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Thread: Gudo Uchiyama

  1. #1

    Gudo Uchiyama

    I was reading a blog titled Underneath the Bodhi Tree whereupon I came this section:

    True to my anarchist roots, I'd like to make a series of posts dedicated to radical Buddhists in order to honor their commitment and contribution to the cause. The first in this series is dedicated to Gudo Uchiyama.

    Gudo Uchiyama was a Japanese Soto Zen Priest and an anarcho-communist who operated a secret printing press behind the statue of the Buddha at his temple. He put out things like this, challenging the conservative doctrine of Karma:
    I didn't find much info in the web reg. Gudo Uchiyama. Can someone point me out a good web page on info on this priest or a book?

  2. #2

    Re: Gudo Uchiyama

    Not a clue so far, except to say he is not to be confused with either KOSHO Uchiyama Roshi (whose book we are reading in the book club) or GUDO Wafu Nishijima ... who is pretty anti-commie, anti-anarchist, anti-fascist, anti-every extreme.

    I will see if I can find more information.

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Gudo Uchiyama

    Hi Again,

    A quick search turned up that he is mentioned in in Brian Victoria's book Zen at War, where this quote is attributed to him:

    "The emperor is not the son of the gods as our primary school teachers and others would have you believe. The ancestors of the present emperor came forth from a corner of Kyushu, killing and robbing people as they did. They then destroyed their fellow thieves ... It may seem that the emperor is divine, but down through the ages the emperors have been tormented by foreign opponents and, domestically treated as puppets by their own vassals .... Although this is well known, university professors and their students, weaklings that they are, refuse to say or write anything about it. Instead, they attempt to deceive others and themselves, knowing all along the whole thing is a pack of lies."


    Gudo Uchiyama, *-1911
    Japanese Soto Zen Priest
    Tract that was widely disseminated late in the 19th century
    Quoted in Brian Victoria, Zen at War
    Not very surprisingly, he was eventually defrocked and hung by the Emperor's government.

    There is a little more about him, and other Japanese anarchists of the time, on page 36 of this paper:

    http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/...0030100300.pdf

    Gassho, Sentient Beings of the World Unite! Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-25-2012 at 01:11 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Gudo Uchiyama

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Not a clue so far, except to say he is not to be confused with either KOSHO Uchiyama Roshi (whose book we are reading in the book club) or GUDO Wafu Nishijima ... who is pretty anti-commie, anti-anarchist, anti-fascist, anti-every extreme.
    At first, I did a double take, but I looked closely at the name and knew it had to be another priest in Japan. Thanks for info.

    "anti-every extreme"
    But isn't that extreme in itself? :mrgreen:
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    sorry...I couldn't resist the e-Sangha Zen debate format. :P

  5. #5

    Re: Gudo Uchiyama

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Not a clue so far, except to say he is not to be confused with either KOSHO Uchiyama Roshi (whose book we are reading in the book club) or GUDO Wafu Nishijima ... who is pretty anti-commie, anti-anarchist, anti-fascist, anti-every extreme.
    The problem with political labels is that sometimes we see them as linear. As if there are two extremes. One Left. One Right. But. In my personal experience and from my personal involvement in community activism, is that those labels sometimes don't mean much. In US, the Communist Party was seen as extreme, but in certain ways it was conservative. For example, on the issue of LGBT Rights, it tended years back to not get involved yet Liberals (w/i the Democrat Party or not) were "extreme" when it came to this issue. I known Christian Pacifists that are "extreme" in methods and actions compared to Communists in the US. Heck, if you google, you'll know find anarcho-fascists or national anarchism. :shock: Ah. The internet. How lovely. :P

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