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The Wu-men kuan (J. Mumonkan) The Formation, Propagation, and Characteristics of a Classic Zen Kōan Text

by Ishii Shūdō & Albert Welter
from: The Zen Canon Understanding the Classic Texts, ISBN-13: 978-0-19-515067-4
Heine, Steven (Editor), Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Asian Studies, Florida International University
Wright, Dale S. (Editor), David B. and Mary H. Gamble Professor of Religious Studies and Asian Studies, Occidental College

Motivations for Researching the Wu-men kuan

The Wu-men kuan text is a record of the lectures from the Sung dynasty Lin-chi (J. Rinzai) Ch'an monk, Wu-men Hui-k'ai.1 It is a kōan collection containing forty-eight “cases.” In the monastic halls of Japan's Rinzai sect, one often sees a prominently displayed notice announcing a “Lecture on the Wu-men kuan,” the Wu-men kuan being one of the most widely read texts in the Rinzai sect. Nor is it the case that the Wu-men kuan has no bearing on the Sōtō (C. Ts'ao-t'ung) sect in Japan. According to the recently published work of Ishikawa Rikizan, Zenshūsōden shiryō no kenkyū (Research on materials concerning transmission inheritance in the Zen school), the Wu-men kuan was deeply implicated in the so-called “heresy incident.”2

Two incidents occurred during the Edo period, the first in 1649 and the second in 1653. The first involved the expulsion of monks responsible for undermining Sōtō doctrine connected to the three major Sōtō temples in the Kantō region.3 The second involved a similar expulsion of monks associated with Kasuisaiji, Sōjiji, and Eiheiji temples. Both incidents involved the impermissible study of heretical doctrines from outside the teachings established by the end p.207 Sōtō school. This study of heretical doctrines undermined Sōtō teaching and violated the system for determining the relationship between head and branch temples, and the rules of etiquette. As a result of the violation, numerous monks, beginning with Bannan Eishū (1591–1654), were expelled. The Wu-men kuan was one of the texts singled out as an object of criticism during the “heresy incident”; Bannan Eishū was expelled for authoring the Mumonkan shū, a commentary on the Wu-men kuan, at this time.4 Bannan was the person who revived Kōshōji Temple, originally founded by Dōgen and located in Fukakusa, by relocating it to its present site at Uji. Bannan passed away in 1654. After his passing, Manzan Dōhaku (1636–1715) carried out a full-scale revival of the Sōtō school. Manzan issued the Mumon ekai goroku (The recorded sayings of Wu-men Hui-k'ai), where he commented as follows: “After the Pi-yen ji (or Pi-yen lu, Blue cliff anthology), a great number of works praised kōan. Yet, the only one who resides on the path of liberation and reveals the fundamental source of their teaching is Wu-men Hui-k'ai. I know this from reading the forty-eight-case Wu-men kuan.”5

As indicated here, Manzan, who is also known as the patriarch who revived the Sōtō school, held out extraordinarily high praise for the Wu-men kuan. The aforementioned work by Ishikawa Rikizan discusses in detail the important status that kōan in the Wu-men kuan held in the Sōtō school during the Edo period. Knowing that Sōtō school doctrine during the Edo period was like this, it seems clear that the “heresy incident” was not simply a matter concerning a rejection of the Wu-men kuan text, but must be viewed from other perspectives.

Although the Wu-men kuan was, on occasion, the object of criticism in the history of the Sōtō school, it was a frequently read text in the Rinzai school along with the sacred scripture, the Pi-yen lu. In the Sōtō school the Ts'ung-jung lu is referred to along with the Pi-yen lu. Because Wan-sung Hsing-hsiu (1166–1246) praised such things as the one hundred cases in Hung-chih Cheng-chüeh's (1091–1157) Hung-chih sung-ku, it was referred to as a funda-mental sacred text in the Sōtō school. Although he was the founder of Sōtō, Dōgen never denied the role of the kōan, which was used to instruct Zen practitioners in the history of the Sōtō school. With the continued influence of the Rinzai school, the Wu-men kuan was a frequently read text in the Sōtō school as well.

In recent years, studies on the vernacular use of language have flourished in Chinese studies, and new problems have emerged concerning the traditional reading of Ch'an “recorded sayings” (yü-lu, J. goroku) texts. As an example of this, there is Iriya Yoshitaka's three-volume annotated translation of the Pi-yen lu.6 Iriya's reading is completely different from the Japanese rendering of the Chinese (kundoku) by Asahina Sōgen, former administrative director of Engaku Temple.7 There is also an annotated translation of the Wu-men kuan based on a new Japanese rendering of the Chinese by Hirata Takashi.8 Building on the results of this previous work, Nishimura Eshin recently published an annotated end p.208 translation of the Wu-men kuan.9 In a review that I wrote on Nishimura's translation, I made a strong case for research into the hitherto completely unindicated sources for the Wu-men kuan's contents.10 I noted for the first time that the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi was a source for the Wu-men kuan's contents, and indicated the need for a reevaluation of previous explanations that failed to take this into account. The Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi had a huge influence over Ch'an in the Sung dynasty, and is a text whose importance cannot be disregarded.11 The results of my studies showed that references to the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi appear throughout the Wu-men kuan, and I am of the opinion that the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi also exerted a large influence on the way the Wu-men kuan should be read.

The following list indicates the place occupied by the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi among the important Ch'an texts of the Sung dynasty.


1004 Ch'eng-t'ien Tao-yüan compiles the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu.


1036 Li Tsun-hsü compiles the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu.


1038 Yuan-ch'en compiles the Hsüeh-tou hsien ho-shang ming-chüeh ta-shih sung-ku ku-chi.


1052 Hsüeh-tou Ch'ung-hsien passes away at age seventy-three.


1093 Layman Mao-shan, also known as Yao Tzu, writes a preface for the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi (contained in Eizan Library and the National Diet Library).


1100 Chien-ch'i Tsung-yung writes the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi chi (contained in Eizan Library and the National Diet Library). [Did Yü Chang-li issue the first publication of the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi at this time?]


1101 Fo-kuo Wei-po compiles the Chien-chung ching-kuo hsü-teng lu.


1111 Yuan-Wu K'o-ch'in, living at the Ling-ch'üan Cloister on Mount Chia in Li-chou, lectures on the Pi-yen lu.


1125 Hung-chih Cheng-chüeh, after having lived at the Ta-sheng p'u-chao Temple in Szu-chou, writes the Hung-chih sung-ku.


1133 Hui-tse of the T'ien-ning Temple in Fu-t'ien reissues the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi. Keng Yen-hsi writes the Fu-t'ien hsin-k'ai tsung-men t'ung-yao hsü (Tōyō bunko).


1135 Szu-ming Szu-chien republishes the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi. Layman Pen-jan, also known as Cheng Ch'en, writes a preface for the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi.


1146 Layman I-an of Mount Lu, also known as Liu, republishes the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi.


1157 Layman Ta-yin, also known as Ch'en Shih, compiles the Ta-tsang i-lan chi.


1179 The Szu-ming edition is reissued. The imperial prince, Wei Wang, writes a postscript for the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi.


1183 Hui-weng Wu-ming compiles the Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao.


1202 Cheng-shou of Thunder Hermitage compiles the Chia-t'ai p'u-teng lu. end p.209


1224 Layman Shen Jan writes the preface for the Ts'ung-jung lu.


1228 Wu-men Hui-k'ai compiles the Wu-men kuan.


1229 The Wu-men kuan is published.


1230 Wu-men Hui-k'ai lectures on the Wu-men kuan at Jui-yen Temple in Ming-chou at the invitation of Wu-liang Tsung-shou.


1245 Meng Kung writes a postscript for the republication of the Wu-men kuan.


1246 Layman An-wan (Cheng Ch'ing-chih) writes the Ti ssu-shih-chiu yu.


1252 Hui-ming compiles the Wu-teng hui-yuan.

As related in a previous study, I encountered the connection between the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi and Wu-men kuan on three noteworthy occasions.12 The first time was around thirty years ago, when I wrote an article on the Sung edition of the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi contained in the library of the Tōyō bunko.13 The second time occurred over a two year period between 1981 and 1982, when I studied under Yanagida Seizan at Kyoto University's Humanities Research Institute. The importance of the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi as a source for Dōgen's Mana Shōbōgenzō (Shōbōgenzō), written in Chinese, generally referred to as Sanbyakusoku [three hundred cases]) became clear to me at that time.14 The third time occurred during my aforementioned investigation of the sources for the Wu-men kuan, when it emerged that the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi was the source.

Previously, the text of the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi that I used was contained in the library of the Tōyō bunko, a Sung edition issued in the third year of the shao-hsing era (1133). Shiina Kōyū introduced a different Sung edition, the Tsung-men t'ung-yao hsü-chi contained in the National Diet Library and an edition of the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi contained in the library of Eizan bunko.15 To my surprise, these editions were published in 1093, forty years before the Sung edition that I had been using. The five lamp history texts (Wu-teng) of Ch'an Buddhism were formed in order, starting with the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu (1004), and continuing with the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu (1036), Chien-chung ching-kuo hsü-teng lu (1101), Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao (1183), and the Chia-t'ai p'u-teng lu (1202). As a result, the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi had already been issued when the Chien-chung ch'ing-kuo hsü-teng lu was published in 1101. This makes the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi the first important Ch'an text after the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu and its successor, the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu.

A special feature of the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu is its inclusion of numerous materials relating to the Lin-chi faction. Although this represented a departure from the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu's emphasis on the Fa-yen faction, there is hardly any difference in characteristics between the two records. Nor is there a great time difference between the publication of the two records. The most conspicuous difference between the two works is the abundant inclusion of “recorded sayings” contents in the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu for Ma-tsu Tao-i, Pai-chang Huai-hai, Huang-po Hsi-yun, and Lin-chi I-hsüan, later compiled end p.210 into a separate text, the Ssu-chia yu-lu. The Sung transmission of the lamp history (teng-shih) text that follows the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu is the Chien-chung ching-kuo hsü-teng lu, but because the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi was formed prior to it, we must recognize even more than before, the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi's fundamental importance for understanding this formative period in the development of Ch'an.

When the Northern Sung ended in 1127 and the era of the Southern Sung dawned, Ch'an made the Southern Sung capital Hang-chou (Lin-an) its center. It came to flourish there, and the institution of the Five Mountains (designations for the five leading Ch'an monasteries) was established. The Ch'an school developed around the Five Mountains in present-day Che-chiang prefecture. As indicated in my previous article, the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu and the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi were continually published in the Che-chiang region as two works representative of Ch'an.16

The fact that they were issued together in this way is extremely interesting. It is clear that Ch'an monks at that time read these two texts with very great frequency. There are further matters surrounding the circumstances of their publication. Concerning the Pi-yen lu, when Yü'an-Wu K'o-ch'in lectured on it while living on Mount Chia in 1111, he offered critical acclaim for the one hundred-case Hsüeh-tou sung-ku. In fact, in a portion of this critical acclaim, the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi is quoted.17 As indicated previously, the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi was also quoted in the Wu-teng hui-yuan, compiled in 1252.18 Disregarding the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi renders impossible the study of tendencies in Ch'an from the period of the latter half of the eleventh through the thirteenth centuries.

It is interesting to note that the Wu-men kuan has not been read in China to the extent that it has in Japan. My own interest in the Wu-men kuan is to learn the reason why such an overwhelming concern for this work has existed throughout Japanese Zen history. This is one of the concerns addressed in the present study.

The Formation Process of the Wu-men kuan

Among the publication and compilation of Ch'an works in the Sung dynasty, the Wu-men kuan was compiled in the first year of the shao-ting era (1228). The Wu-men kuan was compiled the year after Dōgen returned from China. As stated above, both Dōgen and the Wu-men kuan are cited in the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi. I have already considered the degree of correspondence between the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi and Wu-men kuan in my review of Nishimura's translation of the Wu-men kuan mentioned above, and will summarize the details here.
Let us begin by looking at the activities of Wu-men Hui-k'ai, the compiler end p.211 of the Wu-men kuan, in relation to the compilation of the Wu-men kuan. The primary source for the biography of Wu-men Hui-k'ai is the six-chapter Tseng-chi hsü ch'uan-teng lu, compiled by Nan-shih Wen-hsiu in the Ming dynasty.19 Wu-men's Dharma lineage is as follows:

Fen-yang Shan-chao (947–1024) → Tz'u-ming Ch'u-yuan (986–1039) → Yang-ch'i Fang-hui (992–1049) → Pai-yün Shou-jui (1025–1072) → Wu-tsu Fa-yen (?–1104) → K'ai-fu Tao-ning (1053–1113) → Yueh-an Shan-kuo (1079–1152) → Ta-hung Tsu-cheng (dates unknown) → Yueh-lin Shih-kuan (1143–1217) → Wu-men Hui-k'ai (1183–1260) → Hsin-ti Chüeh-hsin (1207–1298).

This is the Dharma lineage of the Yang-ch'i branch of the Lin-chi faction. Among the members of the Yang-ch'i branch, Yang-ch'i's “grandson” Wu-tsu Fa-yen had a particularly large influence on later developments.20 Among Wu-tsu's disciples, three achieved fame: Fo-kuo K'o-ch'in (1063–1135), the compiler of the Pi-yen lu; Fo-chien Hui-ch'in (1059–1117); and Fo-yen Ch'ing-yuan (1067–1120). Since they all shared the honorific name “Fo” (Buddha), they were commonly referred to as the “three buddhas.” Wu-men Hui-k'ai is in the lineage descended from K'ai-fu Tao-ning, a fellow practitioner of these “three buddhas.”

Hui-k'ai was born in Liang-chu, in Hang-chou (Che-chiang Prefecture). His family name was Liu. His mother had the family name Sung. He inherited the Dharma of Yueh-lin Shih-kuan. Hui-k'ai's activities at this time are described in the Tseng-chi hsü ch'uan-teng lu as follows.

[Hui-k'ai] paid respects to Monk Kung of T'ien-lung, and accepted Monk Kung as his teacher. He practiced with Yüeh-lin at Wan-shou [Temple] in Su[-chou]. Yüeh-lin had him read the account of [Chao-chou's] Wu (J. Mumonkan). Even after six years, [Hui-k'ai] was far from penetrating its meaning. Thereupon, he summoned his will and resolved to sever his doubts, saying “I will give up sleeping even if it destroys me.” Whenever he felt perplexed, he walked down the corridor and struck his head against a pillar. One day, while standing near the lecturer's seat [in the Dharma hall], he was suddenly awakened when he heard the sound of the drum [calling the monks] for the recitation of the monastic rules (chai). He composed a verse, which said:

With the sun shining and the sky blue, the sound of thunder
peels open the eyeballs of the earth's living beings.
The myriad phenomena existing between heaven and earth all prostrate themselves; end p.212
Mount Sumeru leaps to his feet and dances the dance “three stages.”21

The following day, he entered the master's room seeking confirmation for his attainment. Yueh-lin said in an off-hand manner, “Whenever I look at kindred spirits (shen), I see nothing but demons (kuei).” Hui-k'ai then shouted. Yueh-lin also shouted. Hui-k'ai then shouted again. In this way, his awakening was confirmed.22

When we look at the process whereby Wu-men practices meditation, experiences awakening, and inherits the Dharma, we can understand why his teacher Yüeh-lin Shih-kuan plays such a large role in the Wu-men kuan. The episode involving Chao-chou's Wu that Yüeh-lin gave to Wu-men is one of the most famous kōans, well-known to virtually everyone. When a monk asked Chao-chou Ts'ung-shen: “Does a dog also have the Buddha-nature?” Chao-chou responded: “Wu! (No)” In the Wu-men kuan, this Wu does not indicate the relative wu in contrast to yu, but refers to absolute Wu transcending these relative distinctions. In this way, the episode involving Chao-chou's Wu serves as the stereotypical kōan case. In another version of this experience of enlightenment, Wu-men was given this kōan by his teacher Yüeh-lin. For six years, he grappled with it. His reported actions during this period have counterparts in other sources, involving other masters. The action of “striking one's head against a pillar” is also attributed to Chung-feng Ming-pen (1263–1323) in Hsüeh-lou Chu-hung's Ch'an-kuan tse-chin. This episode brings to mind the action of “picking up a chisel and jabbing oneself” attributed to Tz'u-ming Ch'u-yuan (986–1039) in the same source. This is an example of the behavior prior to Wu-men.23 The great formulator of the Edo-period Rinzai sect, Hakuin (1685–1768), was inspired upon reading this account of “picking up a chisel and jabbing oneself.” It is said that he became devoted to his practice, jabbing himself with a chisel, to awaken himself whenever he felt drowsy. Not to be outdone by the account of “jabbing oneself with a chisel,” Wu-men struck his head against a pillar to keep awake as he grappled with the episode involving Chao-chou's Wu. Then, one day he heard the sound of the drum and achieved great awakening, commemorating the occasion with a four-line verse reflecting his awakened state. On the day following his great awakening, he entered the master's room and was told by the master, “Where have I met such an idiot?” Wu-men then let out an angry shout. Yüeh-lin also responded with an angry shout. In response to this, Wu-men retorted with another angry shout. The master and disciple formed a single entity here. Wu-men's awakening was acknowledged, and he inherited the Dharma.

There is a “recorded sayings” (yü-lu) text for Wu-men's teacher, Yüeh-lin Shih-kuan.24 At the end of it, there is a record of Yüeh-lin's tomb inscrip-end p.213 tion, where it states the following: “When [students] went to [the master's] room, [Yüeh-lin] kept them off guard with his extraordinarily sharp verbal attacks, so they would not go near him.”25 We know from this that Yüeh-lin was especially hard on his students and very strict with lazy practitioners, to the extent of being unapproachable. Wu-men was thus nurtured by this master, Yüeh-lin.
Afterward, in the eleventh year of chia-ting (1218), Wu-men succeeded the founding abbot Yüeh-lin at the Pao-yin yu-tz'u Ch'an Temple in Hu-chou. Wu-men's first appointment was serving after Yüeh-lin, as the second abbot. From there he succeeded the denoted as abbot at the following locations. T'ien-ning Ch'an Temple and Huang-lung ch'ung-en Ch'an Temple in Lung-hsing District; Ling-yen hsien-ch'in ch'ung-pao Ch'an Temple in P'ing River District; the Ts'ui-yen kuang-hua Ch'an Temple in Lung-hsing District; again at the Huang-lung ch'ung-en Ch'an Temple; P'u-ji Ch'an Temple on Mount Chiao in Chen River District; K'ai-yuan Ch'an Temple in P'ing River District; Pao-ning Ch'an Temple in Chien-k'ang District, until he became abbot of Hu-kuo jen-wang Ch'an Temple in Hang-chou, in the sixth year of ch'un-yu (1246).26 Wu-men instructed Ch'an practitioners at these important Ch'an temples successively, and in his final years is said to have lived at a hermitage on the shores of West Lake (in Hang-chou).

On one occasion, Wu-men was invited by Emperor Li-tsung (r. 1224–1264) to lecture at the Hsuan-te Pavilion in the imperial palace. Whenever he was called on to pray for rain, it is said that rain suddenly fell. As a result of these achievements, Wu-men was awarded a gold-threaded Dharma-robe and the honorific title Fo-yen (Buddha-eye) Ch'an Master. It is recorded that he forecast his own death on the seventh day of the fourth month of the first year of ching-ting (1260) with the parting verse: “With emptiness, there is no birth; with emptiness, there is no death. If one realizes emptiness, one is no different from emptiness.” He was seventy-eight years of age. Among disciples who inherited his Dharma are Hsi-an Tsung, Patriarch Wu-ch'uan, Hsia-lü Wu-chien, and Layman Fang-niu Yu, who are well known, and Shinichi Kakushin, who is famous in Japan.

The Wu-men kuan makes it clear, however, that Wu-men became accomplished prior to his first appointment as an abbot of temple practitioners. Wu-men's own preface to the Wu-men kuan states as follows:
The mind the Buddha spoke of is the fundamental source (tsung); gatelessness (Wu-men) is the Dharma-gate. If it is gateless, how do you pass through it? Have you not heard it said that “nothing entering through the gate is valued by the family; whatever is obtained through circumstance will not last.” In the summer of the first year of chao-ting (1228), I, Hui-k'ai, headed the congregation at Lung-hsiang Temple in Tung-chia. Because of the frequent requests of the end p.214 monks [for instruction], I proceeded to take cases (kung-an) [involving] past masters, using them as brickbats to batter the gate, guiding the students in accordance with their capabilities. Eventually they were recorded, inadvertently becoming an anthology. They have not been arranged according to any particular order, altogether there are forty-eight cases. It is generally referred to as the Wu-men kuan (Gateless gate).27

As stated here, Wu-men completed a compilation of forty-eight ancient cases while chief meditator (shou-tso) at the Lung-hsiang Temple. He relates that the forty-eight cases should not be considered in order. In an announcement offered to the current emperor Li-tsung, Wu-men also stated: “The fifth day of the first month of the second year of shao-ting (1229) graciously corresponds to the emperor's birthday. I, the humble monk Hui-k'ai, previously, on the fifth day of the twelfth month of the first year [of shao-ting] (1228), selected forty-eight cases regarding the awakening opportunities of buddha-patriarchs for publication [in your honor],” and it is added that the forty-eight cases were published on the fifth day of the twelfth month of the same year (1229).28 In this way, the Wu-men kuan was compiled and published in a short time span.
Concerning the term Wu-men used in the title of the work, we should consider the following lecture recorded at the beginning of the Yüeh-lin yu-lu, delivered at Mount Tao-ch'ang. “[Yueh-lin] pointed to the saying on the monastery gate: `The mind which the Buddha spoke of is the fundamental source; gatelessness is the Dharma-gate. Enter here with your whole self, and you become specially joined with the entire universe.'”29

Regarding the use of the term Wu-men by Wu-men Hui-k'ai, Furuta Shōkin proposes that it was adopted from Yüeh-lin.30 Given that we can ascertain Yüeh-lin's use of the term, I agree with Furuta's proposition. By acknowledging this, it becomes clear that the term Wu-men in the Wu-men kuan is deeply connected with its author, Wu-men Hui-k'ai.
The Wu-men kuan that Wu-men compiled contains forty-eight kōans. The four character titles of these kōans are listed as follows:31


Chao-chou's “Wu!”


Pai-chang and the Fox


Chu-chih Raises a Finger


The Western Barbarian with No Beard


Huang-yen's “Map up in a Tree”


The World Honored One Holds up a Flower


Chao-chou's “Wash Your Bowl”


Hsi-chung the Wheelmaker


Ta-t'ung Chih-sheng


Ch'ing-shui Is Utterly Destitute end p.215


Chao-chou Sees the Hermits


Jui-yen Calls His Master


Te-shan Holds His Bowls


Nan-ch'üan Kills the Cat


T'ung-shan's Sixty Blows


When the Bell Sounds, a Seven-Piece Robe


The National Preceptor Calls out Three Times


T'ung-shan's “Three Pounds of Flax”


“Ordinary Mind Is the Way”


The Man of Great Strength


Yun-men's “Shit-Stick”


Mahakasyapa's “Knock down the Flagpole”


Think neither Good nor Evil


Feng-hsüeh's Parting Words


The One in the Third Seat Preaches the Dharma


Two Monks Roll up the Blinds


“It Is Neither Mind nor Buddha”


Long Admired Lung-t'an


Neither the Wind nor the Flag


“Mind Itself Is Buddha”


Chao-chou Investigates an Old Woman


A Non-Buddhist Questions the Buddha


“No Mind, No Buddha”


“Wisdom Is Not the Way”


Ch'ien-nü's Soul Separated


Meeting a Man of the Tao on the Road


The Oak Tree in the Front of the Garden


A Buffalo Passes through the Window


Yün-men Says “You Missed It”


Kicking over the Water Pitcher


Bodhidharma Pacifies the Mind


A Woman Comes out of Meditation


Shou-shan's Staff


Pa-chiao's Staff


“Who Is He?”


Step Forward from the Top of the Pole


Tou-lu's Three Barriers


Ch'ien-feng's One Road

The Ch'an lineages of the people appearing in these kōan are provided in the essay at the end of Hirata Takashi's translation of the Wu-men kuan.32 end p.216

The Special Circumstances Associated with the Propagation of the Wu-men kuan in Japan

The individual who brought the Wu-men kuan to Japan was Shinichi Kakushin (1207–1298). He inherited the Dharma from the Wu-men kuan's author, Wu-men Hui-k'ai.33 There is an interesting story regarding Shinichi Kakushin's awakening experience and his transmission of the Wu-men kuan to Japan. It is said that when he was fifteen, Kakushin studied scriptures in Konobeakata. He received full ordination at Tōdai-ji when he was twenty-nine. Subsequently, he studied esoteric doctrine with Kakubutsu at the Denbō-in and practiced under Gyōiu (Eisai's Dharma heir) at the Kongō zanmai-in, and studied with Dōgen at Fukakusa Gokuraku-ji. After this, he practiced with a number of teachers, and then Kakushin went to Sung China at the age of forty-three, studying with Ch'ih-chüeh Tao-ch'ung (Dharma heir of Ts'ao-yüan Tao-sheng) on Mount Ching and Ching-sou Ju-ch'ueh (Dharma heir of Ch'ih-tun Chih-ying) on Mount Tao-ch'ang, before experiencing awakening under Wu-men Hui-k'ai. The entry for the first year of pao-yu (1253) in Kakushin's Chronological History states as follows:

The master [Shinichi Kakushin] was forty-seven years old. On the twenty-eighth day of the second month, he climbed Mount Ta-mei and paid respects at the tomb of Ch'an master [Fa-]ch'ang. He met someone from Japan, Genshin. Because they had practiced together in the past, Kakushin asked him, “I have not practiced here for a long time. Have you met anyone yet with the wisdom of the enlightened eye?” Genshin replied, “The monk Wu-men is an enlightened master [encountered rarely] in an entire generation. You should go and meet with him.” He then proceeded to go to Hu-kuo Temple in Hang[-chou]. As soon as he met Wu-men, Wu-men grabbed him and said: “I have no gate [for practitioners] here. Where have you come from?” The master (Kakushin) answered: “I've come from Wu-men's place.” Wu-men then asked: “What is your name?” The master replied: “Kakushin.” Wu-men then composed a verse that said:

Mind is Buddha;
Buddha is mind.
Mind and Buddha being in a state of suchness,
They extend through the past and the present

The fact that Wu-men's response was four lines of verse indicated that his awakening had been certified. Wu-men called further to Kakushin, “You arrived here quite late.” He then stood his fly whisk up and said: “Look!” Kakushin end p.217 experienced awakening as soon as Wu-men had uttered this word. It was the twenty-eighth day of the ninth month. Kakushin then asked, “When you have renounced everything, what do you use to instruct people with?” Wu-men replied, “I look for the essence seen in each individual thing.” Kakushin bowed in respect, and departed. Wu-men presented Kakushin with [a copy of] the Tui-yü lu in two volumes and a monk's robe.34

Shinichi Kakushin met Wu-men Hui-k'ai at Hu-kuo Temple and experienced awakening there under him. Kakushin visited him once more after he departed, and before returning to Japan. The leading entry for the following year, the second year of pao-yu (1254), in Kakushin's Chronological History states as follows:

The master was forty-eight years old. On the twenty-seventh day of the third month, he again visited [Wu-men Hui-k'ai at] Hu-kuo Temple. When he related his intention to return to Japan, Wu-men presented him with three pictures painted on silk of the Ch'an heroes Bodhidharma, Han-shan, and Shih-te. On the twenty-ninth day, Kakushin called on Wu-men to bid farewell. Wu-men said: “This brings the matter to an end.” Kakushin then lit incense and bowed in respect. Wu-men further presented Kakushin with [copies of] the Yüeh-lin [yü-]lu and the Wu-men kuan.35

Accordingly, Shinichi Kakushin brought copies of the Yüeh-lin yü-lu, the record of Wu-men Hui-k'ai's teacher, and the Wu-men kuan to Japan. He arrived in Hakata in the sixth month of that year (1254). He visited Gyōiu at the Zenjō-in on Mount Kōya, and on the following day was promoted to chief meditator. There is evidence of correspondence between Kakushin and Wu-men Hui-k'ai under entries in the Chronological History for ages fifty and fifty-one. Subsequently, Kakushin was invited by Ganjō to become founding abbot of Saihō-ji on Mount Juhō in Yura in 1258. In the fourth year of kōan (1281), he was invited by the retired emperor Kameyama to live at Shōrin-ji in the capital. The same year, he was asked by Emperor Gouda to become the founding abbot of Zenrin-ji, but he declined and returned to Saihō-ji. In 1285, he was invited by Prime Minister Fujiwara Morotsugu and his son Moronobu to live at Myōkō-ji in the capital. Kakushin was seventy-nine years old at the time. Kakushin announced his passing at Saihō-ji on the thirteenth day of the tenth month, 1298. He was ninety-two years old, and had been a monk for sixty-four years. He was granted the honorific title Hōttō Zenji (Zen master Dharma lamp) from retired emperor Kameyama, and received the posthumous title Hōttō enmyō kokushi (Perfectly awakened national preceptor of the Dharma lamp) from Emperor Godaigo.

Concerning the Wu-men kuan text that Kakushin brought to Japan, it seems that the text went through several publications early on, and these are the sources for existing versions of the text. In fact, the Wu-men kuan known end p.218 to us at present contains forty-nine rather than forty-eight cases, with the story of “Huang-lung's three barriers” added at the end. As a result, this presently known text of the Wu-men kuan would not appear to be the originally published text, but a republished version. According to Kawase Kazuma, the first publication of the Wu-men kuan in Japan was in 1291, but none of the editions derived from this printing is known to us.36 The basis for Kawase's explanation is the following notice in an edition contained in the library of Daichō-in at Kennen-ji:

This volume (i.e., the Wu-men kuan) exposes the marrow of the buddha-patriarchs, and is the hammer for pounding open monk's eyes. Moreover, it has yet to be published in Japan. Accordingly, it displays their great talent, and I will have a printer carve printing blocks to publish it. At present, an edition of this text is located at Saihō zen-in on Mount Juhō. With an expanded printing, it could be transmitted endlessly. If there is some gentleman who has the insight to take it upon himself, it will be said that even my efforts will not have been fruitless. Signed by Shamon (Monk) Sōshin, on a rising tide in the middle of Spring in the Shōbō era.
Kawase understands the date to be 1291. The name of the Saihō zen-in, which appears in the notice is also connected with Shinichi Kakushin, as noted above. The versions of the Wu-men kuan that are in wide circulation at present are from an edition first published in 1405. It is clear that this was not the first publication. Moreover, since it states that the old edition had disappeared, we can tell that the 1405 edition was the basis for those that were widely circulated.

At this point, I would like to change subjects and talk briefly about Shinichi Kakushin and the Sōtō sect. Shinichi Kakushin, as the Dharma heir of Wu-men Hui-k'ai, undeniably belonged to the Rinzai sect. His Dharma lineage is referred to as the Hōttō faction. This faction has very deep connections with the Sōtō sect.37 First of all, Keizan Jōkin (1264–1325), who created the basis for the development of the Sōtō sect by founding Sōji-ji, studied with Kakushin. In addition, Kakushin's Dharma heir, Kohō Kakumyō (1271–1361), studied with Keizan and received the bodhisattva precepts from him. Moreover, there was intimate communication between Keizan and the Hōttō faction.
What is of further interest is the fact that Shinichi Kakushin also had a large influence on and connection with Dōgen. As indicated in the chronological history, Eihei-ji was actually erected for the enlightenment of Hōjō Masako and the third Shōgun Sanetomo. This letter is not from an old record. It was transmitted as an indication of the connection that both Kōkoku-ji and Eihei-ji had to Sanetomo and Hōjō Masako. Sanetomo had wanted to visit the King Asoka (A-yü wang) temple in China. He even constructed a boat to go to China for that purpose. He had the Sung artisan Ch'en Ho-ch'ing build the boat, and intended to moor it at Yuiga beach in Kamakura, but regrettably the boat did end p.219 not stay afloat. Consequently, Sanetomo's plans for going to China were dashed. According to the Chronological History, the one who fulfilled Sanetomo's dream of going to China was Shinichi Kakushin, but Sugio Genyū suggests that Dōgen might also have fulfilled it.38 Regarding the strange affinity between Sanetomo and Dōgen, it is clear that there is an important connection between them that cannot be ignored. However, in the absence of older substantiating documentation, one problematic point remains. The end of the aforementioned entry for the third year of Karoku in the Chronological History speaks of a connection between Dōgen and Kōkoku-ji. In the year 1227 when this occurred, Dōgen was twenty-seven years old, and had just returned from China. The entry claims that before returning to Kyoto, Dōgen stopped at Kōkoku-ji (at the time named Saihō-ji) in Yura in Wakayama Prefecture, and inscribed the nameplate for the temple. Because the presently existing Kōkoku-ji no longer reflects the state of the temple at that time, the nameplate regrettably no longer exists.

In addition, there is another entry concerning Dōgen in the Chronological History for the third year on ninji (1242): “The master (Shinchi Kakushin) was thirty-six years old. He studied with Dōgen at the Gokuraku-ji in Fukakusa, to the south of the city, and received the bodhisattva precepts [from him]. When Dōgen was in China, he personally received transmission [of these bodhisattva precepts] from T'ien-t'ung Ju-ching. Dōgen subsequently became an expert in the Buddha-Dharma who founded Eihei-ji.”39

It is a historical fact that Shinichi Kakushin visited Dōgen prior to going to China and received the bodhisattva precepts from him. Moreover, Dōgen personally received these bodhisattva precepts from T'ien-t'ung Ju-ching when he was in China. In Sugio Genyū's study referred to above, a connection was noted between Sanetomo, Kōkoku-ji, and Dōgen. Recently, Sugiō has maintained that the starting point of Dōgen Zen, Dōgen's enlightenment experience of “dropping off of body and mind” (shinjin datsuraku), stands between Dōgen's experiences on Mount A-yü-wang and his connection with Sanetomo.40 This is a large issue in Dōgen studies. Here, I can do nothing more than point it out.
As indicated in the chart above outlining publications of Zen texts in the Sung dynasty, the Wu-men kuan was frequently read during Wu-men's lifetime, but there is little evidence that it was read in China after this.41 However, the Wu-men kuan was read with very great frequency in Japan. Of course, it was naturally read in the Rinzai sect, but it was regarded with importance in the Sōtō sect as well. According to research by Yanagida Seiji, the number of translations of the Wu-men kuan in Japan is extremely high.42 What of the situation of Zen in Korea? Many old Ch'an works were published in Korea, but the Wu-men kuan, or its translations, do not appear among them.43
The popularity of the Wu-men kuan was unique to Japan, and created an extraordinary sensation there. The initiation of this phenomenon was created end p.220 when Dharma Lamp National Preceptor Shinichi Kakushin (1207–1298), the traveler to Sung China and inheritor of Wu-men Hui-k'ai's Dharma, brought the Wu-men kuan to Japan.

New Perspectives on the Material Cited in the Wu-men kuan

Regarding the content of the text, I will investigate problems connected to the citation of the sixth kōan in the Wu-men kuan, the story entitled “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower.” At the same time, I would like to consider the special circumstances associated with the adoption of the Wu-men kuan by the Japanese people, especially their understanding of the “flower” (or “blossom”) in this case.

The story “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower” is one of the best known Zen kōans.44 It relates how the World-Honored One (Śākyumuni Buddha), on one occasion, faced a large group of assembled practitioners. Just as he was about to begin to preach, Brahma offered him a flower. The World-Honored One took the flower and held it up, while remaining silent. The practitioners wondered what he was doing, and thinking it strange, did not understand it at all. Only Mahākāśyapa broke into a smile. The passage of the original text in the Wu-men kuan, along with the commentary by Wu-men Hui-k'ai, reads as follows:

The World-Honored One long ago instructed the assembly on Vulture Peak by holding up a flower. At that time, everyone in the assembly remained silent; only Mahākāśyapa broke into a smile. The World-Honored One stated, “I possess the treasury of the true Dharma-eye, the wondrous mind of nirvana, the subtle Dharma-gate born of the formlessness of true form, not established on words and letters, a special transmission outside the teaching. I bequeath it to Mahākāśyapa.”
Wu-men's comment:

Yellow-faced Gautama really mocked his listeners. He denigrated good people as despicable sorts who sold dog's meat labeled as sheep's head. He thought that this was somehow ingenious [but in fact it was not]. But if everyone in the assembly had smiled at that moment, how would the treasury of the true Dharma-eye been transmitted? Or, suppose that Mahākāśyapa had not smiled, how would the treasury of the true Dharma-eye been transmitted? If you say that the treasury of the true Dharma-eye is transmitted, the yellow-faced geriatric is a bumpkin-cheating city-slicker. If you say it is not transmitted, then why did he approve of Mahākāśyapa?
[Wu-men's] verse: end p.221

Holding up a flower,
[the Buddha] revealed his tail.
When Mahākāśyapa broke into a smile;
Humans and gods were all bewildered.45

There is not even the slightest trace that this story “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower” existed in India. It is generally believed to have first appeared in the Ta fan-t'ien wen-fo chüeh-i ching (The scripture in which Brahman asks Buddha to resolve his doubts), a scripture fabricated in China. The story is connected to portions of the text in the two versions of the Ta fan-t'ien wen-fo chüeh-i ching contained in the Zokuōkyō edition, to one passage in the two-chapter version, and to two passages in the one-chapter version.46 Any of these passages from the Ta fan-t'ien wen-fo chüeh-i ching could be the source for “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower” story recorded in the Wu-men kuan. For example, this is the allegation made in the earliest surviving translation of the Wu-men kuan in Japan, the Mumonkan jiunshō, by Kihaku Genbō of the Genjō branch of the Rinzai sect, and has been explained in recent years in the works by Hirata Takashi and Nishmura Eshin.
In addition, another well-read work in Japan, the Tsung-men tsa-lu [Miscellaneous records of the Ch'an school], contained in chapter five of the Jen-t'ien yen-mu [The eyes of humans and gods] (compiled in 1188), provides the following verification for the source of the Wu-men kuan story, “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower”:

Wang, the duke of Ching, asked Ch'an master Fo-hui Ch'üan: “What source is [the story] The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower related by members of the Ch'an lineage (ch'an-chia) based on?”
[Ch'an master] Ch'üan replied, “It is not contained at all in the scriptures of the [Buddhist] canon.”
The duke said: “The other day in the Han-lin Academy, I happened to read the three-chapter Scripture in Which [Brahma Asks] Buddha to Resolve His Doubts (Wen-fo chüeh-i ching). Based on what I read there, a passage from this scripture unequivocally contains the story. [It states that] when the Brahma king lived on Vulture Peak, he presented to the Buddha a gold-colored po-lo flower. He withdrew to take up his seat, asking the Buddha to preach the Dharma for the sake of sentient beings. The World-Honored One got up from his seat and communicated to the assembly by holding up the flower. None of the hundreds of myriads of humans and gods grasped [the meaning of this]. Only one among them, the gold-colored ascetic, broke into a smile. The World-Honored One stated: “I possess the end p.222 treasury of the true Dharma eye, the wondrous mind of nirvana, the formlessness of true form. I now bequeath it to Mahākāśyapa.” This scripture discusses frequently how Indra served the Buddha and asked him questions. As a consequence, it contains secrets which the world has yet to hear.”47

Wang, the duke of Ching, referred to here is Wang An-shih. Based on the information presented here, the Ta fan-t'ien wang wen-fo chüeh-i ching already existed in China at this time. However, there is a persuasive argument by a member of the Sōtō sect that the version of the scripture contained in Zokuōkyō was created in Japan during the Edo period.48 Nukariya Kaiten successfully adopted this argument in his own research.49 I have also adopted the argument that it was compiled in Japan, concurring with the argument made by Nukariya. Based on this, kōan number six in the Wu-men kuan, “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower,” is not based on an apocryphal scripture, even though the same story appears in the Ta fan-t'ien wang wen-fo chüeh-i ching. Among Ch'an “transmission records” (teng-lu), the story “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower” first appears in chapter 2 of the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu [T'ien-sheng era supplementary transmission record], in the entry for Mahākāśyapa.50 Prior to this, we know that members of the Lin-chi lineage transmitted the story “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower”; it is contained in sources such as the Recorded Sayings (yü-lu) of Tz'u-ming (a.k.a. Shih-shuang) Ch'u-yüan (986–1039), for which there is a preface dated 1027.51 The fact that the Wu-men kuan developed the story “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower” based on the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi is readily apparent from a comparison of case number six in the Wu-men kuan and the following entry on Sakyamuni from chapter 1 of the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi.

The World-Honored One long ago instructed the assembly on Vulture Peak by holding up a flower. At that time, everyone in the assembly remained silent; only Mahākāśyapa broke into a smile. The World-Honored One stated, “I possess the treasury of the true Dharma-eye, the wondrous mind of nirvana, the subtle Dharma-gate born of the formlessness of true form, not established on words and letters, a special transmission outside the teaching. I bequeath it to Mahākāśyapa.”52
The wording of the two versions is exactly the same. Following the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi version are comments by Lin-chi masters Hai-hui Tuan and Huang-lung Hsin. Even though the Ta fan-t'ien wen-fo chüeh-i ching is understood to be the source for “The World-Honored One Holds up a Flower” story in translations of the Wu-men kuan into Japanese, the fact that the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi was actually the source means that the story was already func end p.223 tioning as a kōan. This is known from the comments of Lin-chi masters appended to the end of the story in the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi, where the meaning of the story is discussed in kōan-like fashion.

Next, I turn to the question of the flower. What kind of flower was it that the World-Honored One held up? What is the “gold-colored po-lo flower” mentioned in the Ta fan-t'ien wen-fo chüeh-i ching? Because Dōgen referred to the flower in this story as the udonge or “udon flower” in the Shōbōgenzō, it is postulated to be udumbara in Sanskrit, but it probably refers to the image of a lotus blossom (Skt. utpala) generally acknowledged as the representative flower of Indian Buddhism. Let us next consider the problem of the flower presented in case number nineteen in the Wu-men kuan, the story “Ordinary Mind Is the Way.”

Nan-ch'üan, in passing, was asked by Chao-chou: “What Is the Way?” Nan-ch'üan replied, “Ordinary mind is the Way.” Chao-chou asked: “Then should I direct myself toward it, or not?” Nan-ch'üan answered, “When you try to direct yourself toward it, you go away from it.” Chao-chou persisted, “How will I know it is the Way unless I try for it?” Nan-ch'üan responded, “The Way is not something one knows or does not know. Knowing is an illusion; not knowing is blankness. If you truly attain the Way without effort, it is vast and boundless like the great void. How can you insist on [categorizing it in terms of] right and wrong?” With these words, Chao-chou was suddenly awakened.
Wu-men's comment:
Questioned by Chao-chou, Nan-ch'üan straight away made the tile disintegrate and the ice melt, and [showed that] explanations were impossible, even though Chao-chou experienced awakening, he must practice for another thirty years before he will begin to get it.
[Wu-men's] verse:

A hundred flowers in spring, the moon in autumn;
A cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If trivial matters do not clutter your mind,
It is a good season for such a person.53

“Ordinary mind is the Way” means that our normal mind is the Way, just as it is. “The Way” (tao) is one of the ancient translations for the Sanskrit term bodhi. The Chinese considered “the Way” to be the same as “awakening” (satori). Given this meaning, the phrase “Ordinary mind is the Way” can be said to represent the zenith of Chinese Ch'an.
However, when we read Wu-men's commemorative verse for this kōan, we are reminded of Dōgen's poem Honrai menmoku (Poem: The original face).54 end p.224 55 Although this verse was originally famous among Dōgen's poetic works, what attracted even more attention was the citation of it by Kawabata Yasunari at the beginning of his commemorative presentation in Stockholm when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1968.56 Seidensticker translated the verse as follows.
In the spring, cherry blossoms; in the summer, the cuckoo.
In the autumn, the moon; in the winter, snow, clear, cold.
It is unclear whether Dōgen was thinking of “cherry blossoms” (sakura no hana) when he mentioned hana (flower) in his verse. Prior to considering this, let's look at the problem concerning the Sanshōdōeishū, which contains this verse. According to the explanation of Funazu Yōko, Dōgen did not write all of the verses in the Sanshōdōeishū. A verse with the same title, Honrai no menmoku (The original face) is contained in the Hekigan hyaku kattō (A hundred entanglements on the blue cliff by Kyōkai): Haru wa hana, natsu totogisu, aki wa tsuki, fuyu wa takane ni yuki zo furikeri [translation (following Seidensticker): In the spring, cherry blossoms; in the summer, the cuckoo; in the autumn, the moon; in the winter, without amassing, snow continues to fall]. Funazu considers this as follows: “A similar poem appears in the Hekigan hyaku kattō, a work by Kyokai Tōryū (?–1852) which commits the Hekigan roku (Pi-yen lu, Blue cliff record) to verse. Considering the time that it was written, it would seem that Kyōkai's verse is an adaptation of the one from Dōgen's Sanshōdōeishū. But it is also possible that it is based on a verse by an unknown author transmitted by Zen monks since ancient times as representative of the circumstances of Zen monks' lives.”57
Funazu simply pointed out that the authorship of the original verse is unclear. However, it is possible to consider that the verse by Wu-men Hui-k'ai in his commentary to the kōan “Ordinary Mind Is the Way” was the source, especially given that it was popular in Japan and had been transmitted over a long period of time.

Concerning the issue of the “flower” (hana), one is reminded of Dōgen's use of the term in Genjokōan: “Moreover, whatever one says, it is regrettable when blossoms (hana) scatter; it is sorrowful when weeds flourish.”58
Because it states that when they scatter it is regrettable, it seems that in this case the “flowers” referred to are cherry blossoms. However, in the case of Wu-men Hui-k'ai's verse “In the spring, a hundred flowers,” I doubt if we can think of the “hundred flowers” as cherry blossoms. Wu-men, who was Chinese, would not have been thinking of cherry blossoms. It is more likely that Wu-men would have been thinking of peach blossoms. The Zen poem, “The willow is green, the blossoms (hana) are red,” is well known, but in end p.225 chapter 2 of the Wu-tsu fa-yen yu-lu [The recorded sayings of Wu-tsu Fa-yen], there is the verse, “The willow is green, the peaches are red.”59 When one speaks of “flowers” in the Chinese context, peach blossoms are representative. In the Ch'an school, the story of Kuei-shan Ling-yu's disciple Ling-yün Chih-ch'in experiencing awakening upon seeing a peach blossom is famous, as is the story of Hsiang-yen Ch'ih-hsien experiencing awakening upon hearing the sound of bamboo striking a rock. If Dōgen had said, “In the spring, flowers (hana),” he probably would have been referring to plum blossoms, which bloom in early spring. There is a work entitled Cheng-fa yen-tsang mei-hua (Shōbōgenzō Baika, The plum blossoms of the eye treasury of the true Dharma), connected with the fact that Dōgen's teacher, T'ien-t'ung Ju-ching, was very fond of plum trees. As a result, the cultural traditions passed down among Chinese and Japanese are not necessarily the same when it comes to flowers, which are representative of the respective cultures. Moreover, among Japanese there are various seasonal considerations as well. Dōgen did not simply say, “In the spring, flowers.” Given that his poem reads, “it is regrettable when blossoms (hana) scatter; it is sorrowful when weeds flourish,” it is likely that the text was conceived in response to nature.

However, in addition to the famous words of Dōgen in Genjokōan, there survives an exchange connected with the figure known as Niu-t'ou Ching, a Dharma-heir of the Kuei-yang lineage master, Pa-chiao Hui-ch'ing, recorded in chapter 25 of the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu.
Someone asked: “What is your teaching style, master?” The master (Niu-t'ou Ching) replied: “It is regrettable when blossoms fall; it is sorrowful when weeds flourish.”60

No one who considers this famous poem by Dōgen would think that it was not Dōgen's own composition, but the words uttered here by Niu-t'ou Ching suggests otherwise.61 What kind of “blossoms” was Niu-t'ou Ching referring to? Because he was Chinese, and a member of the Kuei-yang lineage, he was probably referring to peach blossoms. From the use of the verb “fall” (ochi), it is possible to imagine that he was referring to the mu-tan or shao-yao flower. All that we can say for sure is that the “flower” he referred to was not the cherry blossom.

Since there is such a large difference between Japanese and Chinese people's understandings of “flower,” this raises the question of differences of perception between Chinese and Japanese regarding the expression “Ordinary mind is the Way.” The verses from the Wu-men kuan, hugely popular among Japanese as mentioned previously, were understood differently in the Japanese context from the way they were intended in China. As a result, I would suggest that in the adaptation of the Wu-men kuan to the Japanese context, there was a tendency to affix meanings that were unintended by the Chinese. end p.226

The Nature of the Wu-men kuan

The most prominent feature of the Wu-men kuan is displayed in its first kōan, known either as “Chao-chou's Dog” or “Chao-chou's Word Wu (No).” We can investigate the way that this kōan was originally understood by looking to Wu-tsu Fa-yen.62The last chapter of the Wu-tsu Fa-yen yu-lu states as follows.

[Chao-chou] entered the hall [to address the assembly]. A monk asked Chao-chou: “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature, or not?” Chao-chou replied: “Wu (Not)” The monk asked: “All sentient beings, without exception, have the Buddha-nature. How is it that a dog does not?” Chao-chou replied: “Because it remains in a state of karmic consciousness.”
Master [Wu-tsu] commented: “How do you members of the great assembly understand the quest for permanence? If I seek permanence by simply uttering the word Wu! my search is over. If you penetrate this one word, no one in the world will be able to question you. How will you penetrate it? Have you penetrated it thoroughly and gotten to the bottom of it? If you have, come forward and say it for me. I do not need you to say that you have done it, nor do I need you to say that you haven't, nor do I need you to say that you have neither done it nor have not done it. What will you say? Please take care.63
Originally, the question “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature” and Chao-chou's reply “Wu! (No)” appeared in the Chao-chou lu (Record of Chao-chou). When the questioner supposed that the dog did not have the Buddha-nature, Chao-chou replied that it did have it. In this way, in spite of the fact that two responses are recorded in the Chao-chou lu, the positive response was eliminated and only the negative response Wu! continued to be recorded in the kōan version of the exchange. The clue to this transformation can be inferred from the above cited Recorded Sayings of Wu-tsu Fa-yen. One of Wu-tsu Fa-yen's descendants was Ta-hui Tsung-kao, the formulator of the style of Ch'an known as k'an-hua ch'an (J. kanna zen, the Ch'an/Zen of kōan introspection phrases). Ta-hui referred frequently to the kōan involving Chao-chou's Wu! He explains the structure of this kōan in the “Lecture given at the request of a noblewoman from the principality of Ch'in,” the mother of Prime Minister Chang Chun, contained in chapter 14 the Ta-hui P'u-chüeh Ch'an-shih yu-lu (The recorded sayings of Chan Master Ta-hui P'u-chüeh). The noblewoman from the principality of Ch'in was the best of Ta-hui's female students and a powerful donor of Ta-hui's.
One time, the noblewoman made a request to Ta-hui's disciple, K'ai-shan Tao-ch'ien, “Please explain to me how Monk Ching-shan [Ta- end p.227 hui] normally instructs practitioners?”
Tao-ch'ien replied, “Monk Ta-hui simply presents the story “A Dog Has No Buddha-nature” or “Shou-shan's Bamboo Comb” to practitioners. On such occasions, no matter what the practitioner says or thinks, the Master criticizes it; as soon as they try to do anything, as soon as they try to say anything, the Master responds with criticism. [The solution to these] cannot be grasped at all through [the use of] distinctions or words.”[Tao-ch'ien] explained it by simply relating [the lines] “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature? Wu (No)!
Listening to this, the noblewoman put her faith in it and both day and night grappled with the word Wu (No). The noblewoman had regarded reading scriptures and performing offerings to the buddhas as normal Buddhist practice.
However, Tao-ch'ien told her: “If you consider how Monk Ta-hui sought awakening through ordinary daily activities, you will refrain from planned activities, reading scriptures, performing offerings to the buddhas, chanting invocations, and so on, and just grapple with the kōan word Wu! If you concentrate on reading scriptures, performing offerings to the buddhas, and become attached to seeking blessings through these activities, on the contrary, they become obstacles to seeking awakening. However, after you have attained awakening, [Ta-hui] teaches that it is possible to read scriptures, make offerings to the buddhas, offer flowers and burn incense, and to perform the confession ritual and engage in all of the superb activities of the buddhas, as is natural.”
When the Noblewoman heard what Tao-ch'ien said, she divested herself from reading scriptures and performing offerings to the Buddhas, and concentrated on sitting in meditation and the kōan word Wu! One year, during the winter, she suddenly experienced awakening. Excitedly, she stood up, and was able to experience a world of sudden joy, realizing this kōan word Wu! as if sitting in mediation in the meditation hall.64
Here we have Ta-hui's method of seated meditation (C. tso-ch'an, J. zazen), and his method of grappling with the “critical phrase” (C. hua-t'ou, J. watō) during seated meditation, his so-called k'an-hua ch'an (J. kanna zen) method simply explained for us.65 Moreover, we can easily understand from this that Ta-hui recommended the use of the Wu kōan.

Wu-men Hui-k'ai developed the first kōan in the Wu-men kuan, the story of “Chao-chou's Dog,” through the tradition conveyed by Wu-tsu Fa-yen and Ta-hui Tsung-kao. Although I introduced the following material in the previous volume in this series, The Kōan: Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism, it is indispensable for understanding the Wu-men kuan as well. end p.228
A monk asked Chao-chou: “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?” Chao-chou answered: “Wu!
Wu-men's comment:
“In studying Ch'an, one must pass through the barrier set up by the patriarchs. To attain inconceivable enlightenment (miao-Wu), one must completely eliminate mental activity. Those who have not passed through the barrier of the patriarchs and eliminated mental activity are all ghosts inhabiting plants and trees. Now, tell me, what is the barrier of the patriarchs? It is none other than the one word “Wu!” spoken by Chao-chou here. This is the first barrier of the Ch'an school (tsung-men). As a result, I have titled this work “The Gateless Barrier of the Ch'an School” (Ch'an-tsung Wu-men kuan). Those who are able to pass through this barrier not only meet with Chao-chou as a close friend, they will further be able to walk hand in hand with the patriarchs of history, intimately linked eyebrow to eyebrow. They will see with the same eyes as the patriarchs and hear with the same ears. What a wonderful thing this is!
Now, is there anyone who wants to pass through this barrier? If so, then with your 360 bones and 84,000 pores, you will produce one irresolvable doubt throughout your entire body—concentrate on what this word Wu is, and absorb yourself day and night with this problem. Do not misunderstand the word Wu either in terms of Taoist “nihilism” (hsü-wu) or as “nonexistence” (yu-wu) conceived dualistically in terms of “existence” and “nonexistence” (yu-wu). It is like swallowing a red-hot ball of iron and trying to spit it out, but without success. If you wash away completely the depraved knowledge and perverse theories studied previously, applying yourself earnestly over a long period, distinctions like “inner” and “outer” will naturally be fused together. Your experience is like a deaf-mute who has a dream. You yourself are the only one who knows about it. You cannot communicate it to anyone else. When suddenly the doubt is resolved (that is, you break through the barrier), this event will astonish the heavens and shake the earth. It is as if you have snatched the great sword away from General Kuan-yü, met the Buddha and killed the Buddha, met the patriarchs and killed the patriarchs. Living in the world of birth and death (samsāra) you have attained complete freedom. Continually experiencing life according to the four modes of life on the six transmigratory paths, you wander joyfully in samādhi.
What then should one do to exert oneself with this word Wu?
Exhausting all your spiritual energy in this constant pursuit, you must absorb this word Wu. If you succeed without wavering for a end p.229 moment, it will seem as if the light of the Dharma suddenly ignited in your mind.
[Wu-men's verse:]
Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?
The Buddhas and patriarchs have completely resolved this doubt.
Whether you answer “yes” or “no,”
Your fate is sealed.66
In this way, the story “Chao-chou's Dog” is the story of how to grapple with the one word Wu! by focusing one's whole body and entire spirit on it. The way to concentrate on the one word Wu! is explained relatively clearly by Wu-men Hui-k'ai, the author of the Wu-men kuan, in the final chapter of the Wu-men Hui-k'ai yü-lu (The recorded sayings of Wu-men Hui-k'ai), as follows.
And, [a student] raised the point that revered masters throughout history have presented verses on the story “A Dog Has No Buddha-Nature.”
The master [Wu-men] said: “I too have a verse. It is similar to those presented by others. I dare not employ reason. If I believe in it completely, I will attain perfect freedom while standing on the shore of birth and death.”
[Wu-men's verse:]
No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!
No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!67
According to Wu-men's Recorded Sayings, many Ch'an teachers throughout history composed verses for the “Dog Has No Buddha-nature” story, and Wu-men himself also composed one. The verse composed by Wu-men repeats the word Wu (No) twenty times. At the same time that the verse relates the special feature of Wu-men's teaching, one feels that there is something unusual about it. Iriya Yoshitaka makes the following comment regarding this.
I have held doubts for some time even with regard to the way the so-called “Chao-chou's Word No” has been previously dealt with. To the question “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?”, on the one hand Monk Chao-chou replied affirmatively, but on the other hand he replied negatively. However, Zen adherents in Japan have rendered the kōan exclusively in terms of his negative response, and completely ignored the affirmative one. Moreover, it has been the custom from the outset to reject the affirmative response as superficial compared to the negative one. It seems that the Wu-men kuan is responsible for this peculiarity. 68 end p.230

With regard to this, case number 18 in chapter 2of the Hung-chih lu (Record of Hung-chih) (equals case number 18 in the Ts'ung-jung lu) states the following.

A kōan was introduced. A monk asked Chao-chou: “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?” Chao-chou replied: “Yes.” The monk asked: “If it already has it, why is it thrust into this bag of skin?” Chao-chou replied: “To purposely assault your assumptions.”
On another occasion, a monk asked: “Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?” Chao-chou replied: “No.” The monk asked: “All sentient beings, without exception, have the Buddha-nature. How is it that a dog does not?” Chao-chou replied: “Because it remains in a state of karmic consciousness.”69
Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō “Busshō” [Shōbōgenzō, “Buddha Nature” fascicle] was developed from this kōan. Hung-chih Cheng-chüeh dealt with the kōan by combining both the affirmative and negative responses. The Wu-men kuan systemized the Lin-chi (J. Rinzai) k'an-hua ch'an (J. kanna zen) tradition, distinguishing itself from Hung-chih by focusing exclusively on the negative response.70
Yet, as previously stated, in the Lin-chi (Rinzai) school the Wu-men kuan is a collection of kōan cases with which one must grapple all costs. However, Hirata Takashi is critical toward the traditional way of dealing with the Wu-men kuan in the Japanese Rinzai school. In the “Explanation” section of Hirata's previously mentioned translation of the Wu-men kuan, he states the following: “As is the case within our own house (that is, the Rinzai school), there are masters without vision who make us labor over the Wu-men kuan, investigating each case in order, one after another, from the first to the forty-eighth. They are fools who know nothing at all of Wu-men Hui-k'ai's intention when he stated, `Do not treat them in order, from first to last.'”71

According to this perspective, it is unnecessary to treat all of the forty-eight cases in order. Which of the forty-eight cases, then, have traditionally been regarded as important in the Japanese Rinzai school? Hirata employs a traditional scheme in classifying the kōan into three types: li-chih (J. richi), chi-k'an (J. kikan), and hsiang-shang (J. kōjō).72Li-chi refers to cases in which the Zen instructor guides practitioners by teaching them to focus on the general assumption and idea of the kōan. Chi-k'an refers to the method whereby the instructor guides practitioners by providing individually directed hints and suggestions one way or another. Hsiang-shang, because it means “above,” refers to when the teacher breaks beyond the former two methods of instruction and indicates to the practitioner to go beyond (that is, literally, “above”) them. The type that appears first in the Wu-men kuan is the li-chih, which is found in the first kōan, “Chao-chou's Dog.” As examples of the chi-k'an type, there is kōan number 14, “Nan-ch'üan Kills the Cat,” as well as number 43, “Shou-shan's Bamboo Comb.” An example of the hsiang-shang type is found in kōan number end p.231 13, “Te-shan's Begging Bowl.” Kōan number 38, “A Buffalo Passes through the Window,” is regarded as an important kōan that proceeds through all three types. Being outside of the Rinzai Zen tradition, the above is simply my personal understanding of the characteristics of the Wu-men kuan.

Case 14, “Nan-ch'üan Kills the Cat” is also a well-known kōan.
When Nan-ch'üan P'u-yuan saw practitioners from the eastern and western monks' halls arguing about a cat, he grabbed the animal and posed a question to them, “If you can utter one enlightened word, I will spare the cat. If you cannot, I will kill it.” None of them could respond to this, so Nan-ch'üan killed the cat. In the evening, Chao-chou returned to the temple. Nan-ch'üan told him of the day's incident. When Chao-chou heard about it, he removed his sandals, put them on his head, and walked away. Seeing this, Nan-ch'üan said: “Had you been there, the cat could have been saved.” Wu-men commented in his verse, “Had Chao-chou been there, he would have taken action. Had he snatched the sword away, Nan-ch'üan would have begged for his life.”73
The next case, 43 is also a typical kōan. It is often referred to by Ta-hui Tsung-kao along with his comments on Chao-chou's Wu! kōan.
Shou-shan Sheng-nien held up his staff and said: “If you monks call this a “staff,” you are complicit in the restrictions imposed on it by others (that is, affirm its existence). If you don't call it a “staff,” you invalidate what others assume (that is, deny its existence). So, what do you call it?” In his verse, Wu-men stated, “Holding up a staff, he is carrying out the orders to let live and to kill. If complicity in restricting it (that is, affirming its existence) and invalidating assumptions (that is, denying its existence) are both advanced, even the buddhas and patriarchs will beg for their lives.”74
Case 13, “Te-shan's Begging Bowl,” is a kōan that combines comic and serious aspects.
One day, Te-shan Hsüan-chien was on his way to the dining hall with his bowl. His disciple Hsüeh-feng I-ts'un asked him: “Venerable master, the bell and the drum signaling meal time have not been sounded. Where are you going with your bowl?” Te-shan immediately returned to his room. When Hsüeh-feng related what had happened to his fellow disciple Yen-t'ou Ch'uan-huo, Yen-t'ou commented, “As great as Te-shan is, he has yet to grasp the final word.” Upon learning what had been said, Te-shan sent an attendant to summon Yen-t'ou and asked him, “Do you not approve of me?” Yen-t'ou whispered to Te-shan what he had intended with his remark. Te-shan remained silent. The following day, when Te-shan took the rostrum in the lecture hall to preach the Dharma, his topic varied from his normal ones. Yen-t'ou went to the front of the monk's hall, clapped his hands, laughed heartily, and proclaimed: “Shouldn't he be congratulated? Te-shan has grasped the final word. From now on, no one will be able to outdo him.” Wu-men's perspective is stated clearly in his opening comment: “Even if there were a final word, neither Yen-t'ou nor Te-shan have seen it even in a dream.” 75
Case 38, “A Buffalo Passes through the Window,” is conveyed in the Rinzai end p.232 tradition as an example that provides the three types of kōan together in a single story. This kōan is based on a lecture given by Wu-tsu Fa-yen. Wu-tsu said: “Suppose that you dreamed a water buffalo walked through the frame of a window. Although the water buffalo's head, horns, and four legs all pass through, why does only the tail not?” In his verse, Wu-men states: “If the water buffalo passes through, it falls into a ditch. If it turns back, it destroys the window-frame. So, this tail is truly marvelous.”76

The subject of this kōan is unique, and said to be difficult. Because the reviver of the Rinzai school in Japan, Hakuin Ekaku, counted it among the eight most difficult kōan to penetrate, the great representative instructors of the Rinzai school from the Meiji period down to the present also consider it as one of the traditionally difficult kōan. The source for this episode involving Wu-tsu comes from a story in chapter 22 the Ta-p'an nieh-p'an ching, translated by Dharmaraka: “It is like a water buffalo that ravages a grain field when someone has not protected it well. Ordinary people do not regulate the five sense organs, are constantly involved with them, and endure many afflictions. Good sons! Whenever bodhisattva-mahasattvas cultivate nirvana and practice the way of the Sage (that is, Buddha), they are always well ordered, guarding and regulating the five sense organs.”77

It was Inoue Shūten who first pointed out the source for the Wu-men kuan episode.78 According to Inoue, it is based on a dream episode of King Ai-min (Ch'i-li-chih), contained in the final chapter of the Fo-shuo chi ku-chang-che nü te-tu yin-yüan ching, translated by Dinapala in the Northern Sung: “At that time, King Ai-min unexpectedly had ten dreams during the night. In the first, he dreamed that a large elephant passed through a window lattice; even though the body [of the elephant] could get through, its tail could not.”79

Although there is definitely a difference in the story between the water buffalo referred to by Wu-tsu and the elephant mentioned here, the basic content can be acknowledged as the same. As a result, other interpretations of the kōan become possible. Inoue interprets this dream by King Ai-min in terms of a problem for the Buddha, as supported by the following explanation from the Fo-shuo chi ku-chang-che nü te-tu yin-yüan ching: “Even as the king dreamed that a great elephant passed through a window lattice, its body passing through but its tail not, after the Buddha enters nirvana, those he has bequeathed the Dharma to, be they Brahmin, elders, laypeople, male or female, will discard their relatives to leave home and study the Way (that is, Buddhism). It is as if they were unable to liberate their minds from covetous attachment to fame and wealth and customary habits, even though they have left home.”80

Acknowledging this as the source for the Wu-men kuan episode changes the interpretation of Wu-tsu's “tail.” When Wu-tsu refers to the “tail” remaining, if it is meant to indicate that leaving home is not complete, since the mind is covetously attached to fame and wealth and customary habits, the kōan may be explained in terms of the impossibility of attaining true liberation. Based end p.233 on the Rinzai tradition, which counts this as one of its difficult kōan, “this tail is a truly strange thing,” as stated by Wu-men, but if it is explained as Wu-tsu's admonishment of those who leave home without doing it thoroughly, is it necessarily so difficult a kōan to penetrate?

I have introduced the three types of kōan in the Wu-men kuan according to the Rinzai school. Because they are among the kōan used relatively often in training practitioners and appear very challenging on the surface, they were categorized by the tradition as intrinsically difficult to penetrate. However, it seems to me that it is possible to question the compulsory way they have been understood, based on new interpretations.

Special Features of the Wu-men kuan in the Context of Sung Ch'an Textual History

In conclusion, I would like to consider the special features of the Wu-men kuan within the context of the textual history of Sung Ch'an. My purpose here is to explain the special features of the Wu-men kuan as compared to the Wu-teng hui-yüan (The five lamps meeting at the source), a text compiled slightly later than the Wu-men kuan. These two Ch'an texts belong to the two following streams, A and B, based on their respective tendencies.


(Tsu-t'ang chi, chapter 20; 952) → Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu, 30 fascicles (1004) → compilation of “ancient cases,” or kōan → Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi, 10 fascicles (1093) → Wu-men kuan (1228)


Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu, 30 fascicles (1004) → T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu, 30 fascicles (1036) → Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu, 30 fascicles (1101) → Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao, 30 fascicles (1183) → Chia-t'ai p'u-teng lu, 30 fascicles (1202) → Wu-teng hui-yuan, 20 fascicles (1252)

Stream B is generally referred to as leading to the compilation of the Wu-teng hui-yuan. This is affirmed in the preface by Wang Yung, written in the first year of k'ai-yu (1253):
During the ching-te era, the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu was publicly cir- culated. Following it were the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu, Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao, Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu, and Chia-t'ai p'u-teng lu. Transmission of the lamp records appeared in succession; separated by sect and divided by lineage, they originated based on the same principals. Those who know these lamp records understand their method as the means to destroy ignorance. Now, for convenience, the elder monk Hui-ming has collected five of the lamp records into a single collection, calling it the Wu-teng hui-yuan.81 end p.234 Stream B is generally referred to as leading to the compilation of the Wu-teng hui-yuan. This is affirmed in the preface by Wang Yung, written in the first year of k'ai-yu (1253):

During the ching-te era, the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu was publicly cir- culated. Following it were the T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu, Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao, Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu, and Chia-t'ai p'u-teng lu. Transmission of the lamp records appeared in succession; separated by sect and divided by lineage, they originated based on the same principals. Those who know these lamp records understand their method as the means to destroy ignorance. Now, for convenience, the elder monk Hui-ming has collected five of the lamp records into a single collection, calling it the Wu-teng hui-yuan.81 end p.234

Regarding stream A, the reference to the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu is not to all thirty fascicles but only to the latter half of fascicle 27.82 All the portions of the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu other than the latter half of fascicle 27 belong in stream B. Although it might be better to include the Tsu-t'ang chi in stream B, it contains the genesis of the kōan genre in comments attributed to members of the Hsüeh-feng faction.83 Moreover, since the Tsu-t'ang chi exerted hardly any influence over the transmission of the lamp genre that continued following the compilation of the Ching-te ch'uang-teng lu, we can consider that stream B began with the compilation of the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu in 1004. As a result, stream B can be said to have considerable significance for the investigation of Sung dynasty Ch'an sources.

As an example of the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu contents, let us look at Ma-tsu Tao-i's record in fascicle 6. In the first place, it relates his record of activities (hsing-ch'uang), and dialogues (wen-t'a), and ends by describing the events of his passing. In contrast to this type of material, we find examples of comments by Ch'an masters to kōan cases raised in various places at that time, recorded in the latter half of fascicle 27. The story of “A Non-Buddhist Questions the Buddha,” kōan number 32 in the Wu-men kuan, appears in the latter half of fascicle 27. This section of fascicle 27 in due course established the styles of “commemorating the ancients” (sung-ku) and “selections from the ancients” (nien-ku), which are crucial methods of commentary in the evolution of the kōan genre. Among the works in which these so-called kōans were collected is the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi. Many of the “ancient cases” (ku-tse) selected for inclusion among the forty-eight cases in the Wu-men kuan are taken from kōan collected in the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi.

On the other hand, how should we consider the Wu-teng hui-yüan in stream B? As stated above, the Wu-teng hui-yüan indicates the five lamp records, the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu, T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu, Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu, Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao, and Chia-t'ai p'u-teng lu, were compiled into one extensive lamp record. As a result, the two streams of Ch'an texts in the Sung dynasty, not to mention the special features of Sung Ch'an itself, are found in the different characteristics of the Wu-teng hui-yüan and the Wu-men kuan, two Ch'an texts compiled at roughly the same time. In other words, the Wu-men kuan is a kōan collection, and the Wu-teng hui-yüan may be referred to for the most part as a historical work of the Ch'an school, traditionally called a “transmission of the lamp history” (teng-shih). Even among the five lamp records, the Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu is divided into five sections, “orthodox lineage” (cheng-tsung men), “responses in accordance with practitioners' abilities” (tui-ch'i men), “selecting the ancients” (nien-ku men), “commemorating the ancients” (sung-ku men), and “gathas and verses” (chieh-sung men), suggesting the appearance of stream A material in stream B documents. The tendency reflected here in the Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu emerged in the Northern Sung period, around the year 1100. In other words, end p.235 we can say that this tendency in the Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu reflects the influences exerted on Ch'an in the period when the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi was compiled (1093).

The Wu-men kuan clearly possesses the features of a kōan collection in the style of stream A. Moreover, it is possible to read a different intention for the work into Wu-men Hui-k'ai's comments in the story “Jui-yen Calls His Master,” case number 12 in the Wu-men kuan, than what has been understood as the special feature of the work up to now from looking at the first kōan, “Chao-chou's Dog.”

Monk Jui-yen every day called out to himself “Master,” and responded, “yes.” Then he would say, “Stay wide awake?” and answer, “Yes, I will.” “From now on, never be deceived by others.” “No, I will not.”
Wu-men's comment:
“Old Jui-yen buys and sells himself. He plays around by displaying a lot of spirit disguises and demon masks. Why? Take a look! One calling out and one answering; one wide awake and one never to be deceived. If you acknowledge any of these guises as real, you are mistaken. If, on the other hand, you imitate Jui-yen, you have mastered the perspective of the wild fox.
[Wu-men's] verse:
Students of the Way do not understand the truth,
Clinging only to their former discriminating consciousness.
The basis for birth and death through endless eons,
Idiots refer to as their original self. 84

In other words, the special feature of Ch'an is here regarded, on the one hand, as a transformation engendered by “irrational dialogue” (muriewa), the tendency to deny discrimination and rational understanding as harmful. But on the other hand, doesn't a religious aspect emerge embedded in this story? As understood from Wu-men's own record of activities, Wu-men achieved “a thorough understanding of my one great event” (chi-shih yen-ming) through the strict instruction of his master, Yüeh-lin. There is a religious aspect contained in this, which involves the perilous nature of attaining spritual transformation through “irrational dialogue.” Although the special character possessed by the Wu-men kuan highlights the perilous nature of irrationality, when the text was transmitted to Japan it seems to have matched squarely the dispositions of the Japanese people, and has been read with very great frequency down to the present day, mainly for its emphasis on irrationality.
If we understand the situation in this way, the special characteristics associated with the Wu-men kuan suggest very different qualities from those associated with Dōgen's style of Zen. The fact that either a yes or no response was acceptable even in the one word Wu! is already contained in the Hung- end p.236 chih sung-ku. Dōgen adopted this approach in his Mana Shōbōgenzō, and eventually developed the position that either response was acceptable in detail in the “Busshō” fascicle of the Shōbōgenzō. When compared to Dōgen's Zen style, the unique features of the Wu-men kuan seem rather distinct.

Why was the Wu-men kuan not read or published in China to the extent that it was in Japan? Although there are uncertainties regarding the answer to this question, it appears that texts other than the Wu-men kuan were sought by Chinese students and practitioners, such the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi, from stream A, or from stream B the Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao. Because the actual compilation of the Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao is close to that of the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi, it may be preferable to place it in stream A.85 It seems that the Wu-teng hui-yuan established stream B retrospectively by collecting five works comprising 30 fascicles, and since the Ta-hui branch of Ch'an was the most prominent movement, their main kōan collection, the Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao, was included. Moreover, the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu, T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu, Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu, and Chia-t'ai p'u-teng lu are connected as supplements to one another. The Ch'an adherents who compiled each of these works formed them without duplicating what had been recorded previously. The fact that the Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao has characteristics closely connected to kōan collections, which select materials from the Ching-te ch'uan-teng lu, T'ien-sheng kuang-teng lu, and Chien-chung Ch-ing-kuo hsü-teng lu, has already been pointed out. This makes it significantly different from the other four transmission of the lamp records. As a result, even though the Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao was selected as one of the five lamp records in the Wu-teng hui-yuan and included in stream B, it should be noted that in terms of each characteristics as a Ch'an text, the Tsung-men lien-teng hui-yao follows the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi in stream A.

reference chart of the ch'an transmission lineage


Numbers indicate the kōan number where individuals in question appear in the Wu-men kuan


Śākyamuni (6, 22, 32, 42)



Mahākāśyapa (6, 22)



Ānanda (22, 32)



twenty-five Indian patriarchs



Bodhidharma (41)



Hui-k'o (41)












Hui-neng (23, 29)


Nan-yang Hui-ch'ung (17)

Ch'ing-yuan Hsing-ssu (see Lineage A)

Nan-yüeh Huai-jang (see Lineage B)





Lineage A



(Ch'ing-yuan Hsing-ssu)



Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien



1. Yao-shan Wei-yen


Tao-Wu Yuan-chih



Shih-hsuang Ch'ing-chu

Tung-shan Liang-chieh


Ch'ang-chuo Hsiu-tsai (39)

Yüeh-chou Ch'i-feng (48)

Ts'ao-shan Pen-chi (10)
Ch'ing-shui (10)


2. T'ien-huang Tao-Wu



Lung-t'an Ch'ung-hsin (28)



Te-shan Hsüan-chien (13, 28)


Yen-t'ou Ch'uan-huo (13)

Hsüeh-feng I-ts'un (13)


Jui-yen Shih-yen (12)

Hsüan-sha Shih-pei

Yun-men Wen-yen (15, 16. 21, 39, 48)


Ti-tsang Kuei-shen

Tung-shan Shou-ch'u (15, 18)


Fa-yen Wen-i (26)






Lineage B



(Nan-yüeh Huai-jang)



Ma-tsu Tao-i (30, 33)



1. Ta-mei Fa-ch'ang (30)



T'ien-lung (3)



Chu-chih (3)



2. Pai-chang Huai-hai (2, 40)


Huang-po Hsi-yün (2)

Kuei-shan Ling-yu (40)


Lin-chi I-hsüan
Hsing-hua Tsun-chiang

Hsiang-yen Chih-hsien (5)

Yang-shan Hui-chi (25)
Nan-t'a Kuang-yung

Nan-yuan Hui-yung

Pa-shao Hui-ch'ing (44)


Feng-hsüeh Yen-shao (24)


Hsing-yang Ch'ing-jang (9)


Shou-shan Hsing-nien (43)



Fen-yang Shan-chao



Shih-hsuang Ch'u-yuan


Huang-lung Hui-nan


Yang-chi Fang-hui


Pao-feng K'o-wen

Hui-t'ang Tsu-hsin

Pai-yün Shou-jui


Ts'ung-yüeh (47)

Shih-hsin Wu-hsin (39)





Wu-tsu Fa-yen (35, 36, 38, 45)



Yuan-Wu K'o-ch'in

K'ai-fu Tao-ning



Hu-kuo Ching-yuan

Hu-chiu Shao-lung

Yueh-an Shan-huo (8)


Huo-an Shih-t'i (4)

Ying-an T'an-hua

Ta-hung Tsu-cheng



Mi-an Hsien-chieh

Yueh-lin Shih-kuan



Sung-yuan Ch'ung-yen (20)

Wu-men Hui-k'ai




Shinchi Kakushin (Japan)


3. Nan-ch'uan P'u-yuan (14, 19, 27, 34)



Ch'ang-sha Ching-sui (46)


Chao-chou Ts'ung-shen (1, 7, 11, 14, 19, 31, 37)


1.Translator's note: The Wu-men kuan (J. Mumonkan) may be translated into English as The Gateless Barrier. For the sake of consistency, I have referred to the text using the Chinese pronunciation, even in the Japanese context.
2.Ishikawa Rikizan, Zenshūsōden shiryō no kenkyū (Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 2001). Initially, Ishikawa reported on the “heresy incident” in “Zatsugaku jiken to kinsei bukkyō no seikaku” (The Heresy Incident and the Characteristics of Modern Buddhism), Indogaku bukkyōgaku kenkyū 37 no. 1 (1988): 246–252; and “Bannan eishu to zatsugaku jiken,” Sōtōshū kyōgi hōwa taikei 7 (1991): 378–384. Prior to this, there were studies of the “heresy incident” by Nakayama Jyōji, “Daigo kōroku jiken kō” (A consideration of the Daigo kōroku incident), Sōtōshū kenkyū kiyō 11 (1979): 133–156; and by Yoshida Dōkō, “Bannan eishu to zatsugaku jiken” (Bannan Eishu and the heresy incident), Eiheiji shi, vol. 2 (1982), pp. 723–738.
3.Translator's note: This refers to the so-called kansansetsu, the term used by Ishii here: Sōneiji in Chiba prefecture, Daichōji in Tochigi prefecture, and Ryōonji in Saitama prefecture.
4.Other works, which were criticized included such texts for the study of kōan cases as Daiendai, Ryōshūdai, Kenkokudai, and Zenrin ruiju.
5.ZZ 120.264c.
6.Iriya Yoshitaka, trans., Hekiganroku, 3 vols. (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1992, 1994, 1996).
7.Asahina Sōgen, trans., Hekiganroku, 3 vols. (Tokyo: Iwanami bunko, 1937).
8.Hirata Takashi, trans., Mumonkan (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1969).
9.Nishimura Eshin, trans., Mumonkan (Tokyo: Iwanami bunko, 1994).
10.Ishii Shūdō, “Shohyō: Nishimura Eshin yakuchū Mumonkan,” Hanazono Daigaku bungakubu kiyō 28 (1996): 113–136.
11.Concerning Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi, see Ishii Shūdō, “Kung-an Ch'an and the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi,” in Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright, eds., The Kōan: end p.237end p.238end p.239 Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 110–136. Here, I am particularly focusing on Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi in relation to the Wu-men kuan.
12.Ibid., pp. 118–120. The Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi, previously difficult to obtain, has been published along with the Yuan-dynasty text Hsü-chi tsung-men t'ung-yao, by Yanagida Seizan and Shiina Kōyū in Zengaku tenseki sōkan (Tokyo: Rinsen shoten, 1999).
13.Ishii Shūdō, “Shūmon tōyōshū ni tsuite (jō) (ge),” Komazawa Daigaku bukkyōgakubu ronshū 4 (1972): 43–58, and 5 (1974): 37–63.
14.Even though Kagamishima Genryū's Dōgen zenji to inyō kyōten, goroku no kenkyū (Tokyo: Mokujisha, 1965), was a groundbreaking work in the study of the sources that Dōgen relied on, the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi was not mentioned.
15.Shiina Kōyū, “Shūmon tōyōshū no shoshiteki kenkyū,” Komazawa Daigaku bukkyōgakubu ronshū 18 (1987): 299–336.
16.Ishii, “Kung-an Ch'an and the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi.”
17.Ishii Shūdō, “Shūmon tōyōshū to Hekiganroku,” Indogaku bukkyōgaku kenkyū 46 no. 1 (1997): 215–221.
18.Ishii, “Kung-an Ch'an and the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi.”
19.The Tseng-chi hsü ch'uan-teng lu is contained in ZZ 142. The preface by Wen-hsiu is dated the fifteenth year of yung-lo (1417). Wu-men Hui-k'ai's biography is also contained in Chien-chung ching-kuo hsü-teng lu, fasc. 35; Wu-teng hui-yuan hsü-lueh, fasc. 2; Wu-teng yen-teng, fasc. 22; and Wu-teng ch'uan-shu, fasc. 53, among others.
20.Although Wu-tsu Fa-yen was an important figure in the history of Ch'an during the Northern Sung, basic research regarding him remains to be carried out. Regarding his biography, see Ishii Shūdō, “Goso Hōen no kenkyū no oboegaki,” (Komazawa Daigaku) Chūgoku busseki kenmon ki 8 (1987): 27–34.
21.Although san-t'ai is usually read as referring to a place, “on three stages.” I take it here to be referring to the name of a song called “three stages.”
22.ZZ 142.390c.
23.Fujiyoshi Jikai, trans., Zenkan sokushin (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1970), p. 173.
24.The Yueh-lin Shih-kuan ch'an-shih yu-lu in one chapter, compiled by his attendant, Fa-pao, etc. (ZZ 120).
25.ZZ 120.249Lb (left-sided leaf of pp. 249, column b).
26.The record of Wu-men Hui-k'ai's career was written down by his attendants P'u-ch'ing, P'u-t'ung, Liao-hsin, P'u-li, Fa-tzu, P'u-yen, P'u-chüeh, Kuang-tsu, and Yi-chien in the Wu-men Hui-k'ai Ch'an-shih yu-lu, fasc. 2 (ZZ 120).
27.T 48.292b.
28.T 48.292b.
29.ZZ 120.242b.
30.Furuta Shōkin, trans., Mumonkan (Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, 1959), p. 141.
31.Translator's note: In rendering the titles of the kōan here, I have consulted the English translations of Katsuki Sekida, Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku ([1977]; New York: Weatherhill, 1996.
32.Hirata Takashi, trans. Wu-men kuan (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1969).
33.The basic record for Shinichi Kakushin's life is the Juhō kaisan hottō enmyō kokushi gyōjitsu nenpu, compiled by Seikun, contained in Zokugunshoruijū 9A. Accord end p.240 ing to the explanation of Chijiwa Minoru, there are records of Kakushin's life recorded in the Juhō kaisan hottō enmyō kokushi tōmei by Seikan, and the Kōkoku kaisan hottō enmyō kokushi tōmei by Unrin Shikei, and so on, housed in the National Diet Library.
34.Zokugun shoruijū 9, pt. 1, pp. 351b–352a.
35.Ibid., p. 352a.
36.Kawase Kazuma, Gozanban no kenkyū (Nihon koshoseki shōkyōkai (Tokyo: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan, 1970).
37.Research clarifying the relation between the Hōttō faction and circumstances in the Sōtō sect surrounding Keizan has been very active in recent years. There is a series of studies on this topic by Satō Shūkō, “Kohō Kakumyō to Koken Chitotsu: Rinzaishū Hōttō ha to Sōtōshū no hazama de,” Shūgaku kenkyū 37 (1995): 245–250; and “Kyō Unryū to Kaga Daijō-ji: Keizan Jōkin to no kakawari wo megutte,” Shūgaku kenkyū 39 (1997): 174–179.
38.Sugiō Genyū, “Minamoto Sanetomo no nyōssō kikaku to Dōgen zenji,” Shūgaku kenkyū 18 (1976): 41–46.
39.Zokugun shoruijū 9, pt. 1, p. 350a.
40.Sugio Genyū, “Dōgen zenji no Banshōkokkoku issai shūmetsu no shinjin datsuraku to Asoka; amoji saihō: Shōgun Sanetomo no nōkotsu junbi kara staato suru Dōgen Zen to Shōbōgenzō,” Shūgaku kenkyū 38 (1996): 7–12; and Sugio, “Asokaōji `Useki ou' hakken no igi: genzō kaishaku wa konponteki ni dou kawaruka,” Shūgaku kenkyū 39 (1997): 19–24.
41.The Ch'an-tsung sung-ku lien-chu chi is a collection of kōan and verses (325 kōan and 2,100 verses) compiled by Fa-ying Pao-chien in the second year of ch'un-hsi (1175). Later, in the Yuan dynasty, Lu-an P'u-hui added to it to form the Ch'an-tsung sung-ku lien-chu t'ung-chi, a 40-fascicle work with 493 kōan and 3,050 verses. The fact that the added portions included the Wu-men kuan indicates that it was one of the influences. This expanded version is contained in vol. 115 of the Ming edition of the supplementary canon, the Zokuzōkyō. Yanagida Seizan, in the “Kakukan shuroku shomoku kaisetsu” chapter of his Mumonkan shōsho shūsei, Zengaku tenseki sōkan 9 (Tokyo: Rinsen shobō, 1999), indicates, “Translations [of the Wu-men kuan] have all been done in Japan. The original text of the Wu-men kuan was transmitted to Japan early on, owing to the fact that our own Shinchi Kakushin went to China and studied with Wu-men. There is no evidence that it was read in China.” Moreover, according to the comprehensive research on Chinese Zen sources by Shiina Kōyū in the Sōgenban Zenseki no kenkyū (Tokyo: Daitō shuppansha, 1993), there is no information whatsoever on Chinese editions of the Wu-men kuan.
42.Yanagida Seiji, Muromachi jidaigo shiryō toshite no shōmotsu kenkyū, 2 vols. (Mushashino shoin, 1998), counts seventeen works on the Wu-men kuan compiled by monks connected to the Sōtō sect. And, according to Yanagida's “Kōzan-ji zō mumonkan shū ni tsuite” (included in the research report volume Kōzan-ji shozō no tenseki bunsho no kenkyū narabi ni Kōzan-ji shiryō sōsho no henshū [Tokyo: Monbushō Kagakukenkyūhi sōgo kenkyū, 1983], pp. 110–129), there have been 121 works on the Wu-men kuan in Japan. The number of works by monks connected to the Sōtō sect would thus seem to be fairly substantial.
43.Neither Kuroda Ryō, Chosen kyōsho kō (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1940) or Shi end p.241 ina Kōyū, Sōgenban Zenseki no kenkyū contains any information on editions of the Wu-men kuan published on the Korean peninsula. The thirty-fascicle Ch'an-men nien-sung (contained in Kao-li ta-tsang-ching 46) was compiled by the Dharma heir of P'u-chao Chih-ne, Yung-i Hui-ch'en (1178–1234), and his disciples, Chen-hsun, and so on, in the fourteenth year of chen-yu (1226), two years prior to the Wu-men kuan. This work selected 1,125 kōan for inclusion. Since it popularized the selected stories and verses of Ch'an masters, it is conceivable that it rendered the reception of the Wu-men kuan on the Korean peninsula unnecessary.
44. I have investigated this problem in detail in Ishii Shūdō, “Nenge mishō no wa no seiritsu wo megutte” (Hirai Shun'ei hakushi koki kinen ronbun shu Sanron kyōgaku to Bukkyō shoshisō (Tokyo: Shunjusha, 2000), pp. 411–430; and “Daibon tennō monbutsu ketsugi kyō wo megutte,” Komazawa daigaku Bukkyō gakubu ronshū 31 (2000): 187–224. In addition, there is an article by Sugio Genyū, “Dōgen, Zeami, Bashō, and Heidegger,” Yamaguchi Daigaku Kyōiku gakubu kenkyū ronsū 16 no. 1 (1967): 1–146, which considers the flower in terms of the world of beauty developed in the Noh theater of Zeami. There is also a study by Onishi Ryōhō, “Zeami no hana to Zenshisō,” Komazawa Tanki Daigaku bukkyō ronshu 6 (2000): 177–190, which points to the story of the World-Honored One holding up a flower, and Mahākāśyapa breaking into a smile, in terms of the ultimate meaning that the flower has.
45.T 48.293c.
46.See ZZ 1–87–4:303c, 326c, and 327b–c. Translator's note: Ishii's original manuscript contained copies of the actual passages in question, following in the main body of the text. These have been omitted in the translation, as being primarily the concern of philological specialists. Those interested may consult the passages contained in ZZ referred to above.
47.T 48.325b.
48.The argument that it was created by a Japanese person during the Edo period was made by the Sōtō sect member Menzan Zuihō (1683–1769), in fascicle 1 of his Daichi zenji geju monge (Zoku Sōtōshū zensho, “Explanatory Note 2,” pp. 242–243). The same argument is made in two places by the Vinaya master of Tainin, Myōryō (1705–1785), in Kōge zuihitsu, pt. 1 (32b–33a and 33a), as well as in the “apocryphal scripture” (gikyō) entry in chapter 3 of Kōge dansū (Dai nihon zensho hon, p. 210).
49.Nukariya Kaiten, “Daibon tennō monbutsu ketsugi kyō ni tsuite” (contained in Zengaku hihanron, Tokyo: Kōmeisha, 1905).
50.Contained in Yanagida Seizan, editor in chief, Zengaku sōsho no go (Tokyo: Chūmon shuppansha, 1975), p. 369.
51.T'an-chou Hsing-hua yuan yu-lu, contained in Tz'u-ming Ch'an-shih Wu-hui chu-ch'ih yu-lu compiled by Huang-lung Hui-nan (ZZ 120.88d). The Recorded Saying (yü-lu) has a preface dated the fifth year of T'ien-sheng (1027).
52.Sung edition, 16b–17a. On the close connection between the Wu-men kuan and the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi, see the references to works by Ishii in notes 10 and 11.
53.T 48.295b. Translator's note: Zenkei Shibayama, Zen Comments on the Mumonkan, (translated by Sumiko Kudō) (New York: Mentor, 1974), p. 145, and Sekida, Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku, p. 73, were consulted for the translation. end p.242
54.Translator's note: In addition to the meaning of “poem,” or “verse,” the word ei in the title of the work can be translated as “looking at,” or “studying,” in which case the title of the poem could be rendered “Looking at the original face.”
55.Kawamura Kōdō, ed., Shohon taikō: Eihei kaisan Dōgen zenji gyōjū-Kenzeiki (Tokyo: Daishūkan shoten, 1975), p. 88. Translator's note: I have taken the liberty of omitting the technical, philological discussion of issues related to understanding Dōgen's poem cited here, as being of little interest to the English reader.]
56.Kawabata Yasunari, Utsukushii Nihon no Watakushi, translated by Edward G. Seidensticker, in Seidensticker, Japan, The Beautiful, and Myself (Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1969).
57.Funazu Yōko, “Sanshōdōeishū no meishū, seiritsu, seikaku,” Otsuma kokubun 5 (1974): 24–44.
58.Dōgen zenji zenshū (Tokyo: Shunjūsha, 1999), vol., p. 2
59.Wu-tsu fa-yen yu-lu (T 47.656b).
60.Yanagida, ed., Zengaku sōsho no go, p. 591.
61.There is also a citation of these words by Niu-t'ou Ching by Dōgen in his fifty-first lecture in chapter 1 of the Eihei kōroku, in Ōkubo Dōshū, ed., Dōgen zenji zenshū, (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1971) vol. 2, p. 18. This lecture was delivered when Dōgen was forty-two years old.
62.Regarding Wu-tsu Fa-yen, see note 20.
63.T 47.665b–c.
64.T 47.869c.
65.Ta-hui's Ch'an style is very different from the style of zazen encouraged by Dōgen. See Ishii Shūdō, “Zazenshin kō,” Komazawa Daigaku Zen kenkyūjō nenpō 8 (1997): 37–72; and “Dai'e Sōkō no kanna zen to `Masen sakyō' no wa,” Komazawa Daigaku Zen kenkyūjō nenpō 9 (1998): 39–76.
66.T 48.292c–293a.
67.ZZ 120.260d.
68.Iriya Yoshitaka, “Zengo tsurezure,” contained in Gudō to etsuraku: Chūgoku no Zen to shi (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1983).
69.Meichō fukyōkai, ed. Wanshi roku (Tokyo: 1988), p. 88.
70.Yanagida Seizan, “Muji no atosaki: sono tekisuto wo sakanoboru,” contained in Zen to Nihon bunka (Tokyo: Kōdansha gakushū bunko, 1985); and Hirano Sōjō, “Kusu mu Busshō no wa wo megutte” Zengaku kenkyū 62 (1983): 9–25.
71.Hirata, trans., Mumonkan.
72.Regarding the meaning of these three, see Iriya Yoshitaka and Koga Hidehiko, eds., Zengo jiten (Tokyo: Shibunkaku shuppan, 1991).
73.T 48.294c.
74.T 48.298b.
75.T 48.294b–c.
76.T 48.297c.
77.T 12.496a.
78.Inoue Shōten, Mumonkan no shin kenkyū, vol 2 (Tokyo: Hōbunkan, 1925).
79.T 2.852c.
80.T 2.853b.
81.Chung-hua shu-chu ed., p. 2. end p.243
82.See Ishii Shūdō, “Keitoku dentōroku maki 27 no tokushoku,” in Sōdai Zenshūshi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Daitō shuppansha, 1987).
83.This is analyzed in detail in Yanagida Seizan, “Sodōshu no shiryō katchi,” Zengaku kenkyū 44 (1953): 31–80.
84.T 48.294b. Translator's note: Shibayama, Zen Comments on the Mumonkan, p. 93, and Sekida, Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku, pp. 53, were consulted in the translation.]
85.See Ishii Shūdō, “Daie sōkō to sono deshitachi (1): Gotō egen no seiritsu katei to kanren shite” (Indogaku bukkyōgaku kenkyū 18/no. 2 [1970]: 332–333; “Shōmon rentō eyō no rekishiteki seikaku,” ibid., 19 no. 2, (1971); and “Shōmon toyōshu ni tsuite (jō) (ge),” Komazawa Daigaku bukkyō gakubu ronshu 4 and 5, 1973 and 1974. Translator's note: For a discussion in English, see Ishii's “Kung-an Ch'an and the Tsung-men t'ung-yao chi,” in Heine and Wright, eds., The Kōan, especially pp. 121–126.
end p.244