Shobogenzo online

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  • chessie
    • Jun 2008
    • 266

    Shobogenzo online

    Hello all
    Basic question, but I'm confused and borderline frustrated...I have bookmarked the Shasta Abbey text, which has 95 chapters nicely titled in Japanese & English. I also have bookmarked the Soto-Zen text (Shobogenzo Zuimonki, which is the one on Jundo's recommended reading list). This one has 6 'books' subdivided into 117 'chapters' with numeric headings only.

    Are these actually the same text or document?

    I can't figure out if the 'Zuimonki' designation on the soto-zen site makes them different, and I can't seem to correlate the texts with each other at all. I'm lost. I do not have hard-copy paper text yet, and seem unlikely to obtain it any time soon, so I'm trying to work with what I can find on my faithful computer.

    When I read a post here, or on a blog, referring to a chapter name, it's usually easy for me to find it on one site. But, I'd really like to read it in both places and I can't figure out how to read a particular referenced text on the soto-zen site.

    (grumpy aside...the Bible is so much easier. everyone agrees on the locational aspect with book/chapter/verse, and they just argue about wording, translation and interpretation. Here, I can't even FIND something someone talks about, let alone get to the next level. End of grump.)

    thanks, and with much respect for all, Ann
  • prg5001
    • Apr 2008
    • 76

    Re: Shobogenzo online


    I'm sure others will give you a fuller picture of the texts but to quickly clarify:

    Shobogenzo on Shastra Abbey is a collection of Dogen Zenji's essays on Buddhism.

    Shobogenzo Zuimonki is a collection of talks given by Dogen Zenji as recorded by his disciple Ejo.

    Hope this helps.




    • Bansho
      • Apr 2007
      • 532

      Re: Shobogenzo online

      Hi Ann,

      What Paul wrote is correct. They are 2 distinct works. Just to give you a bit more background information, the version of the Shobogenzo Zuimonki on SOTOZEN-NET which you're referring to was translated by Shohaku Okumura ( It's a beautiful collection of informal talks, and IMHO is a great place to start delving into Dogen Zenji's works.

      The Sotoshu (on SOTOZEN-NET) describes the 'main' Shobogenzo as follows:

      The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shobogenzo)
      The Shobogenzo is a collection of Dogen Zenji’s teachings that were given between August 1231 and January 1253. As the title indicates, this book thoroughly covers the main point (eye) of the True Dharma that was inherited by the successive ancestors following Shakyamuni Buddha.

      Much of the book’s contents are sophisticated teachings that express in Dogen Zenji’s unique language his deeply enlightened mind. Even in modern times, this book is described as the greatest book on religious thought that has been produced in Japan.

      The most common version of the Shobogenzo has 95 chapters. However, this edition was produced in 1690 by Dogen’s Dharma descendants based on the idea that Dogen Zenji had originally intended the Shobogenzo to have 100 chapters.

      There are two editions of the Shobogenzo that Dogen Zenji edited himself: one with 75 chapters and a later version with twelve chapters. It seems that his intention was to systematically organize these editions, and include other chapters. However, he died before he was able to complete this project. For that reason, there are various editions of the Shobogenzo that have survived to the present day, including 60 chapter and 28 chapter versions. ... utras.html


      • chessie
        • Jun 2008
        • 266

        Re: Shobogenzo online

        Okay, great! Thank you both. Now I can stop looking for peas in the carrot patch, and enjoy both separately for what they each have to offer. ann