An Ethical Critique of Wartime Zen
By Brian Daizen Victoria34 pages
unlike other Buddhist traditions based on teachings contained in one or more Buddhist sūtras, the Zen school validates itself on the basis of being “a transmission outside the sutras” (kyōge betsuden). That is to say, a transmission of the Buddha-dharma from the enlightened mind of a Zen master to his/her disciple(s). But what happens in those cases when the “enlightened master” isn’t truly enlightened?
Given certain Zen Masters’ vociferous support of Japan’s militarism during World War II, how can their students today claim to have a legitimate “Dharma transmission”?
For a critique of Brian Victoria’s attack on Makiguchi specifically, see A Critical Analysis by Daniel Metraux.