Taigu Ryokan

(1758-1831 / Japan)

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Ryōkan was born in the village of Izumozaki in Echigo Province (now Niigata Prefecture) in Japan to the village headman. He renounced the world at an early age to train at nearby Sōtō Zen temple Kōshōji, refusing to meet with or accept charity from his family. Once the Zen master Kokusen visited the temple, and Ryōkan was deeply impressed with his demeanor. He ... more »

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Comments about Taigu Ryokan

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  • Rookie Carol Pranschke (12/5/2013 1:24:00 AM)

    His poetry is sublime. He is the Great Fool. He fell in love when he was in his 70's. Now that's cool.

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Best Poem of Taigu Ryokan

I Watch People In The World

I watch people in the world
Throw away their lives lusting after things,
Never able to satisfy their desires,
Falling into deeper despair
And torturing themselves.
Even if they get what they want
How long will they be able to enjoy it?
For one heavenly pleasure
They suffer ten torments of hell,
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone.
Such people are like monkeys
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water
And then falling into a whirlpool.
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer.
Despite myself, I fret over...

Read the full of I Watch People In The World

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