In Heaven’s River: Poems and Carvings by Mountain Monk Enku


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Poems and Carvings of 17th Century Japanese Mountain-Monk Enku.
134 pages, paperback.

Orphaned at age seven when his mother was washed away in a river flood, the Japanese monk, Enku (1632-1695) practised deep in the mountains and produced artworks radiant with love and compassion. In this book “In Heaven’s River”, Enku’s poems (in Japanese and English translation) are accompanied by beautiful photographic details of his sculptures, creating an intimate and evocative glimpse into Enku’s generous spirit and unique confluence of his natural and worldly experiences.

All profits from the sale of this book go to ‘Aid for Japan’ – caring for children orphaned by the 2011 tsunami. Registered charity no 1159233.

About the Translators

Julian Daizan Skinner Roshi is the first Englishman to go to Japan and become a full Zen Master in the rigorous Rinzai School. He received Dharma Transmission in the Soto Manzan Lineage from Daishin Morgan Roshi and in the Zendo Kyodan Inzan lineage from Shinzan Miyamae Roshi of Gyokuryuji in central Japan. A former pharmaceuticals industry scientist, twenty-five years ago Daizan Roshi gave up his job, sold his house, gave all the money away and became a Zen monk. A published poet, Daizan Roshi has also made a study of the shugendo, mountain-practice tradition, including consulting with Kuze Enju Sensei twentieth generation spiritual descendent of Enku and current incumbent of Mirokuji the temple Enku restored at the end of his life, and with Zen teacher and yamabushi, Donin Okuda Sensei. Sumiko Hayashi is a translator and former teacher. Sumiko s Buddhist studies began at an early age. She first encountered Enku after she married. The couple moved into a house next door to Nyoiji Temple, Ginan-cho, Gifu-ken. The temple enshrines several Enku statues. Sumiko continues to study and practice Buddhism and yoga.

About the Photographer

Alex Kofuu Reinke Horikitsune was for a long time the only European taken on as a traditional Japanese craft family apprentice by the world famous irezumi artist Horioshi III in Yokahama. Today he is Horioshi s senior apprentice. Interested in Zen and Japanese culture since his early teens, Horikitsune formally took the Zen precepts with Daizan Roshi in 2011. His Zen study continues. Together with his business partner Matti Senju Sedholm Horimatsu, Horikitsune established book publishers, Kofuu-Senju Publications, and has supplied photography for several books.