Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Setouchi Jakucho's book on Buddhism

The Tendai abbess Setouchi Jakucho is probably the single best known priest in Japan. She entered Buddhism at age 50 after a highly successful career as a novelist. In 2000 she published a 7"x10" 230 page soft-cover book on Buddhism as it is taught and practiced in Japan today. Also covering her own career, her wide range of Dharma activities always involving crowds of people, a line-by-line commentary on the Heart Sutra, and copius cartoons of great humor centering around an irrepressable 8 year old girl shown here in the center of her mandala of family and friends. The 'holy man' at the top is her unhinged, practical-joking uncle. If only this book could be translated into English and sold here, we would be able to share in its delights. Being a skilled and prize-winning novelist, she is able to make profound concepts simple and entertaining. There is nothing else like it.

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