Mar. 6th, 2017

ocschwar: (Default)
Most bait & switch book title ever.

Go online and you will find lots of reviews complaining that, well, it has nothing to do with the religion of the samurai.

Still, I liked it.

It's a straight forward book on the history of Buddhism's progress and evolution from the life of the Buddha into the Zen Buddhism practiced in Japanese monasteries, step by step through China, with one foray to Vietnam. It goes enough into warts-and-all detail about abbots reconciling their devotion to practicing loving kindness with the imperative to murder rival abbots who aren't quite doing it right. It's a good book to read if you want to know about Zen Buddhism as more than a consumerist affectation labelled as spirituality, liberally salted with metajokes.

While the book goes into detail about how Japanese practices combined Buddhism with Taoism and Confucian ethics, there is nothing there about Shinto. Nothing about Bushido. Nothing about the Japanese caste system. Or the Samurai. Hence the complaints. Still, it's a Kindle freebie nd a good read.

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ocschwar

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