Women in Japanese Soto Zen

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


Author reading from her book on the subject.

Auto-Generated Transcript

a to like to introduce our ally
five thirteen happens to be in town for the atkins and is therefore
has been kind enough to house

she's back some war
i'm just going to say
pakistan in japan
nice oh the catherine i clean and i were at
look at practice
once just visited
the things you aren't very much for coming this evening and they have to be there to here i'm more accustomed to speaking with academics so i'm very happy with the speaking with people to know the living tradition and that i will let
my story unfold as i give the presentation
i met quito shouldn't go in the order of knights and eighty seven when i sojourn to india as a scholar of buddhism he is an elderly so toes and monastic woman was returning to india for a final pilgrimage to the maha bodhi tree
simple in bodhgaya although i had concentrated my studies buddhist studies upon japan i was not aware of and expand order and japanese female monastic spared my first glimpse of her with clean shaven head and saffron robes the traditional color
of indian monastics was compelling moving toward her i realized her robes were japanese and designed only they were not in the back common to monastics of japan
her aesthetic sensitivity and cultural awareness drew me to her side and the soft and light of evening and we walked around the maha bodhi temple her face glow with the wisdom of enlightenment compassion emanated from her every motion as we move to a wispy clouds of inch
since tearing the prayers of devotees
among the spirited pilgrims and the desperate beggars her laughter resounded with the tunes the one who saw the heights and fathom the depths see with a living model of all that i had been studying
what teachings have helped to gain such wisdom
how did she trained to be so compassionate
where is the spring of her a bunion blaster
i knew after our first conversation under the bodhi tree that i wanted to learn as much as possible about her way of life as we laughed walked along and around river the shock and loony once walked a brilliantly pink son arose in the sky he wrote stories of the year she spent on
india building a japanese temple in bodhgaya with poetry by zen master dogan and information about a training monastery for women in nagoya japan we laughed heartily as the image of needing again in a monastery for women roads away from him today
a last blow our minds
i'd found a living treasure of japanese buddhism
let me back up and give you some historical perspective on to this winning everything's women during shock when his lifetime
he claimed the right ever since the women claim the rights to seek ordination and pursue the contemplative life buddhist monastic orders for women have been an important mode in which women have expressed in explored their spiritual development a scholars to gain a clearer understanding of what female monastics has been inside
solved in and what their perspective the than their own situations a picture of strong devout and resilient monastic women is emerging
in light of this however most scholarship by nuns paints erroneous impressions that must be modified incorrect information and omission of information i'm an asda women create a similar effect for they mute the voices of dedicated monastic women impressions of monastic women
as week social misfits with a rare woman who is an imperial none linger in the literature descriptions like the following which only present plant at the picture confirm such impressions calling from mother to the chapter on women in china and the books
edited cross cultural study of women quote the nunnery was a place of refuge for women who did not wish to marry readers abandoned concubines and prostitutes and quote although there were women who came from difficult circumstances there was no evidence that
this was a widespread or primary reason for pursuing monastic life even when the motivation to enter the monastic life did derive out of their poor light conditions this does not mean that they were not sincere and dedicated to buddhist teachings
some texts even leave the impression that there are no met buddhist monastic women especially in japan really categorical exclusion from encyclopedic sources including the encyclopedia of religion know we recently be edited night and eighty eight does not include those nuns
the man helps even faster of is unwarranted impression moreover the entry for monk refers you to the entry for monasticism which includes this section on japanese and monasticism describing the practices and lifestyles more commonly maintained by their nuns
therefore i cannot help but find humorous comments like quote the path of the none although theoretically viable as a religious practice in buddhism from the outset was destined for virtual distinction which is found and i and applause broke women in buddhism
when scholars have recognized the existence of now monastics it is with sam reservation for example the statement that quote the order of nuns was never taken very seriously by the japanese and called begs the question which japanese it is safe to assume that at least the women took their own
own lives seriously
the fact that women were the first monastics in japan and that they've continued to the present day to ordain women into the buddhist path a time span of over fourteen hundred years deny the validity of such statements furthermore they record needs to be straightened out in terms of zen nuns in particular
sally king concludes in her article and a gala turn philosophies and sexist institutions that quote when japanese then there are virtually no prominent women and cook this lack the necessary qualification and published historical texts
i might even add in published restaurant in historical texts the unambiguously established and euro centric bias in historiography has created the illusion that women were not actively involved and prominent in there at least their own spheres of influence and
not contesting that monastic women do not always receive official recognition for their activities i'm stressing that this lack of recognition indicates the prejudice practice by the monastic institution but this does not lead to the conclusion that women were not actively involve
in a serious pursuit of the buddhist life indeed it is inconceivable that women who for centuries have dedicated their lives to buddhist teachings were continue to choose to remain the in a tradition that they did not find in some way valuable
to think that they might is to deny that they had the capacity to make sound and intelligent decisions about about the course of their own lives it is true that women of the twentieth century did work hard for the official and equal status that they won only a few decades ago but the moment they risk
see this recognition did not mark the beginning and very intense practice or their dedication to the buddhist path
there is evidence that women were active throughout buddhist history in japan
one final note re-interpretation is necessary to include after the above quotation but given the poor conditions it is scarcely possible poor condition that is of soto's and nuns with is scarcely possible that any outstanding nuns could appear and croak
until recent but he adds later until recent reforms
it is perhaps more to the point to save the recent reforms were one because they were outstanding nuns wrap them
current scholarship is revealing that distinct concerns and circumstances characterize female monasticism cross culturally the roles of monastic women in society and the perceptions of themselves diverged from those of male monastic communities careful consideration of the i'm an ass
stick right monastic women's contributions modern society and the south definition of female monastics illuminates a world of active and confident women dedicated to their religious practices an example of the type of difference i uncovered between male and female gymnasts
six became apparent after i spoke with the monastic raman about their self perception i found in their conversations they use terms to refer to themselves these are been male monastics the do not appear even in japanese specialized visionaries and buddhism which of course are written
by men if you look at your the front side of your hand out of the first page
a lot his i move along the term soul is originally a generic non gendered term deriving from the sanskrit word sanga which means buddhist community or more narrowly defined as monastic community
male monastics adopted this term in japan to describe themselves thereby asserting that they are the standard for a monastic and establishing a hierarchical relationship with women monastics
women on the other hand created a vocabulary that suggests their self perception as equal in monastic profession these of the mail monastics they correctly use the generic term so to refer to all monastics and they develop gender specific to
terms to delineate between male and female monastics when necessary
that makes sense
we and western academe or western languages must be careful for the vast majority of text translated into english invariably use the mail vocabulary and render the generic term for monastic as the gender exclusive term monk monash
do women however see themselves included when they read these texts in japanese
let us go back in time to a historic moment that has faded from our memory of the introduction of buddhism to japan
it is five eighty four see
judaism is a fledgling new religion in the land of commie having been officially introduce go with a decades ago
a young woman is profoundly moved by the new to she has heard
in a cultural climate where around her she is models of women engaged in religious affairs it is natural that with the support of her family she considers becoming ordained in the new religion but in this she has no native role models for no one male or fee
email in this island country has been ordained into the buddhist tradition
nonetheless courageous and compelled by the wisdom of these new teachers she seeks to commit her life fully to them she makes her historic bows and becomes the first ordained buddhist in japan
ran over a millennium later some people still remember her by her buddhist name is mc me he is a suffix indicating none
shortly thereafter to women approach her they too would like to devote their lives to the dharma as then new takes them so eventually he takes them as her disciples and ordained them then zone and smu
in five eighty eight their zeal to gain a deeper understanding of the monastic regulations propelled them to again make history by being the first japanese to go abroad to study
they went to korea upon their return with height and resolve and determination to establish this new religion on japanese soil they build the first buddhist temple and amada a nuns temper they called soccer variety they chose a central location ramapo
both women and men came to them simple teachings and ordination
what is now the here five ninety c so takatoshi at prince widely record yes
please see common era
usually it's called what isn't and eighty is very crystal and
show top enticing a prince widely recognized for his contributions to establish and buddhism japan in japan has not yet made his entrance and of save the japanese culture
from these monumental moments in the development of japanese buddhist history it is clear that women were significant or a significant force in the introduction of buddhism to japan until now a vital contributions to japanese buddhism have been obscured in the mire of andrew
centric historiography that is where history that has been written from a male perspective indeed it is no cork of historical circumstance that the first or dang buddhists in japan where women because women were central figures in the religious sphere of ancient japanese culture
this ancient rituals they were especially respecting the the somatic powers and serve this harmonises the sensuality of women and indigenous japanese religion is most compellingly illustrated in the fact that the highest deity of the indigenous pantheon of gods of kami is a martin also own
mikami the sun goddess
unfortunately subsequent historical developments have shrouded the powerful roles women have played in ancient history i though it was a gradual process the hierarchical structures including religious organizations became increasingly male dominated a host of factors of
effective this change including the adoption of chinese governmental and social structures the women center traditions of heredity and authority gave way to male centered systems of heredity that offered when and little institutional recognition this has left us with the prevailing impression
but women were inferior to men in japanese social structures and institutions throughout japanese history am a contrary women's not passively accept and simply succumb to be external pressures bear genuine strength lies in their response to describe
documents dating back to the mid hey on period seven ninety four to eleven eighty five record women protesting against unfair treatment a prime example from the ninth century begins with a ten die and shimon sex establishing a practice that prohibited women from
a mountain top temples and their mode of buddhist practice furthermore since the government granted ten guy and later shinbone control over the ordination platform they chose to prohibit women from receiving precepts
the women of hey on japan however did not let these obstacles detour the determination to seek the dharma in the face of these political and religious institutions threatening to exclude them from monastic life remain of hey on exercise their acumen and reveal their sincerity
d and determination to continue practicing buddhism by creating their own form of buddhist monasticism their actions reveal their insight into the fact that no institution has the authority to dictate the dharma
the hey on women did not have to look far for japanese role models of women who wielded authority and commanded respect most prominent with eight emphasis who reigned during the oscar and not a periods roughly five fifty two seven eighty four
therefore women in the hay on period saw themselves as respected members of society who held a certain authority in determining matters of import miss confidence combined with their penetrating insight that the living dharma cannot be controlled by an institution in a
able them to prevail over the complications perpetuated perpetrated by male dominated institutions without sharing the advantages of governmental sponsorship that monks enjoyed and in the face of male buddhists not offering women ordination hey i'm buddhist women triumph over this by
latent inequity with their innovative thinking among many other activities these women created a new category they called bosox chi me which was granted to those who took the body sought for vows in so doing they took the authority into their own hands and became body salk announce
their lives were similar to their predecessors and that they maintained the practices of nuns they shaved their heads or buddhist robes on engaged in various forms of good as practice they were highly respected in society because of number of the nuns for women
the imperial family
their perseverance is a genuine testimony to the strength of their commitment and the death of their understanding of the dharma
it is easy to imagine that many nuns had similar sentiments to those expressed in the following poem by the great com r priestess
with the scent of just one flower as my guide bunkai to see all the numberless borders
the innovations implemented by the nuns reveal the strength of hair on period buddhist women they did not allow official regulations determined by mail authorities nor a technical definition of the category none dissuade them from their commitment to the dharma in
a sense they follow the precedent set by my private party the first buddhist nun who persisted in efforts to establish the order of buddhist monastic women even though shocker moon the enlightened founder of the tradition initially resisted
since the first buddhist nuns did not have a quorum of ten months and ten nuns present at their ordinary ordination ceremony to qualify them as official beach me or nuns why should it be absolutely required of those who seek ordination later
what is now move onto the kamakura period eleven eighty six to thirteen thirty three a time widely known as an inclusive era when buddhism was brought to the common people leader after leader emerged from the bastion of buddhist power keys on the mountain monastery
three of ten die buddhism to develop a new goddess teaching independently each of them could not find the answer to their particular question and a top of years on conan the founder of pure land buddhism keen on the founder of the true pure land with a threat meeting
then the found of the muted and sec and oh then the founder of so posts in each found a way to take the buddhist teachings out of a courtly enclaves and elite buddhist institutions and into the hearts of farmers artisans and numerous pupils whose names and faces or lost upon
each leader offered a different reform form of buddhist teachings and practice but it is often overlooked so they were all supportive of women and all the great kamakura buddhist performers had nuns among their disciples
and the name of their found her home in the pure land that teaches that if one says namo amida buddha soup whether one is good or bad mail or email or will be born in the pure land seen man made a strong statement about his views on women when he openly married and ordain his wife
as to me his actions were based upon a dream he had the bodhisattva of compassion come on said she would appear in a female body to him and become his wife this convincing on that women had the potential for enlightenment but one must remember that shimon have firmly to believe
and all were sinners and could only be saved through the grace of amida buddha
he then makes reference to women attaining buddhahood over thirty times in his writings facing his assertion upon the story of another princess transforming her body into male form and becoming a bodhisattva me to run rights with conviction in his book hope a dime optio that
note in the lotus sutra for the first time the buddha revealed that women could attain buddhahood now let us take a look at the famous zen master dogan
dogan the father of soto zen in japan was part of the social climate of authoritarianism some even credit though again with being a pioneer feminist the evidence suggests however that he was like the other reformers of his time he took a clearly affirmative stance on
his views of women the unambiguously articulating this text nae high top ugly it male and female practitioners are equal
just three years before he left for everything and the far side of japan away from the capital he wrote this impassioned text in the spring of twelve forty in order to extinguish the errors of those who harbor incorrect facts about women in the dharma he writes with conviction if there was a huge of increase
agility if serious students of the dharma have not realize the meaning of the fundamental teaching that all existence are buddha nature
we're dog and clarifies the confusion surrounding email dharma teachers quote it is like irrelevant it is irrelevant whether a guide has male or female characteristics and the like what counts is that the guide be of being a virtue of vastness and
quote he continues with advice on what is the appropriate way to express respect and gratitude to a teacher of the dharma you regardless of form
quote valuing the dharma means that whether your guide is a killer a lantern buddha's a fax a demon a man a woman if it upholds the great dharma and attains the marrow then you should offer your body mind as its seat and serve for image
the eyes and quote dogan substantiates his counsel with an explanation of the precedents established by those with whom buddhism by those within buddhism forest in some china
quote today and cent certain temples of great song china there are nuns who train when a nun's attainment of the dharma becomes known an imperial edict is issued appointing pointing her abbess of and memory and boats for she expounds the dharma at her appointed temple all the suborder
had gathered together in the hall instead to listen to the advices words on the dharma and to exchange questions and answers
this has been the walls in the olden times unquote i would much of japanese buddhism and culture the japanese trying to trip the chinese for inspiration and guidance go again is urging the japanese to continue the equity equality accorded women and men in china especially in
guide to recognizing the true dharma in female form another quote in the case of a nun who has received the treasury of the true down the i to transmission
if the monks we should read monastics mrs a prime example what's his monks or nuns are included
if the monastics of the for permissions project or borders and even those of the three wise stages of the ten holy states pay homage to her and seek madame of from her she should receive their obeisance by what right a only males know the empty sky is the empty sky before
elements are the four elements the five scandals of the five scandals to be female is exactly the same as for the attainment of the way both male and female can attain the way hence both should have high regard for the attainment of the dharma and not argue about differences between male and female
such is the most marvelous law of the good away unquote
don't get includes an even more direct criticism of the practices he finds in japan when the version of that i hike hopelessly found we don't need to know about
sorry i am in this text
there is a poignant example of his frustration with japanese buddhist practices that helped increase his sense that the that he was the first to introduce true buddhism to japan crook there is a ridiculous custom in japan it is the practice that nuns and women are not allow
wow to enter the greatest club restricted territories or training house of the mahayana such a perverted custom has been practiced for ages without anyone realizing it's wrongness in the least those practicing the ancient way do not reform it and those who i learned and astute do not care about it
while some may say that it is the work of the in cardi needed buddhas and bodhisattvas others claim that is a legacy from ancient worthies we all fail to reason about it he agreed this absurdity was truly hard to believe was still don't get talking with such obsolete practices do
not have to be regressed does it mean with the cycles of birth and death will not to be forsaken either end quote
based upon this statement don't they might have moved to a paging to actualize has understanding of buddhism which includes inclusive views not as an indication that he changed his mind about women
this is a common concept ground in many techs in japanese and english the timing of his departure from photo occurring only three years after his unambiguous articulation of errors of the ways of the established buddhist traditions institutions in regards
two women suggests that the prevailing currents and society may have made it difficult for him to freely practice his understanding of the gamma this would concur with the experiences of holen sie nun and need to then for all practice egalitarian islam and who for various reasons or
had serious complications with the authorities
don't get moved edges and then can be interpreted as impart an attempt to bring his actual a sound are closer to an ideal sanga
nonetheless the prevailing interpretation is that he held the gauteng ideas in his early years but he did not take them with him when he established his serious monastery in edges and
this view of go against suggests that he was an inconsistent philosopher with little integrity i've only a historical record revealed an entirely different picture june coming motto and women religion and sexuality i searched the quote when dogan with one he believed in the equality of men and women and credit
aside the foolishness of the he a and mount quiet temples with bad women from entering however in later years by the time vogue and build a haiti who no longer believe in the majority of men and women and prohibited their entry unquote
king and forces sally king and course reinforces the interpretation that know you had a kind of heart towards women when she claims that go again moved to absent a hazy that it is a good example of a case in which good as celibate monasticism functioned in practice to prevent the women's access
to one of the greatest send teachers in history and quote there is no clear evidence upon which these cranes can be made moreover women were also actively participating in buddhist celibate monasticism in the face of text that develop his power
but in view of women and the historical records which prove a number of monastic women worked his disciples who to the end of his life he was a little roads maintain the interpretation that dunkin was inconsistent either in his non dualistic philosophy nor his monastic practice
duncan's basic conception of monastic life is based upon buddhism's paramount teaching or inequality emptiness
teaching him a scholar of dog and explains what occurs and go against monastic education group initially been members may enter the community individually that they gradually realized that they are born out of the common words of absolute emptiness hence they are not an assemblage of isolated individuals
for the children and flowers of emptiness monastic education is to help each other realize this common route in emptiness his thorough going on tourism cannot apply to males only to make it do so would require more philosophical magic than even dogan could muster
dogan however did not need to perform philosophical gymnastics to support his monastic practice for it wasn't a chord with its understanding that all emptiness that all our emptiness and buddha nature although none of them took on are none of the nuns took ordination
join under dogan a number of monastic women were in his religious order all had chosen to transfer from the down masu or another tradition into his order this is where you might want to look either on the back side or the second page and skiing i never had so much crime but putting together this many and sunshine
of women
and this is incomplete only because i'm sure there is more information to be found
his first female monastic disciple was given the dollar my name your me she is attributed with being the primary influence and organs most explicit teaching on equality of male and female practitioners in the band ndola she became duncan's first female monastic a cyborg
one month before he wrote the gondola on august fifteen twelve thirty one
dogan bestows rare preys upon her doing the same time who was writing the bandara in a dharma talk who says that the own and me had peerless body cheaper also in the ak cold or group which contains all of they'll give sermons dogan wrote that your nanny was deeply devoted to the great way
of the buddha's in the tenth tap of a hey or group go get also wrote a poem upon the own ends passing she probably died in the winter for the poem makes reference to snow
men's and then he confirms that the own any was go against disciple in his text but i can't pronounce very long i though she was an elderly woman which came under go against to live she is remembered for having practiced intensely and making great strides in our understanding of the life in the dharma
she knew then from the marrow of her bones and is sometimes compared to the prominent known dogan heard about in china mask on the owner new both were incontrovertibly highly respected and serve as historical proof that weren't women were able to realize ultimate enlightenment
that suggests otherwise
wood aside from the sky living proof to the contrary go against the fabric of go against thoroughgoing non dualistic philosophy
how are we doing on time
i will
track with people who want to know the details of all his other disciples there is some we had the donors and had women and his deathbed and which is a highly honored position to be in and
his disciple
his disciples disciple k runs and she has you can see on your charge suddenly for it means are large proliferation of of women and please on and

a few centuries later during the futuristic air known if the tokugawa period sixteen or three to eighteen sixty seven the time shifted to a regimented society controlled by the military government a number of i'm a better resist
in the society is increasingly oppressive regulation and regards to women in this feudalistic time period even if a woman was suffering from abuse she could not readily receive a divorce that it was always available to men who are not satisfied with their wives the a madera the man's temples therefor
for established a system whereby a woman remaining at a temple for a certain period of time could be granted a divorce the two most well known of these temples or co kg of the rinzai sect and mantle coogee as the g set
the courage displayed and opening their doors and offering refuge to women who sought assistance that them thing the temple was also place where women could receive an education best for various reasons women found safety and rewards and becoming a nun it shows women found a way to take control of their own life
lives even when limited by intense external control the types of women who became nuns during the top of our period and glue women from the imperial family and samurai family's very high class families literary scholars artists past tubes and many who had a family relative who was already
none with a kind of guy hereditary line running women entering the dharmic path during this period sometimes displayed a rare degree of determination
a poignant example of this business of the sincerity of these women is displayed in the story of actually she was the younger sister of the founder of psychology a temple in the present day or a her brother forbid her ordination due to her peerless beauty
unflinching in her resolve to fully commit her life to the dharma she responded with swift an irreversible conviction the young beauty burn her face and the hibachi stove
thereafter her dedication to the dharma live uncontested
scarlett has nevertheless the buddhist tradition as though the inherent were primarily male most have overlooked the distinct contributions of monastic women indeed their legacy continues in the modern day the activities of nuns from dogan sectors and are particularly no
worthy soto zen monastic women currently constitute the largest and most organized sect of monastic women in japan with about one thousand members in two generations they went from a position of little opportunity and recognition proposition of official equality
they one parody and sec regulations regarding instructional and religious ranks created a national organization to officially represent their specific concerns to set headquarters and began publishing various journals written for and by nuns one of the journals from the early nineteen sixties features a pie
poem written by the twentieth century non topo me perhaps because it reflects an awareness that nuns are acting in accord with the dharma as they overturned centuries of inequity
i'm becoming a beautiful none nuns are forever praying for beautiful things
the buddha probably does not like a nun who does not have spirit a nun whose heart and body a beautiful or an incarnation of the buddha
continuing their march towards institutionalizing equality in the zen sect these visionary and powerful monastic women made unprecedented strides in terms of educational possibilities be established three autonomous monasteries for women in different regions of japan norway i need either and toyama
please this century also saw the first monastic women educated and graduated from assault so shoes prestigious kanazawa university in tokyo in short soto zen monastic women established the first officials and monasteries to train women exclusively and gain equal equal rank with me
male monastics at the turn of this century this event marked the first major accomplishment in the twentieth century movement for equality between female and male monastics at this time however monastic women's are only allowed at the time again that is were only allowed to care for the lowest
rank of temple these were small temples with no followers but this time the highest rank a woman could attain was lower than the lowest rank for a man nineteen fifty three however all to the second hand underwent drastic modifications at this time female monastics fought for
for and were granted more opportunities they were officially permitted to become head priest so do show group of standard rank temples
in nineteen seventy eight monastic women were allowed to attain the high rank of me dial show but in nineteen eighty nine while i was still in japan resected ms administration took off the precept knee as a member means a none for they were concerned that this prefix was a remnant of
this decision however was made without consequence consulting the female monastics who on the contrary prefer to retain the prefect me so without it their contributions would not be evident since it it is difficult to determine gender from buddhist names they see a clear difference between distinct
ocean and discrimination
they will prefer to add the prefix non to male monastic titles if you'll see their vocabulary
for nearly half a century similar concerns have been circulated by a journal published for bioluminesc of women called or coyote this journal is published by the sole go shoot he sold on an organization established nineteen forty four to officially represent the interests of female monastics in short in less than a sense
gary soto zen monastic women established the first officials and monasteries to train women exclusively and gain equal rank with male monastics yet in the midst of these significant advances they maintain a genuine quality i tripped up traditional zen buddhist monasticism
why don't i

these women serve as a model for all women who seek liberation triumphant over various forms of male domination modern japanese and nuns maintain a traditional monastic lifestyle not allowing and occurrence of modernity to dilute their religious commitment
they became creative innovators in order to enforce the egalitarian teachings of their founder and reclaim the illustrious heritage of women in japanese religion that is the zen nuns who led the movement for the independence and equality of women who do so precisely
in order to transmit ancient religious and cultural traditions
in modern japan then monastic women are innovators for the sake of tradition
the historical and anthropological data reveal ignite a dynamic picture of zan monastic women in the twentieth century in the face of competing impulses course into modern japanese society they choose to be committed to traditional monastic practices for example
everyone thinks that the regulations for monks were changed so they could officially married but they never change the regulations for nuns because the nuns do not marry this is not true the nuns regulations are the same and were changed back in the late nineteenth century along with the monks but the nuns chose to maintain
and not follow the government's suggestions is not imply that the month could marry oh get back since the end of the nineteenth century
when monastic women play a dual role in japanese society as preservers of religious and cultural traditions and is active participators and the progressive movement for the independence and equality of women
contemporary japanese society leaves little room for traditional arts into this values with monastic women keep keep things alive anchoring the society to its cultural heritage on its traditions of discipline and respect finally in the twentieth century they succeeded
in officially institutionalizing the equality the dog and part in the thirteenth century then monastic women are genuine living treasures of japanese buddhism the history of women and japanese buddhism is filled with courageous acts and personal victories from the first
dordain buddhist in the sixth century to the inclusive spirit that the medieval period to the perspicacity and determination of neurons in the feudalistic period to the leaders in education or an institutional forms the twentieth century
we events highlighted here only begin to suggest a do outline of the contours of a landscape rich with the sufferings and triumphs of centuries of women devoted to the dharma
this is only a clue to the treasures buried and japanese buddhist history waiting to be discovered
let me move to the slides
and now hell then what i skipped over so you haven't with

lives to give you
some more visual
picture of what the nuns in modern japan or like today here the woman you see becoming ordained by the airbus oyama a those of you may know her in a woman who was like the right hand of the president of a large company in japan she had a very solid
career and was not a social misfit but she deliberately decided to become a nun you'll see in the background a picture of her father who in the ceremony she gives her respects gratitude and farewell
here at this part of the ceremony you saw the abbot cutting her hair off they went in the back and shaved all but the very top of her head leaving a small small piece of hair where she can come back out
and make her final bow to become a nun and at that moment the last remnants of her previous life is removed the crown of her head

here she is receiving the various ah things that come along with being a monastic she will get balls and roms and just a few other items
this is the entrance to the
this this is the entrance to the itsm on nice old all in nagoya japan it came to this site after world war two
it is the strongest and largest of the three monasteries that officially grant degrees in japan today
this is the view you see when you first come in it's the modern building has classrooms and kitchen and facets with at least cold running water number
here's the bell tower you'll see here are some posts on who is the oldest novice at age seventy two so at any time i got tired i just thought of her and suddenly i got stronger
if you mean i'm not so this is just the trunk of the a plum tree that is in front of the worship hall
here is the zendo for those of you know chinese characters you might be able to tell on the sign with there's usually a part of the character that should include the character from mouth but since you are to be silent in the zendo that mouth is gone
here is the back garden a gingko tree
and while they are in training there in training for a minimum of two years if they have a high school diploma and they can train for a seven years or more i suppose but generally seven years is the longest in the monastery then they go out to their own temple
and there are multitudes of empty temple because of the numbers of monastic male and female declining this is one of the more elaborate rituals you'll see aoyama sensei in her bright orange robe as face covered by the pillar
this is alabama sensei of the new year's ceremony or reading of ah a heart sutra
napa hard to the pagnell potter new car or for wisdom sutra and this is the fall for this should be the different orders will show you hit ball first around
this is also far this is a for one of the more
importance ceremonious tea ceremonies ah the nuns part of their training doesn't include tear tea ceremony and also ah learning to cook some of the most of the finest of japanese delicacies
this is an example
here they're about to go out on takahashi world arms gathering and the way you tie the sandals are different if you are a monastic or if you're a lay person so they're getting instructions from the abbess
here the abbess puts a little bit in their balls sending them all
and they're all leaving together but they will disperse at the bottom of the hill and i was taking i've always tried to stay out of the ways i kept getting pictures of their backs and aoyama them they made me run down the hill and says we don't want to be shown off my backside so
here in the river the brunt of them
they also have sewing classes where this is also something that diverges from the mail monastic training the nuns learned to sell all their own garments and take the time to do that
here is alabama cents a serving tea she is a very fine tea master key to a very high know she
in her temple in the mountains in nagano
and here you see most of the nuns are helping with a lay persons retreat that is held at aoyama synthase temple which
we should comfortably only sleep about forty people but about two hundred and fifty com you never seen more efficient motion than in those three days it's really beautiful
and here's the plum blossom tree in in bloom showing that it is now spring which means that it's time for graduation here the none is giving her final
respect to the abbess before going off you fishing all set for travel all the things that she needs for travel are in the little pack on her back
and also visiting a
right near that nice although in now way there is a relic
relics of the buddha enshrine and so they go and give their final respects they're also and this particular none is someone who came to been nunnery with spike pair and ah has really undergone a trans
this none the little one in the front on the left is perhaps the most important none in the twentieth century her name is called my candles and say she's now ninety four years old and she her life
all the pioneering activities of the nuns can be told through her life story
she's invincible she fought many of the monks the leaders of the photoset headquarters head on
this unfortunately is not well focus but i wanted to show it because you can really see the yellow gold with in the middle and
the nuns also thought to be given an opportunity to be to lead a ceremony in one of the sex had main temples either so g d or a hazy they have won the right so g d his case on these temple if you remember he's the one under whom
many nuns were ordain back in the fourteenth century and ah the nuns gain the right at least once a year to have a nun lead the ceremony and we here we see the first none is a nun named couple sensei she has passed away
in a certain sense kadima sensei with the one who was out stomping the streets and the tables to win the rights and couple sensei was the one who was holding down the fort and keeping the nuns disciplines in the monasteries during the middle part of the twentieth century
and this is people sensei the nine no mention at the beginning he was
went to india initially just for a year to help start the japanese temple in bodhgaya where they are temples from almost all buddhist countries and she stayed for four years her love for the people are really helped the japanese temple become welker
filmed in bodhgaya
that's the neuron river i showed this merely to say that although and at first the nuns did not have a followers at their temples some gradually did get ah
followers who then have their ancestors worshipped at brennan's temple and these are ancestral tablets that are placed in the back behind the main altar in the worship hall
and the nuns one of their major responsibilities that also diverges from the monks that the monks don't have the responsibilities of the nuns are the ones who tend to go into the homes to chant the sutras and then stay over cake and p and discuss family problems and
personal problems and so they serve as a counselor in a way that ah is not easily accepted modern japanese society or any kind of counseling is immediately construed as mental illness for the nuns serve this vital role in modern japanese subs
have a very quietly
here is another buddhist relic sites in in just outside of nowhere and ah at the left you see he doesn't say there's a the man at the right is lame man who helped carry various things up to the top of
this mountain forests behind him is the tea ceremony teacher at at the monastery and to the left of her the flower arranging teacher either all ah
aspects of their training that had them of course be self sufficient in their own temple the monks again do not have this kind of training training as a part of their monastic training they usually quite frankly get married and have a wives do it in
their temple
here there is a pilgrimage on the top of the mountain that is two a thirty three sites of canon and here they're going around offering our water and incense
and we had a meal and a tea ceremony at the top of this mountain you'll see at the the tea ceremony teacher couldn't he sends a who is now eighty five was a little bit cold so she put on my clothes
this is ah
corn dog and sensei who was the abbess of the pure land monastery in japan there is one monastery for training pure land none located in kyoto and he is highly educated in the secular world and then became a nun and
she's very outspoken for a buddhist nuns in modern japan wonderful woman
yeah she speaks english to some this is and a nun who is an imperial none she is in a beautiful beautiful temple off with the edge of kyoto under the shadows of yeas on
that ten guy monastery she it's called jack queen and she's from a long legacy of imperial nuns and
she her temple is so beautiful and famous that she gets many visitors coming for various reasons are just look at the architecture in the gardens or also to come and worship she says when she closes the gates at five o'clock she goes out and does calisthenics because she's also in
her late eighties because she does not want to become a burden to anyone and so she's tried to keep yourself healthy
the imperial nuns i haven't been able to trace it you see in historical paintings a bed to imperial lines tended to wear this it for those of you have shaved your head i have not but i'm told when it's hot it's really hot when it's cold it's really cold
so this is perhaps tempers that some
i don't know never gave them forever
i know ah i don't know if perhaps high nuns in her sec
i don't know how widespread this is
here from the imperial family
ah the blood is imperial i guess ah
this is doesn't say
who to me is
like a plum blossom a flower that is strong enough to be beautiful and gentle in the harshest conditions plum blossoms bloom in the winter
which to me epitomizes the life particularly of the nuns who were born in through the middle of the twentieth century they are
the most beautiful group of women i've ever met who are very strong strong enough to be utterly graceful
so that conclude with lives


okay will have to give up
i don't know
i'm so pleased that any questions yet or you removing the behind
new iraq them vertically your name the world and it is very great man
like a carnival victory i could learn from europe and
really good thing that i could grow up in moravian
monetary have a reflection in a male fraction they were very separate and unequal or burn out of gets around
the country where the women from becoming an breath and brought allowed to contribute to for
there are no upheaval and right in a way that thing
the room and added the beginning they were more equal i would say it the very beginning they were they were the only wrong
what happened was very complex there
a governmental institution started changing taxation
about every dimension of society either changed or was established or report japan has a very small country with a civilization that was not nearly as advanced as china so they basically took in wholesale a lot of chinese culture that in
things that placed women and men have a hierarchical scale which was not am
place the men higher and so this slowly eroded i followed the regulations and how they've changed or how they changed over time when they the government decided we're going to be a petrol a patch of petrol local society but it took two hundred years war that transfer me
ocean to actually transpire and regulation saying you know who gets which temple gets how much money and you see more and more the men sampled were getting money and then they decide they're going to move their monastery up onto a mountain is women had gone mountain because of various reasons that amount
must be pure and women cannot go on on top of the mountain and so slowly ah for various reasons it began to erode
no problem

dogan did not ordain any nuns
the nuns all were ordained in another sect and moved into his fact i do not we this charge revealed
i'm a tremendous amount of research have obscure tech picking out little details and using them as confirmation this is by no means a complete picture exactly how they're all related and what they actually did and
how many more there were is a this is far from complete so many of your questions wanting to know more about these nuns i have them to and i would be happy if someone else family hands get it
north korea now add your also came so they were agile who became the
what hatten what the patriarch vegas from column after dogan and ah
do you mean we're ah sibling disciples
we can
we've been paper i wouldn't know
learned how with you very pretty girl
from the name for a new threat and carbon on me or right remember remember out
here are my current government were referring to the camp they chant the lameness general probably the same on his hand and then they add their own at the en route to get me i have to have the women recent preview program minutes when
i'm a lot about nine


in in soto and you're talking about soto zen because of the concept that all our sent you all are inlet all beings our existence are enlightened it's not the sense of transmission or like you find transmission in
in chinese then it's not the same thing it's the the more senior than more am
skillful and administrative things there are various aspects that go into who gets to be the next a leader and now it's done by election
the no
i'm familiar with you have become pregnant and her mom with she were you
when we are with
yeah no problem
yes yes from unhappy for our catering okay guess that nuns do that
yes they have been doing it all along it had become official ah in this century earlier this century that they were always doing it and what frequently happened was for technical reasons if they because they didn't officially recognize ordination from a nun to a none there was a man's amongst name
no place there was a real person but the real teacher was a nun
come up with before

no i can't say
the airbus is elected humor
you haven't heard
i don't know the exact procedure it's the higher level if you become a certain rank than you can become of avoiding person in the community and like even to be the high then master of all of the soto zen sect you can technically vote for a nun and a known non-cash
technically be elected as the next zen master but my senses we will not see that in this century and that likely in the next
answer any difference and a practice and swimming or fishing fell within the and of the memory of the wreck of a birth records very different than them
in the woods hunting perhaps better to start out with it there a difference between any two monastery anywhere
a distinct differences faced along gender lines is it's hard to say because what's really what is a male style is not clear i mean they ah
in soto's and there's certain traditions and their variations among them one thing maybe if you compare soto zen from me rise and means ivan has a of much share more pushing and hitting and ridiculing and
i do not know of in that so i would wonder if in the beans i
then women's monasteries bet is the approach that there is no quit today no beings eyes then women's monastery that offers official degrees there is run a temple that has about five and means a non-practicing there but mean
like were nuns will come to the soto zen monastery for women to receive training even wolverine guy they go to the soto
how wouldn't go go go go go go with order and considered no presence confronted and i wanted to give an example africa isn't more anymore chanting or other deficit from other kinds of practice no no you what you might find and this is perhaps where the real practice
as with a real polishing happens is there's more how do i put it delicately
elegant and more reading of other people's nails and then using it against them or they're responsible for a high teachers robes and big comeback and they're gone and then they look like the they've messed up
there's a lot more of
this more subtle kind of
i don't know what you quoted it's clearly things that happened in a society and the the monastery is not exempt from people having difficulty getting along and but

but it's it happens may be in the women's monastery because the numbers of smell the mail monasteries have know hundreds you can find some kind of anonymity when i'm in the women's monastery because it's a small everyone knows everything you can tell
who's walking behind you
and so and you can you can get used to people's habit but you know she just loving the power cord i mean you you
have it gives varying or her in tampa
so this is that where the real polishing comes and you see someone who'd been there seven years can go through this and be undertaken and the younger ones and particularly the younger that the newest and then the next to the
new that's where you get from most tension
the very hierarchical with in yeah everything is how where you take off slipper where you place your towel right order to getting the bear everything is done that when so when i first what i thought this is not then and a confucian contaminate
and then i realized that okay this is east asian buddhism but it's extremely effective if every word you say has to be said in the right
conjugation of verb for the person you're talking to and if you're always conscious of okay they can only be five people who rooms that i take my slippers of this far from the door because i'm in this order in the rank if you're always conscious of the minute as detail of everyone around you this is very
efficient at breaking down the ego otherwise you are in constant pain
deputy this happens lamp our excuse me but i think you can do
but they didn't really understand this is really trivial or
a as the both men and remember i remembered
the in the valedictorian at or from
but it made him or correcting papers from one arabia for engaging a mood of junior to reflect in role of to him and further behind the murder on here i would rather drive a harvard you know
seven pilot and their own when our run a my respect for her to normal and were simple plan though being seventy two she was already a full of enough grace before entering that she didn't have a of time but
the women in there for you parties having to work under women in their early thirties but that's where you will also
say thirty years ago the average novice was entertaining with sixteen today the average age of announced forty three and so you get women who have i had families have had careers have been many many things and then choose to become a nun and this is deliberate
choice and so they persevere what that means that they weren't is pliable as the nuns were when they are sixteen
so get i think it's even more intense now than it was thirty years ago
if they had moved river to be with the family from integrate divorce could go link or through her some have divorced some have a widow's some
iso answered in public but
they all of them have taken their children you know you have to say that no i'm not sure i bought i really can't
call of them have to the address will not let anyone into the monastery whose children are not clearly well taken care of you can't so it's usually by another family member it has to be clearly a situation where if things become very complicated and
difficult said it's a relationship that can withstand that she will not allow a child to be disrupted because the mother wants to be in a monastery
one thing that's very clear is than nuns although their numbers are decreasing and then and many monks say we'll look at us we have
our heirs because we're married and you know our children and take over the temple and they need much more comfortable lives materially
and so more men will then be a monk because it's not as far as stretch to be from a lay life to the life of these kind of reformed monks
the nuns live there is a large gap between the average may like and their life and so less than less women become ordained because it's hard and you have to really be serious and so some say well use the argument if we loosen up just little
a bit than maybe we'll get more people the leaders of the nuns do not want this and and the survey that i did have a hundred and fifty nuns nationwide bill only a handful that thought that loosening regulations would be an option
that most nuns think they realize if we're going to be monastics there's no point in saying okay you can live like a monastic and and mean live like a lay person and be called a monastic
they they don't want to blur that line
our read continue to vote when they go to their own couple of obvious that that's where the differences the men in their training temples of course they don't have a choice they have to live the monastic lifestyle where you see the differences is when the monks graduate be going to the own temple and they marry but all of them i'm just talking in general term but am
talking about the majority
will marry and have temples and then you see my son was a stereo and wears a funeral i mean it's there is a lot of that going on and the nuns because they don't have a lot of flowers and they ah they don't have families they not as concerned about the economic factor
and the temples of course don't pay taxes and people in the neighborhood looking them food and am
they do do very ceremonies so many of the nuns in japan are doing you know they they don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from so it's very different life once they're out in their own temples and they do from a from yes oh yes of course i when i saw i saw the flight
with over the general and then the oh yet more yes that's happening more and more and as there are less and less monastics in general all of them are called to help with everyone else's ceremonies and so i actually never saw a nun who had very much free time even nuns in their mid eighties were running around it is simply
the incredible that their their state of health because they have you know clean with no cleansers and and really gotten down the hands and knees scrubbing and have done all the labor that's required the gardening and
every aspect of it did their bodies are where they lived this very healthy life and so if you compare and eighty year old lay woman with an old monastic on who was say ordained when she was in her teens their state of health is entirely different
i then you differently in japan i mean it's because they practice in this way there some other the male and a muted i been interested
i mean obviously people go to the
not entirely there you know they don't have but how do people were it on areas i mean no pupil people who have never had contact with nuns don't know and there is the image that you find in the western literature that they must have been misfits there must be something wrong with them rather they have chosen this
but you do hear that a lot among people have never met a nun the people who have actually met a man invariably i hate to say this in the presence of monks but invariably they will say they respect the nuns much higher than they respect the monks because the nuns abide by the traditional regulations and the lifestyle
and the training temple when they leave they leave after certain food or hundred staff the temple i mean do they bring people back to teach marines from yes yes and we asked them to come back they don't know the teachers do not live there except the abbess
petite look of they're all the temples of close by yeah they just come into the class will teach and then perfect for but you know and are those are higher ranked those retraining training position right and when you i know for certain grew claim that fantasy
oh so by the end of the no seven years that woman but she hadn't worked for armor
ah it depends i mean all nuns in their do not have oyama friends they as their teacher he the abbess or but we cannot over different drugs become their for training run right could they do some of them come over the are a danger to smoke they all have to come on
day you cannot enter the training monastery unless you come as a lay woman
you have to have a teacher or she was ordained from here we showed up for grabs oh that was in her temple in nagano ah in the was also don't but it's a training monastery does have a temple in it but it's a training run okay some sort of the evident over another
the actual temple or dams prepared from the none and who ran go to the kind right writer at night when this case it just so happens so i a clue i get instant pot sorry if you're thing that ran from your car
aoyama since it does have the largest number of disciples and in large part it's because she is extremely strict on the obviously these women who have given up everything are they want the strictness they've chosen now
hi i'm upset
there's a one who stayed there are many years and is now back in the states die and son and there is that brazil a woman from brazil calling son who was there who has also graduated from the training monastery where there are three from from the risotto
i know and girl
time i didn't read
when women in public
well i'm imperfect beyond my control there is a publisher who will vary there's no sign contract but it's very likely they will
are you we're in here
when you when you lift reads the cipher through this means that these are on
these people that have happened had she heard from durham the nuns underdog and did not wanna go jogging did not want game very coordinated for the details or even if there was a system like shiho back villain i mean he wrote a of laugh
of well that how it worked particularly so you don't get on my review
to yeah i know if you an answer brooklyn
is there anything around for when moving in with them of while man will be ready for a travel
i'm familiar with the wow you with a barrel and i know
i'm glad
i grabbed a me every time i heard in a commercial from they would not only because the question but hardly incredible and degradation that that you know from our as a that that i would have him and be women and are within
right up until this
is it would be
including while with the fat man i'm riding no no when i used the policy that you can't say what happened if you can't say what did happen but i can tell you a quick little story where that became crystal clear there was someone
giving a lecture a buddhist scholar giving us lecture on buddhist three topics who said that nuns in such institutions did not study philosophy and i said no when please to i thought my goodness you must know something about know