Did Dōgen go to China? Article

cited authors

  • Heine, S

fiu authors

abstract

  • According to traditional accounts, the foundation of Dōgen's approach to Zen was formed during his travels to China from 1223 to 1227 and through the attainment of enlightenment under the tutelage of master Ju-ching . How much do we really know about this trip that is not rooted in Sōtō sect hagiography? Why are there contradictions in modern biographical studies of Dōgen about whether he traveled between the Five Mountains temples in China by land or by a sea route? Are accounts of Dōgen's trip not similar to the "Travels" of Marco Polo, another thirteenth-century visitor of China and observer of Chinese religions, which has been questioned by recent historio-graphical studies? This paper examines a variety of documents and materials, including the Tokugawa-era Teiho Kenzeiki zue as interpreted by Nara Yasuaki and the recent award-winning book by He Yansheng on Dōgen's relation to China, in addition to cataloguing a variety of works by Dōgen dealing with his journey and impressions of Ju-ching. © 2003 Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture.

publication date

  • March 1, 2003

start page

  • 27

end page

  • 59

volume

  • 30

issue

  • 1-2