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Hakuin Studies

Summaries of Hakuin’s Writings in Japanese (Kana hōgo)
by Yoshizawa Katsuhiro  

Yaemugura #3: Sakushin osana monogatari

『八重葎』 巻之三 「策進幼稚物語」

This section of part 3 is an autobiographical work in which Hakuin describes the early part of his life. He writes of the sermon on hell that he heard as a child and how the terror that it inspired led him to become a monk, and describes his early enlightenment experiences up to the age of twenty-four. Although other autobiograhical works of Hakuin exist, notably Itsumade gusa 壁生草, written in the master’s old age, the Osana monogatari section of Yaemugura offers the most detailed accounts of Hakuin’s training at Eigan-ji in the Echigo region, and of his meeting with the monk Sōkaku, student of the master Dōkyō Etan of Shōju-an in the town of Iiyama. It is thus a valuable biographical source material for Hakuin.

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  Last Update: 2003/12/19