SOTOZEN-NET > Library > Glossary > debut

Glossary

A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H/I/J/K/L/M/N/O/P/Q/R/S/T/U/V/W/X/Y/Z/Numbers

debut (zuise 瑞世)

Literally, "investiture with a jade tablet" (zui 瑞) upon entering the "world" (se 世) as an imperial appointee. In Song China, the abbots of large public Buddhist monasteries were appointed by the imperial court, an event that was called their "debut." A similar practice carried over into the Zen monasteries of medieval Japan. In present day Soto Zen, however, a monk or nun undergoes his/her debut by going to one of the two head temples (dai honzan 大本山), either Eiheiji or Sōjiji, to formally receive the qualifications to serve as the abbot (resident priest) of an ordinary temple. Because the rite entails briefly becoming the titular abbot of the head temple, it is popularly called the "one night abbacy" (ichiya jūshoku 一夜住職).