"I have no teacher to learn from and no students to teach.
Writings of Haya Akegarasu
Please note that some of these files are quite large due to the length of the text, and they may take a while to download. Be patient! It's well worth it.
The following brief, biographical summary is from Reverend Gyoko Saito's larger introduction to Shout of Buddha. Reverend Akegarasu's disciple Shuichi Maida stated his teacher's value as follows:
"Five hundred or a thousand years from now, not only the japanese people but the whole world will look up to this brightening star of the first magnitude in the history of Japanese Buddhism." Reverend Haya Akegarasu was born in Japan on July 12,1877. His father Enen, a temple minister, died when Reverend Akegarasu was ten years old. His mother Taki raised him, struggling with poverty and other hardships. A natural poet, by the time he reached 14 he had already published several books of his 31-syllable poems. A few years later Reverend Akegarasu became a student of Manshi Kiyozawa, a leading Japanese intellectual who tried to understand Buddhism through the experience of life itself. ...Critical to Buddhism is the teacher-student relationship. Reverend Akegarasu said his assertions were never approved by Reverend Kiyozawa, who lived the life of "Nothing to depend on, nowhere to live, nothing to occupy." Together, they abandoned 1000 year old Buddhist terminology and used ordinary words to manifest Buddhism. They translated those teachings with their own deepest lives."
In the summer of 1996 I was invited to join a discussion group at the Buddhist temple of Chicago. In the group were ordinary men and women of diverse backgrounds. Each of us had special interests such as philosophy, art, and poetry. These interests colored our interpetations of the articles being discussed. As such we discovered our limitations-and our possibilities- when exposed to the genius of Reverend Haya Akegarasu. His articles, stories, and poetry were being translated by Reverend Gyoko Saito who lead the discussions. We found that unlike ourselves Reverend Akegarasu was able to express through his writings the deepest and most honest feelings in unlimited ways. I am grateful to Reverend Saito for having introduced me to this new life that the writings of Reverend Akegarasu inspired.
Namu Amida Butsu