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The Old Tea Seller: Life and Zen Poetry in 18th Century Kyoto (Paperback)

The Old Tea Seller: Life and Zen Poetry in 18th Century Kyoto By Baisao, Norman Waddell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Baisao, Norman Waddell (Translated by)


Poet, Zen Buddhist priest, renowned thinker, and seller of tea — Baisao was all of these things, as well as being a bit of an eccentric. Known to carry large wicker baskets filled with tea utensils through the streets and surrounding hills of Japan's capital, Baisao set up shop wherever he ended up and brewed tea for those who came to enjoy the scenery with him. Establishing a quiet, simple life, Baisao spent his final years composing poetry, brewing tea, and teaching Zen, in the process becoming a well–loved figure. These poems, memoirs, and letters tell us more about this endearing person and trace his long life's profound spiritual journey. This comprehensive translation includes nearly all of Baisao's writings, giving us a deep look at this remarkable man.

About the Author

Norman Waddell born in Washington, D.C. in 1940, was attracted to Japan by the works of the legendary D.T. Suzuki and his protégée R. H. Blyth, taught at Otani University for over thirty years, and was editor of the Eastern Buddhist Journal for several decades. He has published more than a dozen books on Japanese Zen Buddhism and is considered one of the finest translators of sacred texts of our time. He is the authoritative English translator of works by and about Hakuin.

Praise For…

"Norman Waddell has brought us an important Japanese Zen poet who has been too long neglected. The biography is detailed and informative but Waddell has gone further and has translated all of Baisao's published verse (including some taken from holograph manuscript) and prose, as well as many of Baisao's letters and verse . . . This book will stand as the definitive work on Baisao for many years." —The Zen Site

"[A] delightful and exquisite volume . . . Norman Waddell has done a marvelous job pulling all of this material together." —Spirituality and Practice
Product Details
ISBN: 9781582434827
ISBN-10: 1582434824
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publication Date: June 15th, 2010
Pages: 240
Language: English