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Buddhadharma : Winter 2009
89 winter 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly masculinity. While their chastity may have yoked their seminal energies for the pursuit of the exalted goal of liberation, their minds appear to have remained with their manhood. The Japanese Zen Buddhist establishment actively supported the nation’s war effort in the midtwentieth century, and any dissent was out lawed. Even the most famous Japanese critic of Zen’s contribution to Japanese nationalism and militarism, Zen priest Ichikawa Hakugen, kept quiet during the war, speaking out only in the decades following the surrender. Christopher Ives, in Imperial-Way Zen (Hawaii, 2009), undertakes the first English language study of Ichikawa’s explanation of how the Zen community came to compro mise its ethics and promote a war of aggression, and also justify atrocities. According to Ichikawa, the roots of this ethical failure lay in Japanese Buddhism’s historical role as protector of the state, a prob lematic yet productive role it inherited from China. Ives outlines this history and analyzes Ichikawa’s ethical critique and efforts to ensure that Zen would never again be used to promote war. This provides a rare glimpse into the Japanese Zen community’s struggle to come to terms with what was surely its darkest period. Living Yogacara (Wisdom, 2009) by Tagawa Shun’ei, a contemporary master of the surviving East Asian Yogacara school, Hosso, is a rare pre sentation of the Yogacara tradition as a coherent and selfcontained doctrinal system. Yogacara, also known as “Mind Only” (Chittamatra), is a philosophical school of Buddhism that has had considerable impact on the Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia. This is despite the fact that many of its theories on topics such as karma and the continuation of consciousness over multiple lives are rou tinely dismissed. Other doctri nal innovations of the school, including buddhanature (tathagatagarbha) and the storehouse consciousness (alayavijnana), have become central, if controversial, Mahayana con cepts. The book, written in Japanese and expertly translated by Charles Muller, who also provides a lengthy introduction, is all the more exceptional for making an extremely complex tradition acces sible to the general reader. Buddhist ethics is a relatively new field that was largely established by the British scholar Damien Keown, beginning with his 1992 book, The Nature of Buddhist Eth- ics. Before Keown’s work, Bud dhist scholarship in the West was mainly focused on meta physics, logic, and psychology (academic attention to ritual is, like ethics, also recent). Keown initiated a sea change with his attempt to find in Buddhist literature a concern with social issues. Destroy- ing Mara Forever (Snow Lion, 2009), edited by John Powers and Charles Prebish, is a collec tive appreciation of Keown’s career by fourteen scholars whose work reflects the impact of his scholarship. The essays in the book cover topics such as ethnic conflict, environmental degrada tion, and globalization, which are examined in both historical and contemporary Buddhist set tings in Asia and the West. Many of the scholars are widely read—such as Sally King, who writes about Engaged Buddhism, and Charles Prebish, who writes widely about Buddhist ethics—but some are newer authors who have only recently begun to make their mark. The Śu ̄ rangama Sū tra (Buddhist Text Transla tion Society, 2009) takes its title from the particular form of samadhi (concentration) called “indestruc tible” (surangama), which is the primary medita tion set forth in the sutra. Also central to the text is a lengthy mantra that is still regularly recited by both clerics and laity in East Asia; both the meditation and the mantra are said to be effective aids on the path to enlightenment. The sutra was translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the eighth century (although the lack of an Indic original has caused some scholars to suggest it was a Chinese composition), and it quickly became a key source text for Mahayana theory and practice in East Asia. Although the sutra has been translated into English before, its cryptic language has rendered earlier efforts almost as unreadable as the Chinese. Here the translators have interspersed the text with commentary by the con temporary Chan master Hsuan Hua, helping to unpack the difficult text, and Ron Epstein and David Rounds, the transla tion committee’s chairs, pro vide a preface that introduces the history and ideas of the sutra. explanation of how the Zen community came to compro mise its ethics and promote a war of aggression, and also justify atrocities. According to Ichikawa, the roots of this ethical failure lay in Japanese Buddhism’s historical role as protector of the state, a prob considerable impact on the Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia. This is despite the fact that many of its theories on topics such as karma and the continuation of consciousness over multiple lives are rou tinely dismissed. Other doctri nal innovations of the school, The Nature of Buddhist Eth- ics dhist scholarship in the West was mainly focused on meta physics, logic, and psychology like ethics, also recent). Keown initiated a sea change with his attempt to find in Buddhist with commentary by the con temporary Chan master Hsuan Hua, helping to unpack the difficult text, and Ron Epstein and David Rounds, the transla tion committee’s chairs, pro vide a preface that introduces the history and ideas of the sutra. AlSO new AnD nOtewOrtHY: Awareness Bound and Unbound, by David R. Loy (SUNY Press) Chöd Practice in the Bön Tradition, by Alejandro Chaoul (Snow Lion) The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler (Doubleday) Taking the Leap, by Pema Chödrön (Shambhala) Hakuin’s Precious Mirror Cave: A Zen Miscellany, edited and translated by Norman Waddell (Counterpoint) Luminous Essence: A Guide to the Guhyagarbha Tantra, by Jamgön Mipham; translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee (Snow Lion) Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems by Gary Snyder (50th Anniversary Edition with CD; Counterpoint) Against a Hindu God: Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India, by Parimal G. Patil (Columbia University Press) Anh’s Anger, a children’s book by Gail Silver, illustrated by Christiane Krömer (Plum Blossom Books/ Parallax Press) Memories of Lost and Hidden Lands, by Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche (Chime Gatsal Ling)