by Jonathan Ciliberto for Buddhist Art News
Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen and the West
by Shoji Yamada
University of Chicago Press, 2009. viii + 304 pages, 8 halftones, 6 line drawings, kanji (Japanese characters) for names and terms, bibliography, index.
Reading Zen in the Rocks: the Japanese Dry Landscape Garden
by Francois Bertier, translation and philosophical essay by Graham Parkes
University of Chicago Press, 2000; 179 pages | 37 halftones | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
• • • • •
Like many Americans, my first substantial encounter with Buddhism was through D.T. Suzuki. As a high school student in the early 1980’s I read his Introduction to Zen Buddhism and found it approachable: the forward by C.G. Jung provides intellectual authority and familiarity, and its style of writing is well-suited to Western readers, particularly the philosophically-inclined.
At the time, I had very little context for Buddhism in Japan. I read and accepted that Zen was deeply embedded in Japanese culture, and later, reading Suzuki’s book on that subject, this belief solidified. I accepted that quintessentially Japanese cultural elements like the tea ceremony and rock gardens were informed, and largely formed, by Zen Buddhism.
However, some aspects of a thorough linking of Zen and Japanese culture struck me as odd even then — what about Shinto? With a bit more reading, I also wondered, what about all the other Buddhist sects in Japan? So, it was not with complete surprise that I began to discern the highly partisan flavor of Suzuki’s ideas, particularly on reading Sharf (1993).
In a sense, Suzuki was read by the West with Japanese culture as a marketing tool, exotic and charming cultural calling cards like the tea ceremony to help “sell” Zen to the Western, and quite successfully.
A return response from Japan is described in Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen and the West. Shoji Yamada offers two instances of Japan choosing a complimentary reflection of itself offered by the West, each of which describes Japanese culture as an instance of Zen Buddhism. Yamada uses the metaphor of a fun-house mirror which displays one’s good qualities (e.g., a distorted mirror which makes one appear thin), and describes the historical process of the Japanese choosing the mirror of themselves offered by the West which reflects admirable qualities: namely the austere philosophical aspects of Zen as promulgated by D.T. Suzuki.
Two cultural instances are presented in this book: Japanese archery and the famous rock garden at Ryōanji. For each, interpretations built in the West are seen to recycle back to Japan in the 20th century, placing upon these two a “Zen” quality which the author contends was either wholly or largely absent prior to Western consideration.
Zen and the Art of Archery
Early amongst the great many books titled “Zen and the art of _______” was Eugen Herrigel’s fantastically popular Zen and the Art of Archery (1948). Herrigal (1884–1955) was a lecturer at Tōhoku University from 1924 to 1929, who prior to his arrival in Japan, pursued an interest in mysticism and Zen in his home country Germany. There, he met visiting Japanese and translated into German Ōhazama Shūhei’s Zen: Der lebendige Buddhismus in Japan.
In Japan, Herrigel trained in Japanese archery (kyūdō) under Awa Kenzō, a somewhat eccentric teacher of the practice. Neither Awa nor Herrigel ever studied Zen or Buddhism formally, under a teacher, in a monastic setting. Nor did D.T. Suzuki. “Robert Sharf […] indentifies a trait common to most of the people who have been involved with spreading Zen in the West: they lack the training and qualifications required of legitimate teachers and existed on the periphery of Zen religious groups in Japan.” (Shots in the Dark, 87)
Herrigel had read D.T. Suzuki’s books, writing, “Suzuki has succeeded in showing that Japanse culture and Zen are intimately connected” (Herrigel, “Die Ritterliche Kunst des Bogenschiessens” [The chivalrous art of archery, 1936], 197-98, quoted in Yamada). According to Yamada, “Herrigel, influenced by D.T. Suzuki and driven by his own preoccupation with mysticism, tried as hard as he could to detect Zen elements within Japanese culture.” (67)
(For more on this mindset, c.f., Monks, Rulers, and Literati: The Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism, by Albert Welter: “Zen apologists in the twentieth century … sold the world on the story of Zen as a transcendental spiritualism untainted by political and institutional involvements.”)
Herrigel’s 1936 lecture on archery was translated into Japanese (Nihon no Kyūjutsu), published in 1941, and met with strong local interest. The Japanese loved Herrigel’s portrait of archery.
Yamada, a researcher in informatics at the International Research Center for Japan Studies, is also a kyūdō enthusiast. The former is evident in the author’s detailed, fact-checking approach.
The latter has a double-effect. Yamada’s personal feeling for archery compels him to point out aspects of Herrigel’s book which seem to him disconsonant with his own experience of it, one which derives from the traditional (institutional) kyūdō of Japan. At the same time, since Herrigel’s experience was also a personal one, and even though Awa operates on the fringes of traditional kyūdō, he does represent Asian traditions which meld the physical and the spiritual, e.g., yoga, martial arts, etc. Yamada makes no attempt to investigate seriously this aspects, instead insisting that the form of kyūdō he endorses is the kyūdō. Thus, by proceeding from a similar position, Yamada provides a basis for the very approach he tries to criticize. This dual, self-contradictory motion is significant for the author’s approach in general, in which he attempts to apply scientific, ‘factual’ data to what are personal, non-quantifiable experiences.
This observation also points to an aspect of culture-building that Yamada does not consider: namely that it is determined by particular preferences possessed by individuals. I will return to this point in the second part of this review.
Cultural change occurs through both creative development according to inherent qualities, and by means of the integration of or reaction to new qualities from external or foreign sources. Herrigel’s encounter with Japan and Zen falls within a broader, modern encounter between the German rationalist and romantic, and Asian philosophical cultures, a meeting which gave material and direction to each. Rather than seeing a kind of illegitimacy in this interchange, the author might consider the conversation between Herrigel, Awa, and the Japanese as a generative one, typical of cultural construction.
Instead, Yamada begins by noting an incongruence between the early 20th century idea of Japanese archery and the presentation of it in Zen and the Art of Archery, which is the basis of his criticism of Herrigel’s book and of its subsequent effect on the Japanese self-image.
The crux of Yamada’s argument rests on exchanges between Herrigal and Awa. Herrigal relates a mystical description Awa offers for the proper way to shoot an arrow, in which it isn’t the archer who directs it, but rather that “It” shoots. When Herrigel finally achieves what Awa deems a good shot, he cries out, “Just then, ‘It’ shot!” (37).
Yamada contends that this “It” comes not from a deeply philosophical consideration of archery — the egoless state of the ideal archer, or wu wei, the actionless action of Chinese philosophy — but rather from a simple failure in language. Awa spoke no English, and Herrigel admitted to “very limited Japanese.” Yamada’s point is somewhat supported by a later interview with the interpreter present during these exchanges, who concedes to have, at times, failed to understand Awa’s gnomic comments.
The second exchange is the “The Shot in the Dark” incident, when Awa, in a darkened hall, struck the bull’s-eye, then sent a second arrow, splitting the shaft of the first. To Herrigel, this display evidenced a mystical power, beyond the merely physical.
Yamada is less impressed by this, since he himself, as a student of archery, has seen such arrow-splitting displays. And, while he admits that these occurred in a well-lit hall, not in the dark, he further clarifies this, since it seems only the far end of the target hall — one that Awa had used regularly — was in darkness. Further, he finds it unlikely that a Japanese archer would express happiness or pride (as Herrigel contends Awa did) by splitting the shaft of an arrow — favorite arrows are treasured by archers.
Yamada concludes: “of the two mystical episodes that lie at the heart of Herrigel’s Zen and the Art of Archery, I would say this: they constitute empty signs or symbols that emerged in the voids created by the misunderstanding resulting from the fault translation of “‘It’ shoots” and by the coincidental occurrence in the “Target in the Dark” episode.” (71)
Through diligent research, Yamada uncovers some inconsistencies which, he feels, support a more specious approach to Herrigel. For instance, the latter’s claim to have studied kyūdō for six years is inaccurate, more than double, in fact, the time Herrigel spent studying the art. Yamada aims to describe a general practice of disinformation when he presents material uncovered in the archives of the University of Heidelberg. The most forceful conclusion from this material is Herrigel’s attempts to downplay his involvement with the Nazi Party, a fact of his life completely hidden by later translators and publishers of his works.
Yamada’s penetrating research into Herrigel’s past certainly describes an individual capable of mis-reading or intentionally distorting his experience of kyūdō.
The author gathers a great deal of evidence to show that kyūdō, prior to Herrigel’s book, had no admixture of Zen, or any other sort of spirituality. However, he does admit that Awa presented a non-standard figure in the kyūdō world who proclaimed a religious undercurrent to the sport. In this sense, while Herrigel’s portayal of kyūdō is not completely accurate, his portrayal of Awa’s kyūdō is. What Yamada shines light on, and brilliantly, is how the subsequent opinion of the general Japanese public regarding kyūdō changed.
One instance of this: the efforts to enter kyūdō archers into the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, competing against archers using Western techniques and equipment. It was felt by the Japanese archers that kyūdō would certainly defeat Western-style archery. When, however, this turned out not to be the case, the spiritual interpretation of kyūdō gained greater traction, perhaps as a kind of compensation.
Zen and the Art of Archery, upon translation into Japanese, was a bestseller, and it is this whole-hearted embrace that is for Yamada the choosing of a complimentary mirror. That Japanese would en masse uncritically accept a version of kyūdō far removed from native, traditional understanding of it, indicates how malleable — and constructed through the interplay of native and foreign influences — Japanese culture in fact is.
The rock garden at Ryōanji is internationally famous, widely viewed as the very epitome of Zen. This latter fact strikes Yamada as odd, given that prior to the 1950s, Ryōanji was poorly tended, scarcely regarded, and not particularly related to Zen Buddhism.
The author was trained as an engineer, and this is reflected in his approach: gather facts, check them against one another, and look for inconsistencies. Yamada admits that he is not a scholar of Buddhism, aesthetics, or rock gardens, by way of apologizing for his approach. These lacks also occasion some significant oversights. For instance, he exhaustively searches pre-war references to the garden (and provides a table which runs for fourteen pages examining middle school history textbooks’ references to the garden) seeking citings of Ryōanji and its description as “Zen”. Finding few of either, he concludes that the garden was neither considered remarkable, nor “Zen” until after the publication of Herrigel’s book. But, he doesn’t mention something quite obvious: the garden is on the premises of a Zen temple and monastery. This alone provides a certain qualification, one would think.
Further, the author neglects to look deeply into the pre-history of dry landscape gardens generally, and completely fails to mention Shinto as an influence. As against the Zen-centric portrait of Japanese culture given by D.T. Suzuki, a more balanced geneology describes “Shinto as the root, Confucianism as the branches and leaves, and Buddhism as the flowers and fruit of the tree of Japanese civilization” (Dumoulin and Heisig, 45). And yet, Shinto doesn’t appear anywhere in Shots in the Dark, and while Literati culture receives some small reference, it is solely to indicate the mistaken “Zen” attribution of the garden.
Edo-era interpretations of the garden describe it as “Tiger cubs crossing the river”. This refers both to the appearance of the rocks in sand, and to a story from Chinese literati (文人, J: bunjin) culture. Yamada is struck by the difference between this reading of the rocks and the modern one: as expressing “the Higher Self” and that “every inch of this garden teaches us the essence of Zen” (quoted from signage at garden, 106-7).
What really interests Yamada, then, is the popular, public perception of Ryōanji, which does increase and take a Zen turn only after the war. In the above-mentioned table of school textbooks, the majority of pre-war textbooks fail even to mention Ryōanji. Why was this most beautiful and spiritual of gardens unrecognized prior to around 1950? Yamada’s answer is: it was never really viewed as beautiful or Zen by Japanese, rather it was the complimentary view of the garden as an paragon of Zen ideas transmitted from the West that created this perception.
Yamada is noting different interpretations of art as evidence that the contemporary reading of Ryōanji is founded not on principles, but opinion. That interpretations of art vary is, of course, no surprise. At times, the author seems to play both sides against the middle. On the one hand, his method attempts to place logic upon what are subjective, culturally bound judgments. Is it so unlikely that a person with Chinese literati views will see Chinese values in something, while a person with Zen views will see Zen values in it?
On the other hand, given the abstraction of the Ryōanji rock garden, and the mystery of its construction, what is odd is that one would expect (or demand) a clear, factual interpretation.
The garden at Ryōanji appeared in Yasujirō Ozu’s Late Spring (1949), a cultural usage which Yamada points to as another reason for its post-war rise in prominence.
Yamada is perceptive to link the rise in fame (and Zen) of Ryōanji to Herrigel’s book, and it is true that Japan generally, in the 20th century, sought to enhance its international reputation. One way in which this occurred was culturally, with a greater attention to ancient sites. Further, he mentions the connection between Zen and Japanese militantism, and connects this with interpretations of Ryōanji similarly turning toward Zen. This is to say: Zen Buddhism had a wide effect on Japanese culture with the rise of the Japanese military, and Herrigel was simply playing to an already receptive audience.
Cultural values are determined not by means of reasoned arguments, logical constructions, or geometric principles. What a culture calls beautiful is largely based upon common agreement, with the agreeing parties ranged to a greater or lesser degree across the culture depending on power, influence, freedom of individuality, communication, etc. And, this is the point Yamada makes: that interpretations of two cultural components changed in the 20th century based upon “non-aesthetic” factors, including complimentary views from the West. At the time, just before and after the Second World War, Japan was striving for recognition from the West, and was especially willing to adopt the latter’s views of itself. It was those elements of Japanese culture seeking Westernization which readily accepted the Zen of archery and Ryōanji as described by Herrigel.
Yamada’s book is a fascinating study, a highly targeted analysis of the rise and adaptation of two key Japanese cultural icons as a result of interaction with the West. Perhaps it is its own worst enemy due to an unwillingness to go far beyond factual analysis and, rather than point to it as anomalous, accept as a given that non-aesthetic factors are powerfully significant in cultural judgments. Despite the centuries of claims by art historians and cultural champions, aesthetic decisions are often based on strictly non-aesthetic positions. Shots in the Dark offers substantive and pointed evidence for this in 20th century Japan.
Shots in the Dark is beautifully designed, with a careful and thorough selection of images (from the cover, an indication of the preference for perceived beauty over truth which is the author’s thesis, to the interior illustrations drawn from historical sources). Page size, typography, reversed (white type on black paper) pages between chapters, all indicate intelligent and tasteful design choices.
• • • • •
Reading Zen in the Rocks: the Japanese Dry Landscape Garden
Francois Bertier, translation and philosophical essay by Graham Parkes
179 pages | 37 halftones | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2000
Readers interested in a treatment of Ryōanji that proceeds from art history and Buddhist philosophy are strongly recommended to Reading Zen in the Rocks: the Japanese Dry Landscape Garden, by the same press. This volume is a translation by Graham Parkes of Francois Bertier’s essay Le jardin du Ryoanji: Lire le Zen dans les pierres (1989), paired with a philosophical essay by Parkes, “The Role of Rocks in the Japanese Dry Landscape Garden.”
Bertier offers a concise history of the dry landscape garden (枯山水, karesansui) combined with a close examination of significant Japanese examples, with particular attention paid to the garden at Ryōanji.
As their name indicates, these gardens replicate landscapes: mountains (“san”) and water (“sui”), using dry (“kare”) elements like rocks, gravel, sand, and also moss.
Both Berthier and Parkes place the dry landscape garden within several of its key cultural influences: Taoism and literati culture (in China), and Shinto (in Japan).
Taoism and its influence on Zen Buddhism
Echoing the organic metaphor quoted above, Berthier writes: “one of the original traits of this branch of Buddhism [Zen] is that it is nourished by the sap of Taoism” (1-2). A significant sources of nourishment was closeness to (and alignment with) the natural world. Taoism, while not simply animism, does postulate a common energy (qi) in all things. This concept found resonance in Mahayana Buddhism which widened the idea enlightenment to include all beings, even allowing for the possibility of the enlightenment of trees, rocks, and dust (Graham, “Mountain Brushes, Ink of Oceans: Nature as Sacred in Japanese Buddhism” (559)).
Further, as Parkes points out in his essay, early Japanese Buddhist thinkers (based upon Chinese precursors and influenced by Taoism) made a clear connection between this world — the world of rocks, trees, oceans, and so forth — and the Dharma.
The founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan, Kūkai (744-835) effected a “bold innovation in Mahayana Buddhist thinking by revisioning the Dharmakaya (hosshin), which had been previously understood as the formless and timeless Absolute, as the ‘reality embodiment’ of the cosmic Buddha Mahavairochana (Dainichi Nyorai) and nothing other than the physical universe” (139). Understood thus, the world of the senses is a complete expression of the Dharma, and proclaims its teachings. One easily sees the connection between Zen and Taoism, in which the natural world is a means of understanding Buddhist philosophy.
While hearing these teachings through experience of the physical world is exceedingly difficult, Kukai relates the claim of his Chinese teacher Huiguo, that “the profound meaning of the esoteric scriptures could be conveyed only through art,” with painting (and gardens) particularly recommended by Kūkai (空海).
Berthier notes that early, iconoclastic Zen teachers, who were suspicious or dismissive of images for religious practice, “privileged the garden most of all as a means of expression” (3). Visually, rocks placed in gravel resemble the mountain at the center of the Buddhist world, Mt. Sumeru “rising from an illimitable ocean” (Kuck, p. 94).
While a well-trained student of Buddhism can see and hear the Dharma in the world as such, the less advanced benefit by the creative works of right-minded artists in paint and rock. Art is in this sense upaya, or “skillful means”. The artist is a bit like a lawyer whose organization and presentation of physical evidence makes it easier for the jury (the viewer) to read the truth in it, a truth that is wholly in the physical evidence, but obscure to the untrained observer.
Literati Culture and Rock Gardens
Literati culture formed during the Song Dynasty in China, in the South, and developed in opposition to the Northern, official, style of painting. Literati values praised naturalism and freedom from rigid court structures. Song Landscape painting is a major influence on dry landscape gardens. “This sober and lapidary art, which renounced the marvels of color, was a response to the demands of simplicity and austerity that informed the life of the Zen monk” (Berthier, 9).
In The World of the Japanese Garden (From Chinese Origins to Modern Landscape Art), Loraine Kuck makes a similar point:
“Superimposed on the pattern laid down by the Heian court, [Zen] reoriented almost completely most of the older cultural expressions. In place of gaiety, brightness, and color it substituted a subtle symbolism, extreme simplicity, and naturalness. We see the transitional process taking place in Saihoji garden. While the garden was not laid out on Zen principles, it became a Zen garden through nature’s influence on it…” (Kuck, 89)
Shinto and Rock Gardens
In Shinto “the natural world and human beings are equally offspring of the divine” (Graham, “Mountain Brushes”, p 560). One sees in this idea ancient Chinese ideas of nature, particularly of rocks and mountains, in which all “natural phenomena, including humans [are] animated by the psychophysical energy known as qi” (Berthier/Parkes, 89). Parkes describes an ancient Chinese myth on the creation of the universe, in which the sky is the vault of a gigantic cave, and the earth’s mountains formed as chunks of this rocky ceiling broke off and fell through the air and “became charged with vast amounts of cosmic energy, of qi (ch’i) before embedding themselves in the earth” (89).
Berthier notes several links between Shinto and the dry landscape garden. First, the animism of Shinto, which posits divine beings (kami) in everything, with greater concentrations in some places (especially in certain rocks and natural sites). Makers of gardens are attuned to rocks of particular power. “Because Shinto is essentially a cult of forms and forces of nature, it is no surprise that the Japanese should experience such attraction for “true” rocks” (44).
Second, the value placed on untooled rocks, rather than those fashioned by human hands, which thereby still express the language of nature (and hence of the Dharma), “since to work it is to desacralize it” (44).
Nature stripped down in this way is reminiscent of the Buddhist koan. As against something formed by human hands, according to principles which can be read for meaning, an untooled rock is a blank page, a nonsensical statement against which the reader reflects his search for an answer. “The garden of Ryōanji, about which so much has been written, is as enigmatic as a Zen riddle” (7-8).
This point is important when placed next to Yamada’s attempts to browbeat readers of that garden into claiming that it is not beautiful at all.
Finally, the positioning of rocks in dry landscape gardens refers to geomantic placement (feng shui). The placement of the garden at Ryōanji south of the hojo [方丈, abbot’s quarters] is “an heir to the sacred spaces of Shinto” (47). Flat, gravel fields in Shinto are ritual spaces where one “received and celebrated the gods”, and was “situated south of the building where the emperor, who was also the country’s religious leader, conducted the affairs of state” (46).
Those familiar with Zen Buddhism will see many carryovers from these three strands, thus creating a fuller, more accurate genealogy for Zen and Japanese culture than the one transmitted to the West by Suzuki.
Creators of Rock Gardens
Of particular interest is Berthier’s consideration of social class and gardens. The creators of rock gardens in Japan are unknown, and this anonymity is linked to the untooled or uncrafted aspect of the gardens themselves. However, it also masks social order. While various claims have been put forward over the centuries for the authorship of Ryōanji, most seem designed to give authority to the gardens by linking them to eminent monks and artists. Meanwhile, two mysterious names are carved into rocks there: Kotarō and Hikojrō. Berthier points out (and Yamada fails to) that these are kawaramono names, “laborers from the lowest stratum of the social structure at that time”(54) — the “untouchables” who performed menial and impure tasks — and conjectures that these were the names of the workers who crafted the garden. “From the beginning of the fifteenth century laborers began to replace the monks as garden makers, and their entry into the scene was associated with the rise of Zen” (53). While at first instructed by monks, Berthier suggests (perhaps romantically) that these laborers found identity through the work of garden making:
“One imagines that […] the art they developed gained in originality and depth precisely because of the the difficulties it forced them to confront. From another perspective these men must have been powerfully motivated: it is true that, stuck as they were in this implacable medieval society in which they were almost imprisoned, they could never hope to attain any decent status; but in devoting themselves to less vile tasks than those which they were usually forced to perform, they could improve to some extent their image of despicable wretches.”
By their very placement outside of cultural canons, and often without access to the norms and guidelines of such canons, these individuals might find creative actions their only recourse. Thus innovations in garden design proceeded more readily than they might within hidebound, traditional systems.
• • • • •
Parkes’ dry sense of humor appears immediately, in the first words of his translator’s preface, and more as a tone than an intention occurs sporadically throughout his essay and endnotes. Giving welcome space for wide consideration of the topic, he presents an overview of some Western thinkers on rocks, revealling instances which veer from the standard model of rocks as soulless. In addition to a few references from classical and biblical sources, and a nod to Spinoza, attention is given to Goethe and those he influenced: Nietszche and the American transcententalists.
He also refers to the Ryōanji scene in Ozu’s Late Spring, which, despite its simplicity, he describes as “a profoundly moving expression of the human condition” (145).
Coincidentally, earlier in the film a Noh performer’s words echo those of Kukai, positing the eventual enlightenment of trees and grass.
This book is an initial treatment of a largely neglected subject, and the many avenues opened for consideration are a great encouragement to readers interested in Asian rock gardens, Buddhist philosophy, and Japanese cultural history.
A small volume, Reading Zen in the Rocks is nearly square in size, comfortable to read, the wide pages well-chosen to accomodate the many halftone (black and white) photographs of rock gardens and brush paintings. The typography, while plain, is certainable servicable, and in fact one appreciates the absence of the hackneyed “Orienatalist” treatment of books on this subject.
Berthier, Francois (2000). Reading Zen in the Rocks: The Japanese Dry Landscape Garden. Translated by Graham Parkes. Chicago, Ill.: University of illinois Press.
Dumoulin, Heinrich, and James W. Heisig, Paul F. Knitter (2005). Zen Buddhism : a History: India and China. MacMillan Publishing Company.
George, Edwin (2002). “The Man Who Loves Rocks”–An Interview with Graham Parkes.
Herrigel, Eugen (1971). Zen in the Art of Archery Tr. R. F. C. Hull. New York: Vintage Books.
Kuck, Loraine (1968, 1984). The World of the Japanese Garden (From Chinese Origins to Modern Landscape Art). John Weatherhill, Inc. of New York and Tokyo.
Kuitert, Wybe (1988). Scenes and Taste in the History of Japanese Garden Art.. J.C.Gieben, Publisher, Amsterdam.
Parkes, Graham (2003). “Mountain Brushes, Ink of Oceans: Nature as Sacred in Japanese Buddhism,” in H. Eisenhofer-Salim, ed., Wandel zwischen den Welten, 557-74. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. [PDF]
Sharf, Robert (1993). The Zen of Japanese Nationalism. History of Religions 33/1: 1–43. (Reprinted in Donald S. Lopez Jr., ed. Curators of the Buddha: The Study of Buddhism under Colonialism , 107–60. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1995.) [PDF]
Sharf, Robert H.: Whose Zen? Zen Nationalism Revisited [PDF]
Suzuki, D.T. An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Grove Press.
Suzuki, D.T. Zen and Japanese Culture, Princeton University Press.
Welter, Albert (2006). Monks, Rulers, and Literati: The Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism. Oxford University Press.
Yamada Shoji: The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery [PDF]
Yamada Shoji (2009). Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen and the West
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.