we learn about the historical significance of Yinyuan in Sino-Japanese relationship as I have explained in my book, President Xi's recount of the Yinyuan story is just another modern reinvention of a Buddhist monk's adventure."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned Zen master Yinyuan in his talk to a Japanese delegation (May 23, 2015)


In a recent talk (May 23, 2015) to a 3,000-member Japanese delegation led by Nikai Toshihiro  二階俊博 , Chinese president Xi Jinping 習近平 mentioned Zen Master Yinyuan 隐元 as an example of Sino-Japanese friendship. I translated his remarks on Yinyuan below:

"When I worked in Fujian province, I already knew the story of the famous Chinese monk Master Yinyuan's travel to Japan in the seventeenth century. During his stay in Japan, Master Yinyuan not only spread Buddhist teaching and doctrine but also brought advanced culture and scientific technology, exerting significant impact on economic and social growth in Edo Japan."

Rough Japanese translation:


Original words:


Full Text below: 



中华人民共和国主席 习近平
2015年05月24日02:59  来源:人民网-人民日报  手机看新闻  字号 

  《 人民日报 》( 2015年05月24日 02 版)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Korean Temple 高麗寺 in Hangzhou by Goryeo Prince Uicheon 義天

Goryeo Temple in Hangzhou, China, photo by Jiang Wu
I am so glad to visit the rebuilt Goryeo Temple in Hangzhou in May 13, 2015. This temple was patronized by Koreans after Goryeo Prince Uicheon visited here in 1085. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, it was famous for a huge revolving sutra repository (zhuanlunzang 转轮藏 or lunzang 轮藏) inside the monastery. The famous Ming literati Zhang Dai 张岱 had been here to turn the wooden structure when he was young. I wrote about the structure in the book on the Chinese Buddhist canon Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asia.
The First Huayan Temple, photo by Jiang Wu

Revolving Sutra Repository in Goryeo Temple, photo by Jiang Wu

Revolving Sutra Repository, photo by Jiang Wu
Portrait of Uicheon in Goryeo Temple

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Talk on Two Tang Monks with the Same Name "Daowu"

Glad to be invited by Prof. Feng Guodong  冯国栋 to Zhejiang University to give a talk on part of my research. This is taken from my first book. Basically, Chan monks in the Northern Song dynasty found that there were two Tang monks named "Daowu": one was Tianwang Daowu 天王道悟 and the other Tianhuang Daowu 天皇道悟. The importance of this discovery is that Longtan Chongxin 龙潭崇信 from whom Yunmen 云门 and Guiyang 溈仰 Chan sects were derived now became the disciple of Tianwang Daowu rather than Tianhuang Daowu. Because of this change, Yunmen and Guiyang Chan sects were shifted to Mazu's line of transmission.

This dispute became the subject of a controversy in the seventeenth century which I discussed in my first book. Yinyuan's teacher Feiyin Tongrong 费隐通容 wrote the "infamous" Strict Transmission of the Five Chan Schools (Wudeng yantong 五灯严统) which was burnt in China. However, Yinyuan reprinted it in Japan.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jiaxing (Jingshan) Canon 嘉興藏 was carved here in Jizhao Chapel 寂照庵

Jingshan Canon Stele, photo by Jiang Wu
 It was a honor to attend the unveiling ceremony of Jingshan canon Ruins on May 10, 2015, organized by Jingshan Temple abbot Jiexing 戒興. The plan is to rebuild Jizhao Chapel and create a new edition of Jingshan Canon.
Unveiling ceremony, photo by Jiang Wu

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Talk on Yinyuan at Jingshan Temple 径山寺


径山讲堂 系列讲座





吴疆 教授
1994年南开大学中国哲学专业硕士,2002年美国哈佛大学宗教学博士,师从杜維明与詹密羅 (Robert Gimello)教授,专治十七世纪中国宗教思想史,现为美国亚利桑那大学东亚系教授。

出版专著《僧诤与禅悟:十七世纪中国禅宗的复兴》(牛津大学出版社, 2008)以及《蹈海东瀛:中国禅僧隐元与前近代东亚的本真危机》(牛津大学出版社,2015)。
另外编著有《法宝东渐:汉文佛教大藏经的形成与演变》(与贾晋珠教授合编,哥伦比亚大学出版社, 2016年即出)。
5月11日 17:30—19:30
杭州佛学院 大禅堂


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Conference on Jiaxing/Jingshan Canon in Hangzhou

I am looking forward to attending this exciting conference. It looks like well organized with many good presentations. I am going to present on how a variation of Jiaxing Canon, the Japanese Obaku Canon, was brought to Europe in 1875.


5 月8 日(星期五)
  联系电话: 杜家秦 13588857655     刘立 13819492647

5 月9 日(星期六) 研讨会第一日


08:30~09:00 开幕式
主持人 :浙江工商大学日本语言文化学院教授  江静

09:00~10:00 论文发表(上半场)   主持人 :方广锠教授

09:00~09:20  论文发表(1)

09:20~09:40  论文发表(2)
发表者:何梅(中国社会科学院世界宗教研究所   副研究员)

09:40~10:00  论文发表(3)
发表者:定源法师(上海师范大学  副教授)

10:00~10:20 茶歇

10:20~11:50 论文发表(下半场)及讨论会    主持人:吴疆教授
10:20~10:40 论文发表(4)
发表者:章宏伟(故宫博物院研究所 所长)
论文题目: 明代万历年间江南民众的佛教信仰
10:40~11:00 论文发表(5)
发表者:Darui Long(龙达瑞)(美国加州洛杉矶西来大学宗教系 教授)
11:00~11:20 论文发表(6)
发表者:王彦明(周口师范学院文学院 博士)
11:20~11:50 讨论会
12:00~14:00 午餐、午休
14:00~15:20 论文发表(上半场)    主持人 :杜正民教授
14:00~14:20 论文发表(7)
发表者:吴疆(美国亚利桑那大学东亚系 教授)
14:20~14:40 论文发表(8)
发表者:Rober M.Gimello(詹密罗)(美国圣母大学 Research Professor)
论文题目:The Jiaxing Canon as a Rare Repository of Later Chinese Buddhist Esotericism
14:40~15:00 论文发表(9)
15:00~15:20 论文发表(10)
发表者:柳富鉉(韩国大真大学文献情报学科 教授)
15:20~15:50 茶歇、拍照
15:50~17:00 论文发表(下半场)及讨论会   主持人 :章宏伟教授
15:50~16:10 论文发表(11)
发表者:王芳(佛光大学佛教研究中心 研究助理)

16:10~16:30 论文发表(12)
16:30~17:00 讨论会
18:00~19:30  欢迎晚宴
5 月10日(星期日) 研讨会第二日
09:00~10:00 论文发表(上半场)  主持人 :龙达瑞教授
09:00~09:20 论文发表(1)
发表者:方广锠(上海师范大学  教授)
09:20~09:40 论文发表(2)
发表者:杜正民(法鼓文理学院  教授)、法幢法师(北京大学  博士生)

09:40~10:00 论文发表(3)
发表者:Charles Jones(周文广) (美国天主教大学 博士)
论文题目:Is a Dazangjing 大藏经 a Canon? On the Use of “Canon” with Regard to Chinese
Buddhist Anthologies
10:00~10:20 茶歇
10:20~11:30 论文发表(下半场)及讨论会   主持人 :何梅教授
10:20~10:40 论文发表(4)
发表者:冯国栋(浙江大学 教授)
10:40~11:00  论文发表(5)
发表者:法幢法师(北京大学  博士生)
11:00~11:30   讨论会
11:30 ~13:20  午餐、午休
13:20 集合
13:30  出发赴径山寺
14:00~16:00  径山寺 考察 、品茗、 闻香
16:00~17:20 径山藏编修讨论会  主持人 :方广锠教授
17:30   晚餐