The Eihei kōroku: The Record of Dōgen's Later Period at Eihei-ji Temple
This chapter examines the textual history and structure of the Eihei-ji koroku, one of the two primary texts produced by the famous Zen master, Dogen, founder of the Soto school of Zen in Japan. Although this text represents Dogen’s thought in his mature period, it has been the subject of far less interest than the well-known Shobogenzo. Both texts are composed mainly of sermons by Dogen interpreting Zen koans and other stories in the tradition. This essay analyzes how their styles differ, the Eihei-ji koroku in formal, Chinese format (kanbun) and the Shobogenzo in informal, vernacular style. Heine’s analysis seeks to uncover the various biographical and literary levels that permeate the text.
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