yama uba Ikkyu’s Zen play adapted page      7


Of course we will!

Let’s sing!

Let’s sing!

Diva and Valet


The wind caresses the pine trees.

The flute sounds as you please.

The only things that bother

Are the trickles of the water.

Deep in the mountains

Your voices are like fountains.

The moon doesn’t seem to care.



The mountains. Deep in the mountains.

What a profound valley!

It’s a bottomless abyss!

Here you can see some suffering from pain and others taking pleasure.

One has good luck. Another has a bad Karma.

But what’s the difference between good and bad?

It’s only relative.

Both of them come from the same root.

Pain and pleasure do not really exist.

Once you get yourself synchronous with the transcendental wisdom, you can see everything very clearly.

It is the world you create.

Streams run through valleys.

Rocks stand up like waves of the ocean.

Who chisels the deep purple cliff standing high over there!

Who paints the dark blue waters shining in the sun!

[Enters Hag, showing her frightening true self. With silver hair and glaring eyes, her face is red and she looks like an evil monster]


Oh, my god!

Here she comes.

the playwright's recommendation

You may have had an experience that you read a book originally written by a Japanese Zen master and you don't understand it at all. Or, you may understand very well a book on Zen written by a Western scholar, but your Japanese friend is furious of the author's misleading interpretation and vulgar treatment of the subtle nature of the subject.

It is an irony that an academic has to translate one of Dogen's favorite expressions: "An academic will never ever understand Buddha's teaching". It is an interesting question whether a man can translate Dogen's «Shobogenzo» without understanding it. Better than nothing? You never know. It could be better if there is nothing.

We really need a bridge, a good intellectual bridge which lets you walk across the valley between cultures without getting wet from the tears we shed not being capable of understanding the truth which is supposed to be simple and clear.

Chang Chung-yuan's «Tao: A New Way of Thinking» (Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1977) is one of those bridges. In the book, he often quotes «An Inquiry into the Good / A study of Good» by Kitaro Nishida. It is another good bridge.


Since the image of «Tao: A New Way of Thinking» is not available at Amazon.com, the photo of the cover here is not that of the book mentioned. It is that of Penguin Classic’s «Tao Te Ching».

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