Rakusu rings

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  • Taigu
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
    • Aug 2008
    • 2710

    Rakusu rings

    For absolute clarity, let me remind everybody that even if rings are standard on the Japanese Soto style rakusu, here we follow the nyohoe tradition, without rings. Priests are sometimes given a rakusu with ring but NOBODY is allowed to sew a rakusu with a ring or to wear one unless the teachers permission is given.

    Gassho

    The grumpy sewing teacher and bear Taigu
  • Hoyu
    Member
    • Nov 2010
    • 2020

    #2
    Re: Rakusu rings

    This makes me wonder about any of us even wearing a Sotoshu Rakusu at all. Not that I have any opinion on the matter, but I'm wondering how this would be viewed by the Sotoshu(concidering to them we are not even due paying/registered members). Granted we are most certainly part of their lineage!

    Gassho,
    Hoyu
    Ho (Dharma)
    Yu (Hot Water)

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39452

      #3
      Re: Rakusu rings

      Originally posted by Hoyu
      This makes me wonder about any of us even wearing a Sotoshu Rakusu at all. Not that I have any opinion on the matter, but I'm wondering how this would be viewed by the Sotoshu(concidering to them we are not even due paying/registered members). Granted we are most certainly part of their lineage!

      Gassho,
      Hoyu
      Hey Hoyu,

      I am going to take the liberty of commenting, and hope Taigu will correct me if I am wrong. I don't think there is a "Soto-shu" style Rakusu, or anything wrong with a Rakusu with a ring (I have several that I have received over the years from various Teachers). The Sotoshu does have a particular style of Rakusu usually sold by Buddhist supply stores in Japan (not sewn by the wearer), and many of those have rings. They are all wonderful Rakusu. It is just that, in this Sangha, we follow the Nyoho-e Tradition, and in that Tradition one does not add a ring when sewing the Rakusu.

      Nor is there anything wrong with Sotoshu. I would say that the majority of Soto Zen Sangha in North America are not formally under Sotoshu, the governing body in Japan of Soto church there. But Nyoho-e tradition Sangha are found both in the Sotoshu and not! So, it is not so simple as just being a matter of Sotoshu or not!

      Anyway, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. In sewing a Nyoho-e Rakusu, one does not put a ring on a Nyoho-e Rakusu.

      Gassho, Jundo
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Taigu
        Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
        • Aug 2008
        • 2710

        #4
        Re: Rakusu rings

        The whole story , Hoyu, is so so so much more complicated...

        Although the ring is part of the Sotoshu rakusu thing, the ring is also something out of it.
        When Sawaki Kodo and Hashimoto decided to go upstream and find out about Jiun Sonja in Osaka and the will to come back to the original robe, they threw away the ring. Our tradition, the nyohoe tradition was born.
        Nevertheless the ring is in our lineage for centuries, very likely present in Dogen's time in a few okesa (although it could not be in the form of a rakusu as seen on the movie about Dogen, rakusu is a very recent form, 19th century...).

        Why do Jundo and I wear rakusu with rings? Why do priests here do? why asking other guys not to?
        For one and one great reason only: the main path of the kesa is to sew, and sew and sew again until your fingers bleed. Sew a simple kesa. Keep it or give it. You have no idea about the number of hours that would go in a single okesa, and have no idea about how many I have sewn and given away. and still do. And will again and again, to my teachers, my brothers, my students. I have given more kesa that I have now. Got it? Come on guys, sew rakusus and kesa and give them away!!!

        Your lessons are sweet. Very sweet indeed

        The robe of my body, the fabric of my cells and blood will go and merge and vanish.

        Sawaki was sewing Funzo e robe over funzo e robe, giving and giving.

        Don't you get it?!!!

        What belongs to you-me him-her?

        I am a pale follower of this great small fellow. At the same time, Niwa, our ancestor, used to have rings attached to his rakusus. Nishijima too. Many of our ancestors. So do we.

        No contradiction.

        Two streams in one.

        I hope this helps. Now your next rakusu could be given to people (because there are real) and yes, to things, animals, mountains, cars, wires... the whole lot, you know.


        gassho to youand thank you for your patience



        Taigu

        Comment

        • Hoyu
          Member
          • Nov 2010
          • 2020

          #5
          Re: Rakusu rings

          I was originally thinking in terms of etiquette. As long as it wouldn't(as it seems not to) be offensive to the Sotoshu my mind is put to rest on the matter
          Thank you both for all the many new things I've learned about this wonderful robe!

          Gassho,
          Hoyu
          Ho (Dharma)
          Yu (Hot Water)

          Comment

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