『狂雲集』臨済四料簡試釈 [in Japanese] An essay of interpretation on the stanzas "the four distinctions of Linji" in the Kyoun-shu [in Japanese]
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In his anthology the Kyôun-shû, Ikkyû wrote four stanzas dedicated to the so-called four distinctions of Linji, a famous passage from the Record of Linji, which consists in suppressing the man (人) without suppressing the environment (境), suppressing the environment without suppressing the man, suppressing both the man and the environment, suppressing neither the man nor the environment. To examine these stanzas a thorough philological analysis is indispensable, and the precious commentaries on the Kyôun-shû, mainly by Yanagida Seizan and Hirano Sôjô, were the basis of our reading, even if we did not necessarily agree with all of their interpretations. We tried to reinterpret the poems as a whole by means of original research on their literal meaning. For these reasons, and because Ikkyû's thinking is only expressed in verses referring to Zen texts and Chinese poetry, mostly from the Tang, our article is mainly a philological reexamination of Ikkyû's stanzas in order to suggest a new reading of them. We aimed, by a concrete analysis of Ikkyû's use of citations, to bring out the primary but obviously not most important meaning of the verses and, by a contextualization with the theme of the four distinctions of Linji, to determine their doctrinal purpose. We thus reached the conclusion that Ikkyû unfolds in these stanzas a temporal process involving a double definition of terms. There is a "man" before the suppression different from the "man" after the suppression, and likewise for the "environment". Another originality of Ikkyû lies in the fact he illustrates the profane level, the level before suppression, by examples usually considered as belonging to the already enlightened world, famous Zen monks for "man" or a temple for the "environment". The level of enlightenment is then depicted as a new ideal whose very model of "man" is Ikkyû himself while the "environment" is the whole world, even in its crudest parts. Of course this conclusion needs to be refined by a wider examination of the Kyôun-shû, but we hope that we were able to demonstrate the pertinence of the method and the necessity of continuing in this way.
- Studies in Indian philosophy and Buddhism
Studies in Indian philosophy and Buddhism (15), 115-129, 2008-03