This is an anthropological study, carried out with love, care, and attention to detail, of the Japanese Sata nuns. Why would modern (Japanese) women want to give up the comforts of modern life, part with their beautiful hair-a powerful symbol of womanhood-and become monastics? What are their self-perceptions and their daily lives like? Arai ably answers these questions. She first takes the reader on a journey through the history of Japanese monastic Buddhist tradition, which began when three women were ordained sometime around the year 590. She then clarifies the modern academic arguments surrounding Dogen's view of women's capacity for enlightenment, and upholds the egalitarian interpretation of Dogen (which is the interpretation held by the nuns). She next lets the reader experience, first hand, the lives of contemporary Soto Zen nuns. By the end of the journey, readers will find themselves moved, their humanity reassured and refreshed
Journal of Asian Studies
Required Publisher's Statement
Copyright © 2000 Association for Asian Studies.
Yusa, Michiko, "Review of: Women Living Zen" (2000). Modern & Classical Languages. 16.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Monastic and religious life of women--Japan; Monastic and religious life (Zen Buddhism)--Japan; Religious life--Sgasotgasoshgasu; Buddhist nuns--Japan
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Arai, Paula Kane Robinson. Women living Zen