Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Zen in the Influence of Zen Buddhism on Samurai warriors

Zens Influence on the Art of the Sword

Zen has long had a coarse influence upon Japanese culture. Many aspects of this culture are moved(p) upon by Zen including art, literature, and specific ceremonies such as the mavin concerning tea. During the Kamakura period of Japan, another area of culture began to be affected by Zen; the martial arts of the samurai class.

Somewhere along the line, the samurai cognize the ease with which the monks of Zen Buddhism dealt with issues such as mortality and therefore began to seek these methods of discipline for themselves for the purposes of becoming less concerned with their animal(prenominal) well-being. However, as D.T. Suzuki noted, it was not mere recklessness, but self-abandonment, which is known in Buddhism as a state of egolessness. This is the ideal which the samurai warrior sought; a state of being wherein life and death were meaningless and whole that he had to concern himself with was his duty to his get the better of, or if he was ronin (rogue samurai without a master), with his duty to his own code of honor.

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In order for the Zen master to pass on this state of mind to the eager to gain vigor samurai, the master had to equate the state of mushin (empty mind and egolessness) with something familiar to the warrior. And what is more familiar to a warrior than his weapon, most often a sword such as a tachi (long- wind vane), katana, or iaito? From the first m that a samurai blade is picked up by its owner until the twenty-four hour period the owner dies, it is his goal to so completely master the blade and make it as much a part of him as his own hand that there is seemingly no driving force in using it. As stated by Takuan, a...

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