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Sword of ZenMaster Takuan and His Writings on Immovable Wisdom and the Sword Taie$
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Soho Takuan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835439

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835439.001.0001

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An Introduction to Takuan’s Writings on Zen and Swordsmanship

An Introduction to Takuan’s Writings on Zen and Swordsmanship

(p.1) 1 An Introduction to Takuan’s Writings on Zen and Swordsmanship
Sword of Zen

Peter Haskel

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses Takuan's writings on Zen and swordsmanship, specifically Record of the Marvelous Power of Immovable Wisdom and On the Sword Taie. Takuan's writings on swordsmanship are aimed at illumining the principles of Zen through the exigencies of the warrior's art. Indeed, of all Takuan's surviving writings, only the two texts deal so directly, thoroughly, and exclusively with Zen, and in particular with the practice and function of Zen mind. The texts are also the earliest surviving examples of a Rinzai master's written instruction on Zen and the martial arts. Of the two, Record of Immovable Wisdom is overall the more lively and detailed; but The Sword Taie retains a distinct character and flavor that make it a valuable companion piece to its more celebrated cousin.

Keywords:   Takuan Soho, Zen, swordsmanship, martial arts, Record of Immovable Wisdom, On the Sword Taie

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