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Glossary

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monk in training (unsui 雲水, unnō 雲衲)

1. In Song and Yuan dynasty China, monks who wandered about seeking teachers and novel experiences were likened to "fleeting clouds and floating water (kōun ryūsui 行雲流水) in their lack of any fixed abode and thus came to be known as "clouds and water monks" (unsui sō 雲水僧). They wore the "patched robes" ( 衲) of a wandering monk (unsui 雲水), and so came to be called "cloud robes" (unnō 雲衲) as well. 2. In Edo period Japan (1600-1868), the designations unsui and unnō came to apply to young monks who had not yet become resident priests (jūshoku 住職) - the abbots of ordinary temples - but were still in a training monastery (sōdō 僧堂) or "wandering on foot" (angya 行脚) between training monasteries to learn from different Zen masters. That nomenclature is somewhat incongruous because most monks called unsui today are in fact registered (kata 掛搭) as residents of a monastery and thus are not wandering monks in the original sense of the term.