Shobogenzo Zuimonki


3.Regarding the text

The Zuimonki manuscript published by Menzan Zuiho in 1770 has received the widest audience. This text is called the rufubon or the popular version. The publication by Iwanami-bunko in 1929 is based on the rufubon.

In 1942, an older version was found by Doshu Okubo at Choenji Temple in Aichi Prefecture. This one is referred to as the Choenji-bon. The Choenji-bon was published by Chikuma Shobo along with a modern Japanese translation with footnotes by Mizuno Yaoko in 1963.

The present English translation is based on the Iwanami-bunko version, although I have also crosschecked it with the Choenji-bon. I also looked at and appreciated A Primer of Soto Zen-A Translation of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Zuimonki by Reiho Masunaga (East-West Center Press, 1971) and Record of Things Heard From the Treasury of the Eye of the True Teaching by Thomas Cleary (Prajna Press, 1980). I attempted this translation not because I thought these earlier translations were not good, but because I wanted to study Zuimonki more deeply for myself. I read Zuimonki for the first time when I was a student and it made a strong impression on me. Actually, that was one of the reasons I became a monk. Since then Zuimonki has been a strong force in my life. When I have a problem I recall Dogen Zenji’s admonitions about the matter as well as those of my teacher’s. And now, I wish to follow this way of life taught by Dogen Zenji.

For the footnotes, I referred to A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms by Hisao Inagaki, Nagata Bunshodo, 1984.