A Zen Buddhist Defense of the Dharma


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Translation Grants in Buddhist Studies


East Asian Studies and Religious Studies (joint)


"Zenkai ichiran" (A Ripple in the Sea of Zen) is an apologetical work written by Zen master Imakita Kosen (1816-1892) in which the author draws on classical Chinese texts and their commentaries to argue for a distinctively Zen Buddhist interpretation of thirty well-known Confucian passages. The treatise sheds valuable light on efforts to confront the anti-Buddhist rhetoric that was endemic in intellectual and political discourse in nineteenth-century Japan, and later played an influential role as a teaching text in Rinzai Zen education throughout the twentieth century. It became the basis for several lecture series and commentaries by well-known modern Zen masters in Imakita's lineage, notably Shaku Sōen (1859-1919). With the support of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global, the Chinese (kanbun) original is being translated into English in preparation for publication as a book project that will include a scholarly introduction in addition to the fully annotated text.