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Errata - Crooked Cucumber
[Herein will be collected errata, errors, mistakes, goofs, omissions, typos, misspellings, awful usage, and whatever should be changed in Crooked Cucumber. Please let us know here if you have found any such animals.--DC]
Crooked Cucumber main page

Whole book with notes and errata corrected- Index

Erratamania-- Here are the updated errata and changes submitted to Broadway Books for Crooked Cucumber.

Discussion on one sentence (P.374, #3, L.3-4.) in CC pertaining to Trungpa Rinpoche's indulgences.

1-22-18 - The book as presented herein now contains more notes and new errata and changes from reading over the whole book carefully for the Japanese translation. - dc

See Q & A with Shungo Suzuki on Rinsoin Shunryu matters for some errata, mainly some clarification and more details.

Notes to Japanese & Chinese translators 2017

2020-10-27 - A bunch of fixes and changes this year not noted herein but in a correct and updated transcript being worked on.

Here's one that just came in:

In typing up excerpts from Crooked Cucumber to post on Facebook to give a flavor of the book to others, I come across a note I made on p. 108 (bottom paragraph) of chapter 6 - that Germany surrendered in May, not April as it states. - Rick Wicks

My mistake was in just taking and not checking the date from the interview, with a student of Suzuki Roshi's from back then. - DC

Changes/fixes 2018

p 268 - To Grahame, who had attempted three painful practice periods there as a novice monk, visiting was a pleasant alternative. - changed attempted to attended. [He had to leave some to go to a doctor's home to recuperate from malnutrition, but he attended them and went to the sesshins.

p 278 zenefit changed to Zenefit in several places.

p 309 - Gary Snyder's Horse Pasture Hermitage change to Marin-an, Horse Grove Hermitage

p 352 - Later he said, "I read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind to see what the understanding of my disciples is." [Note - Due to questions from Victor Sergeyev, conferred with Peter Schneider and now this should change to "understanding of my students"]

p 354 - My lecture for tonight will be very short, especially after having a good dinner of noodles, which were very long. Our transmission should be a very long, long one. And our transmission is a special noodle. Dogen-zenji says, "When you realize buddha nature, you are the teacher." You are the teacher of your master too, and you will be even the teacher of Shakyamuni Buddha. [Note - the end quotes go after Shakyamuni Buddha at the end. - thanks Taigen Dan Leighton]

356 - (He used to say, "I think you're all enlightened until you open your mouth.")

change to (He once said, "I think..."

p 380 change diPrima to DiPrima

p 422 in Sources - Padua to Padwa, Petit to Pettit

p 423 - delete Tom Wright after Stan White because Tom comes later and is listed twice.

a few people in the book are, to a small extent, composite characters:(there were actually two godfathers)(note – Hoitsu says that’s wrong, that there was only one gishin so delete that.

and, in Part Two, George Hagiwara and Bob Halpern [Note - add Niels Holm and me, David Chadwick. Bob's name is used a few times when it was me and once when it was Bob Watkins (the hamburger with double meat story), and Niels for Bob once with the Watts comment.].

The following is now outdated. Now suggest clicking on Donate on the home page here:

Contributions of further memories and stories about Shunryu Suzuki, lost lecture tapes or transcripts, or financial support to help continue the archiving work may be sent to: The Archive Project to Preserve Shunryu Suzuki's Teachings, Zen Center, 300 Page Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

6-17-17 - In Chapter 15, the City, in the part about Suzuki at the Be-in, the following sentence is repeating a false rumor:

He was there when Owsley, the manufacturer of Clear Light Acid, parachuted in.

Anyway, it's false according to this article in the Rolling Stone. I was there and don't remember anything like that happening. I just had repeated a sixties urban myth.

4-07-16 - New errata (thanks Fran Miller)

 Chapter 5 - Temple Priest, p. 83

Change "that" to "of" to make it a complete sentence that makes sense.

He was getting a glimpse that the way to have a complete experience with full feeling in every moment, not to use each moment to think about the past or the future, trying to make sense of it all.


He was getting a glimpse of the way to have a complete experience with full feeling in every moment, not to use each moment to think about the past or the future, trying to make sense of it all.

3-31-15 - Joanne Kyger writes that Bill McNeill's name is misspelled on cuke in her interview (and also therefore in the book) with one L. Should be 2 L

3-30-15 - I see I didn't update the note below. Checked with Peter and he confirms the story but it should read "I look at ZMBM to see what the understanding of my students is."

Further comments on this here in Victor's Remarks on ZMBM at 40.

3-13-15 - Chapter 17, p. 352 (in my computer anyway)

     Later he said, "I read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind to see what the understanding of my disciples is."

I must agree with Victor Sergeyev that this is most likely a misquote from Peter's Schneider's cuke interview:

As it seems, Peter refers to himself in the following passage, and not to Suzuki:

… I think Dick did considerable editing of Trudy’s work and talked to Suzuki Roshi about it.

Suzuki Roshi said it wasn’t his book. It’s interesting for me to look at Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind to see how students understood him. (From Peter’s interview). 

There seems to be no reason for Suzuki to say “I read ZMBM to see etc.”

I think that line should be stricken from the book. It was just something I remembered and now I think I remembered it wrong. I've seen it quoted a few places too. - DC

[Nope - it's right. Peter confirms it. See note of the 3-31-15 and the link below.

Further comments on this here in Victor's Remarks on ZMBM at 40.

12-15-14 - In the Acknowledgments under Sources David Padwa's name was misspelled as David Padua. But I should write him to make sure that's not a prior spelling.

9-19-12 - This photo from Crooked Cucumber that was in Buddhadharma recently and in the 25 year book [which will be scanned and entered here] - is labeled thus in Crooked Cucumber.

Tassajara, Zen Center, first practice period work-time photo. Summer 1967

(Just entered the following note under it on the CC photo page and in the errata section of cuke.)

[Close but incorrectly identified. It's from the Fall work period following that summer. I realized that recently when I saw Niels Holm upper left and Jim Morton just pointed it out. Both came in the fall for the first time. Most of us were there in the summer though. Names to follow soon I hope. Just went over them with Leslie at Tassajara and have notes and plan to follow up. - DC

6-28-12 - Katrina Boni in the acknowledgments should be Catrina Boni. She's Italian. Discovered this because a photo of her late husband, Robert S. Boni, is being used by Shambhala Sun, I was helping out, and in searching for her name, noticed the erring spelling in the book. My apologies Catrina. Here's Catrina's cuke interview.

4-20-12 - New RIP designations for names of people in the Acknowledgments.

1-12-12 - In going over the book to make a Japanese and Buddhist terms list for the Chinese translation, found two other mistakes: in Acknowledgments, Chie Suzuki (Hoitsu's mother) should be Chitose Suzuki (his wife). And the other is a typo in Sources. "Skoko and Mrs. Okamoto" should be Shoko. - dc

4-16-11 - I'd love to go over Crooked Cucumber again or maybe just do a notes on it and there would be a number of changes and corrections and also further comments and so forth. - dc

3-05-11 - from Chapter 15 - Tassajara, p. 303 - The question was asked by Les Kaye, not by me, David Chadwick. Explained here. And a question about why I say there were eight teachers. Count them.

1-25-08 - Errata in Crooked Cucumber and all over this web site. Just learned from JJ Wilson that "The spelling of Phillip’s name is with two ll – it was a family name." Must run off to fix that.

Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005. From: Dwite Brown
Subject: photo credit in Crooked Cucumber  I left the credit as Alan Marlowe. - dc

11/09/99--see Rick Levine's letter to see his comments on Crooked Cucumber, a number of which pointed out errata. Those changes were made and posted here in September but I just got the beautifully scripted letter back from Liz Tuomi who put it on disk.

10/6/99--Some last minute surely really final changes. See Erratamania for details of the following changes. 

P.228, #2 and P. 402 were reduced as requested in the previous note. Those were sent in in the wee hours before I left for Europe.

The note on the term "crooked cucumber," p. 416 has been cut in half to fit on the page--a last minute request from the designer. I did that today.

And while I was in Lucerne I used Vanya's computer to send in two changes in response to an email message I'd received from incredibly observant German translator Bernd Bender--both on page 403. From his message:

High David, I hope you are well! I'm on page 403, Baker Roshi's Mountain-Seat Ceremony and came across a point that is rather unclear to me: 3rd paragraph you write:"...drawing from Suzuki's own Mountain Seat Ceremony. at Sokoji in 1963". But on page 222 you give May 20, 1962 as the exact date of Suzuki being installed as abbot. Which date is correct? I didn't find this point mentioned in the errata you sent me. Did I overlook anything?

Also, on p. 402 you write: "Katagiri-roshi...accompanied Richard down the stairs to the hushed buddha hall." From this I get that he was already there before Suzuki entered. But on p. 403 you write: "People were just catching their breath when Richard Baker entered." Maybe I don't get it; could you please explain it to me.

Oops! Good lord. He can find them mistakes and inconsistencies. The publisher has accepted all these changes up to now. I hope Bernd doesn't find any more of my careless errors. Will this go on forever? At some point I'll give up. And I wouldn't be surprised if I haven't come to the end of the changes I can make this time around. Thanks Bernd! I should further amend the acknowledgements on p.419 (of those who found errata) to put the "(lots)" after your name, but I don't dare send them such a request.--DC

9/19/99--An email that I loved getting from my editor's assistant, Becky Cole, at Broadway Books. They are very tolerant of me.:

Good news! production approved all of your changes, so they will all be made in the paperback. we do, however, need you to adjust two of them so that they do not add a line. they are:

the change on p228 where you insert the sentence, "There he would perform dharma...." please shorten it so it does not add a line.

p. 402, please cut 10-15 characters so that it does not add a line.

[I'll have those changes on here and off to them later today.--DC]

9/8/99--Here are the errata from Rick Levine's letter. Good eye. I also added one other: The first time Tatsugami-roshi is mentioned on P. 230, #3, L.2, his Buddhist name, Sotan, will precede it. I also thank Dr. Albert (Mickey) Stunkard for responding to Rick's note and suggesting clarifying changes (P. 390, #2, L.5), Liz Tuomi for pointing out that "half note" would be rhythm and "half tone" the music (P. 402, #2, L.6), Mel Weitsman for confirming that the hand held inkin bells are a half tone apart.

Oh yes--look at Trungpa Rinpoche's indulgences for the last word on that--ha ha.

8/28/99--I just got a letter from an old Suzuki student with lots of great comments on Crooked Cucumber and on Suzuki-roshi and what came to mind for him with the relevant page number in the book. Some of what he said calls for changes in the text but I don't know if I can get them in. But I'll get them in here anyway. So there'll be some new errata and Suzuki Stories. I've gotta talk to him and work on it. Coming soon. Thanks Rick.

Got a response to Bob's note on Trungpa Rinpoche today. I'm going to move that to it's own page and there I'll put the whole history of the discussion of one sentence about Trungpa Rinpoche in Crooked Cucumber (P.374, #3, L.3-4.) there. I've put a permanent link to that discussion at the top of this page.

8/17/1999--Some errata comments from a friend of a friend, maybe in Canada:

Concerning Bill Redican's errata note of 26 July 1999 and your comments thereon: the first item read:

(1) I believe the characters <> are called "carets," not "carrots." [Thanks. The dictionary had "^" as a caret so I called them "caret brackets."--DC]

The "^" is certainly a caret (a diacritical mark used in French and several other languages), but "<" and ">" -- as found in the character set available from most computer keyboards, anyway -- are just the less-than and greater-than signs in mathematics, though they are often *used* in e-mail and computer programs as what probably appear in your book (I don't have a copy before me): angle brackets.

Angle brackets are used in mathematics to indicate ordered sets (as opposed to the braces, "{" and "}", which indicate unordered sets), but are used in more general typesetting to indicate editorial or scholarly interpolations (supplying lacunae, for instance), which, as I recall, is how you use them in your book. Angle brackets are also not the same as guillemets, used -- in opposite ways! -- to indicate quotation in written French and German.

(The limitations of e-mail mean I can't make all this obvious by just using the appropriate characters in the message; I've attached a Word for MS-DOS file which should clear this up if it isn't already -- you'll need the Symbol and Helvetica fonts to read it properly.)

Mr. Redican further said,

(3) Page 314, #4, L.5: The dash was meant to mean that "-women" stands for "businesswomen." If you meant just plain "women," the change is correct. Otherwise, you could leave it as is or spell out "businesswomen." [You're right, but I just left it women--it makes sense that way and I had no idea the "-" meant to replace "business."

He should have said, "The hyphen was meant to mean that '-women' stands for 'businesswomen.'" There are two dashes standard in typesetting, the en dash and the em dash, neither of which is the character to which he is referring, here. And "-women" doesn't *stand* for "businesswomen"; it is elliptical for it. This is quite standard practice, now: going the other way, one can write, for instance, "All full- and part-time students are required pay tuition fees by September 15," with "full-" easily understood in the context to be elliptical for "full-time". This usage quite well reflects how we usually say these sorts of things.

[I couldn't read the attachment except for the following:]

( ) brackets (now often called "parentheses")

[ ] square brackets

-? angle brackets [this symbol didn't come through]

{ } braces

_ _ (single) guillemets

< > less than, greater than

I'm an acquaintance of Wayne Codling, with whom I had lunch today, and who mentioned your web site, at which I had a look and then, being a sometime editor of scholarly books, thought to send you these touch-ups. I hope to read right through *Crooked Cucumber* some day soon, but the demands of my school work might make that farther in the future than I'd like. Cheers. Windsor Viney

7/28/99--So here are the even more and I hope the last newer changes to Crooked Cucumber I'm sending to Broadway Books on Monday (plus, they get the Xeroxed pages with the changes written in): Just click here for erratamania-July '99

7/27/99, from Andrew Main, Errata Hero--My nit-picking Virgo mind noted a number of possible spelling errors, etc.; you mention on the website that you're collecting corrections for the next printing, so here they are. 

Page 214 Not certain, but seems to me I remember the name of the store in Japantown as Honnami (with two n's). [You're right. I looked it up in Margo Patterson Doss's original San Francisco At Your Feet. She wrote those articles for years for the SF Chronicle, and the first one she did in 1959 was in Japantown, called Japanese Town then. And, the first thing that happened was that she met the new priest at Sokoji, Rev. Suzuki, who showed her around. My Japanese name book doesn't have an Honnami, but her book has that for the name of the store, and the internet has Honnami's in Japan, tea masters too.--DC]

Page 220 Not that it’s particularly important, but if Suzuki was covered with purple ink during the production of the first Wind Bell, it was probably printed not by mimeograph (which uses a stencil and usually liquid or paste black ink similar to printer's ink) but by spirit duplicator, sometimes called "ditto" after the brand-name of one such duplicating device ("mimeograph" was also a brand name which, like "scotch" tape, became the generic name for all machines of its type). All the handouts we got in school printed in purple ink on smooth white paper were spirit-duplicated. (In the early 1960's I was doing a lot of work in both media, printing little magazines and journals which I traded with friends in the science fiction "fan" community; I owned both mimeograph and spirit-duplicator machines.) Spirit-duplicated items have two distinguishing features besides the usual purple ink (other colors were available--I had seven, some of them obtained from friends in Europe--but very seldom used) number of copies from one original is limited to about 100, and later copies will be lighter than early ones; and they will fade in time, especially when exposed to light (some of my early publications are nearly unreadable now). If the first Wind Bell was in purple ink on smooth-finish paper, and has faded considerably in the 30+ years since it was printed, it was spirit-duplicated. [Interesting info, but I won't change it. Like you said it's like Xerox, and anything else I said would be harder to understand. This is a good note though.--DC] 

Page 257 I was often struck while reading the book by how well you managed to include the flavor of zen practice and life while still making everything accessible to readers (the majority, I expect) who will have had no direct experience thereof. In one case, however, it occurred to me that these readers would not know what "rolldowns" are; one of your characteristically brief and lucid explications would probably help. [Again, I'll leave it as is.]

Page 266 It’s Paul Wienpahl (you have him as Weinpaul). Wienpahl was a prominent faculty member in the Philosophy dept at UC Santa Barbara in the 1950s, when my father was a student there--along with Joanne Kyger, who became a good friend, which is how my parents (and I) met Gary Snyder. I remember Wienpahl's name being a household word, along with such as Wittgenstein, Heidegger et al. Later when I was at the Zen Center I discovered his book "The Matter of Zen, a Brief Account of Zazen," which was an early response to the Zen phenomenon from an American intellectual perspective.

Page 278 Again not certain, but I believe it should be Chet Helms' (or Helms's, depending on your editorial style); I think his name includes the 's'. (Or maybe not; I have no way to look it up here.) [You're right.--DC]

Page 311 It's Erich (with an h) Fromm, the popular 1960's writer on psychology. 

Page 341 I noticed in several places in the book that the typesetter seemed not to know how to correctly divide Japanese words; a minor point, but why not get it right in a work where Japanese culture is of primary importance? For instance, on this page Tatsugami-roshi's name is divided as "Tat-sugami" it should be "Ta-tsugami" or "Tatsu-gami." [It was Tatsug-ami and I changed it to Tatsu-gami. Thanks.--DC] 

7/27/99--So here are the even newer changes to Crooked Cucumber I'm sending to Broadway Books on Monday (plus, they get the xeroxed pages with the changes written in): Just click here for erratamania-July '99. The errata has gone through one last fine tuning updated here in (maybe the last) and is ready to send in tomorrow. I'll fax it and email it and then see if they need hard copy by mail. My mother Ahdel found errata in the errata and I got these two letters.--DC

7/26/99--from Brit Pyland: Dear David, I tried to look up "eternal gratitude" in my Buddhist reference library but could find nothing on it; perhaps it is a non-canonical concept. Well what happened was ... in my second reading of CC I started marking the few odd errors with bookmarks, which (since
they were so handy) I later used to mark passages that I wanted to return to, assuming that I would easily find the errata later. Well, those little suckers proved to be much more elusive than I had expected. 

So here is what I found: 

page 17, par.3, line 1: "Toshi did not become homesick,... no commas needed in this sentence. 

[I'm sorry, I didn't change that. If it was before publishing I would have, but it's ok as is I think.] 

You list in erratamania a few that I recall. I recall one further instance of "he" being used for "the" ( or was it the other way around). If you do a string-search on "he" in the digital version, you should find it. This should keep you up all night. I think that it occurs in the first third of the book. Maybe it will remain like Moby Dick, ever elusive, swimming through the sea of words, forever seeking that imperfection to which we aspire. And who can say what happens to a text when the book is closed? 

Next time I read CC I will try to keep a crayon at hand. 

[Dear Brit, You are now a people's errata hero. But I he don't know about the sentence you mentioned. I think I'll leave it as is. If the book wasn't written yet I'd change it in another way, but the commas there make it easier to read. As for the he, the thing, I don't have the time or energy to look for it. I've got a ways to go to get the blurbs ready for them and I need to get that in. And I've got to get to the grant proposal writing cause I have credit card debt collectors harassing us cause I can't pay them. It's triage time. So in terms of errata, I'll take what I'm offered but I won't go looking--the woods are too dark and deep and I have promises to keep. Thanks a million. Keep looking.--DC] 

7/26/99--from Bill Redican: Thanks for the errata list and the acknowledgment. Great job. 

Small things: 

(1) I believe the characters <> are called "carets," not "carrots." [Thanks. The dictionary had "^" as a caret so I called them "caret brackets."--DC] 

(2) Page 221, #1: Isn't there another story about Alan Watts introducing the use of "roshi" instead of "reverend" because the latter is an adjective? [That's in 1966 and this is in 1961.] 

(3) Page 314, #4, L.5: The dash was meant to mean that "-women" stands for "businesswomen." If you meant just plain "women," the change is correct. Otherwise, you could leave it as is or spell out "businesswomen." [You're right, but I just left it women--it makes sense that way and I had no idea the "-" meant to replace "business." 

(4) Page 416: I would: (a) add a comma after "... Aladdin Paperbacks, 1993)<,>" (b) Set all Japanese terms in italics without quotes, even for the initial "magatta kyuri." 

Cheers, Bill [Thanks Bill] 

7/23/99--So here are the changes to Crooked Cucumber I'm sending to Broadway Books on Monday (plus, they get the xeroxed pages with the changes written in): Just click here for erratamania-July '99. 

Especially interesting is the note on new info on the phrase "crooked cucumber" toward the end (I put it on the half-filled page called "Notes on the Text and Pronunciation." 

One far out item: most of the errata came from my mother. She gave me four pages of it. Everyone else had one comment or maybe two. Every time I'd talk to her she'd have another question about punctuation. I finally got a letter from her that started off something like, "In case you're wondering if I notice anything about the book other than grammar and punctuation..." and then she had some touching things to say about the substance of the book. Little did she know, I still wanted her to stalk errata. A good errata hunter is hard to find. I remember writing letters, school papers, poetry, songs, and proposals at home. Having her there was like having a spell-check, grammar-check, and thesaurus built into the house. Since I've had a computer I thought I didn't need her any more, but she still comes in handy. Thanks mom.

One thing I didn't change that I'm still not sure about is the year that Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche first came to Tassajara. As reported in prior notes herein, Duncan Campbell says he was with Trungpa when he came to Tassajara and that it had to have been in 1970. Then Britton Pyland said, no, 1970 was right. Chris Miller agreed with 1971 but agreed that that didn't exclude 1970. ("Perhaps I can help with the date of Trungpa's visit to Tassajara. I was there most of the time from summer 1970 until April 1972. When Trungpa came to Tassajara I was a doan, which means it had to be spring of 1971.")Yvonne Rand is in retreat but sent word that she thinks it was 1970. I can remember Trungpa coming to her apartment on Bush Street and she was long gone from there in 1971. Daya Goldschlag isn't sure but says that I was head of the dinning room so that would have been 1970. Last night Bob Halpern read to me a quote from Trungpa from Garuda, Spring 72 (see Bibliography): "In Tassajara in June, 1970, I first met the Roshi." That could have been a mistake but it's what I had finally relied on to decide the date in the book in the first place. Maybe there was another visit in the following winter or spring. I seem to have both memories. So I've left it as it was: 1970.

7/21/99--Some errata rantings from Digressions. I've got to finish the errata and blurbs for the publisher. I've gotten a little errata from folks, but mainly no one cares. Every once and a while I talk to someone who said, "Oh, I saw a mistake in your book." "Where is it? I'll ask." "I don't know. I thought you'd probably already know and would have taken care of it." That sort of thing. Most of you are too young to remember Jimmy Halto who had "Little Audry" I think it was in the comics. He also had a single square comic called "They'll do it every time." I loved it. It would have little things like this in it that drive you crazy and often there would be a little guy in corner blowing his stack with a caption that read, "Urge to maim." People tell me, "Oh it doesn't matter." "Yeah, it doesn't matter to you," I say. I'll name names. Niels Holm told me he'd seen a mistaken word. Britton Pyland. These are both old Suzuki students. My aunt Brunhilda Pleger in Rochester. There are others and we have a list of names. Escape the wrath of Send in errata before it's too late. Love,--DC

6/29/99--in Sources, Anapurna Broffman should read Annapurna Broffman. [two "n"s]

6/11/99--Bernd Bender, who's translating Crooked Cucumber into German asked about the meaning of " the New Life after the War Movement" on page 121, revealing to me that it should be written so as to make clear that it's one thing like the Peace Movement. Maybe "The New-Life-After-the-War Movement" is best. See his message of this date in Readers' Comments and my response for the details. Do I use that term anywhere else in the book? 

6\3\99--see the note I got today from Britton Pyland concerning the previous note. He thinks '70 was right. I put it in the Readers' Comments page cause it was pretty interesting and dealt with more than errata. But I think now that '71 is right.--DC

6\2\99--I don't have the page number right now--I'll put that in later--but, Duncan Campbell pointed out to me when he interviewed me in Boulder in early March, that Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche came to Tassajara for the first time in the spring of 1971, not 1970. He was there. I was too but I got the dates mixed up. I just couldn't believe that so much happened between Suzuki and Trungpa in such a short time. 

5\28\99--My apologies to Richard Jaffe for leaving him out of the acknowledgements under the part where I thank people for scholarly help. Richard is a friend, old Zennie, and scholar of Soto Zen and such with a special knowledge of Soto Zen around the turn of the century when Suzuki-roshi was born. I'll have more from Richard in the interview or note section later.


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