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Here are the inspirational life and teachings of Awa Kenzo (1880–1939), the Zen and kyudo (archery) master who gained worldwide renown after the publication of Eugen Herrigel's cult classic Zen in the Art of Archery in 1953. Kenzo lived and taught at a pivotal time in Japan's history, when martial arts were practiced primarily for self-cultivation, and his wise and penetrating instructions for practice (and life)—including aphorisms, poetry, instructional lists, and calligraphy—are infused with the spirit of Zen. Kenzo uses the metaphor of the bow and arrow to challenge the practitioner to look deeply into his or her own true nature.
In the years after World War II, Westerners and Japanese alike elevated Zen to the quintessence of spirituality in Japan. Pursuing the sources of Zen as a Japanese ideal, Shoji Yamada uncovers the surprising role of two cultural touchstones: Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery and the Ryoanji dry-landscape rock garden. Yamada shows how both became facile conduits for exporting and importing Japanese culture. First published in German in 1948 and translated into Japanese in 1956, Herrigel’s book popularized ideas of Zen both in the West and in Japan. Yamada traces the prewar history of Japanese archery, reveals how Herrigel mistakenly came to understand it as a traditional practice, and explains why the Japanese themselves embraced his interpretation as spiritual discipline. Turning to Ryoanji, Yamada argues that this epitome of Zen in fact bears little relation to Buddhism and is best understood in relation to Chinese myth. For much of its modern history, Ryoanji was a weedy, neglected plot; only after its allegorical role in a 1949 Ozu film was it popularly linked to Zen. Westerners have had a part in redefining Ryoanji, but as in the case of archery, Yamada’s interest is primarily in how the Japanese themselves have invested this cultural site with new value through a spurious association with Zen.
Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. Resonant with the confusions of existence, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a touching and transcendent book of life.
In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing.
One Arrow, One Life is the ultimate study of kyudo (the art of traditional Japanese archery) and its relation to the ideals and practice of Zen Buddhism. But it's much more: It also serves perfectly as an informal manual of practice for anyone who wants to bring a living, moving Zen into the activities of everyday life. Beginning with a solid introduction to the foundation techniques of both kyudo and zazen-breathing, posture, and concentration-and quickly moving on to the subtleties of advanced practice, Ken Kushner then ties it all together into a personal testimony of the pervasiveness of Zen in everyday life. For those interested in Zen and moving meditation, kyudo practitioners of all levels, as well as students of the Way of martial arts, this volume, beautifully illustrated with line drawings by Jackson Morisawa, is an indispensable guidebook.

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