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Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro

(1870- 1966). Eminent Buddhist scholar and foremost interpreter of Zen Buddhism to the West. He was born in Kanazawa, Japan, on October 18, 1870, and studied English literature at Tokyo. His interests were wide-ranging and included classical Chinese, Buddhist and Western philosophy. Suzuki was particularly interested in Emmanuel Swedenborg, introducing him into Japan by translating into Japanese Swedenborg’s biography and four of his major works.

Suzuki trained under two great Zen masters, Imakita Kisen and Soyen Shaku, and became the recognized exponent of Zen, publishing numerous works on the subject. He was for a time Professor of Buddhist Philosophy in the Otani University, Kyoto, and he taught at leading universities in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. (including several years at Columbia University). Suzuki and his wife, Beatrice Lane Suzuki, were both members of the Theosophical Society (TS) and at one time looked after the TS lodge in Kyoto, Japan.

He was a prolific writer and translator although much of his later writings were interpretive rather than original.

His published works include Essays in Zen Buddhism, 3 vols. (1927-33); Zen Buddhism and Its Influence on Japanese Culture (1938, rev. ed. 1959); An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1949); The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind (1949); Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist (1957); Outlines of Mah€y€na Buddhism (1963); and Shin Buddhism (1970).


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