From where in internet did you find it? :?:
It is not the "Soto Zen" crest. It is the crest for Eihei-ji.
The crest for Eiheiji, at the right below, is a 'gentian' flower, and Sojiji at the left below is a pauloenia. (I do not know why those particular flowers, and am not much of a flower man. I heard once that there was some indirect connection to the crests of Samurai families of the past who may have been sponsors. All I can say is that every group in Japan has its own flower, the Imperial Family being the Chrysanthemum.).
The two crests combined, as here, is the current emblem of the Soto school.
Every religious group, university, club, company or family has a crest in Japan, often depicting a particular flower. Here are some :
Eihei-ji and Soji-ji are the two head temples of Soto Shu in Japan ... for reasons of history In a nutshell ... Eiheiji is the monastery of Dogen. Soji-ji is the monastery of Keizan, the 3rd Patriarch in Japan. They wrestled ... sometimes quite spitefully, although never violently ... for about 500 years over which would be the top dog in Japan. In the late 19th century, they finally reached a compromise, and basically take turns, e.g., appointing the titular head of Soto-shu from each one in turn.
Hi.Originally Posted by Jundo
what is our crest?
Very cool and educational explanation Jundo, thank you. I'm fascinated by symbols/logos.
And what of this...
...the 'broken pine needle' on our Soto Rakusu? Does anyone know its meaning or origin? I think Rinzai have a triangular symbol on theirs. I've always wondered what it meant...
I'm sure Jundo and Taigu have been asked this one before. Apologies if I'm asking a previously responded to question...
Yes, this came up during our preparations for the Jukai ... Here is the post ...Originally Posted by soendoshin
viewtopic.php?p=18574#p18574Well, I found this drawing of casuarina needles ... and it seems not so far off ...Originally Posted by Martin
John Tarrant Roshi wrote this explanation ...
On the back of the rakusu are crossed casuarina needlesneedles from
an ancient Buddhist treesignfying that this is a mountain path,
signifying that it takes you deep into the journey into the true self.
As Rilke said, so that we walk into the silence, for hours meeting
no-one. Also the needles are the green shoots of the Way, the manner
in which the Way will spring up like dandelions in a pavement in the
city. Somewhere, no matter what state you are in, you can always find
a little green trace of it. There are two needles crossed with each
other. Every time you are caught in an opposite, at bottom there is
always some unity there, if you can find it. Theres always some way
to hold the two together. And that is the enlightened task. So that
we can find the true action.
ftp://coombs.anu.edu.au/coombspapers/ot ... nter-b.txt
Thanks for that Jundo. It is a nice explanation.
Googling again to clarify about both crest, I found a good post at an excellent forum....
I have an interesting (I hope ) aside on the pawlonia (apparently also called the kiri or empress tree) from my trusty Dover Thrift Edition of The Classic Tradition of Haiku, an Anthology which uses said crest as its frontispiece:Originally Posted by Jundo
"The large purple flowers in early autumn are deeply associated with haiku because the three prongs hold 5, 7 and 5 buds respectively."
As the footnote is about this poem:
hitoha chiru / totsu hitoha chiru / kaze no ue
A leaf falls;
Totsu! a leaf falls,
on the wind.
(--Hattori Ransetsu, trans. Bill Higginson)
it also says "Totsu is an exclamation supposedly uttered when a Zen student achieves enlightenment. The sound also imitates the dry crackle the pawlonia leaf makes as it scratches the ground upon falling."
Totsu? That's a new one to me.