Crooked Cucumber

The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

Notes on Crooked Cucumber - End Matter

Notes on the Text and Pronunciation


Notes on the Text

and Pronunciation


 The quotes at the beginning of sections and all unascribed quotes are from Shunryu Suzuki and are not chronologically exact. Quotes have been edited without indication of omissions or additions.

 Macrons (long marks over extended vowels in Japanese and Sanskrit words) are not used here except in the glossary. In a few cases the vowel is doubled to indicate pronunciation.


 For notes on the text, interviews, list of characters, maps, and other material, see <>.



          Approximate Japanese pronunciation:

 a is similar to the a in father

 i is similar to the ea in eat

 u is similar to the oo in look

 e is similar to the e in egg

 o is similar to the o in go (said quickly)

          From An Introduction to Modern Japanese

          by Osamu and Nobuko Mizutani, Japan Times, Ltd., 1977. 





This book is the result of the kind, attentive, and considerable contributions of many people over the past five and a half years. First I extend my most sincere gratitude to the family of Shunryu Suzuki for their total support and for giving of their time so generously whenever they were asked. Endless thanks to Mitsu Suzuki for numerous interviews with me and others and for personally asking people to help me; to Hoitsu and Chitose Suzuki for being gracious hosts at Rinso-in in Yaizu and to Hoitsu Suzuki for arranging interviews and continually helping me in many ways; to Yasuko (Suzuki) Oishi, Tatsusan (rip) and Aiko (Suzuki) Uchiyama; and in San Francisco to Otohiro and Mitsuyo Suzuki.

 I would particularly like to thank my wife, Elin Chadwick, for her unfailing support, long hours of work through the years, and excellent advice; Michael Katz, my agent and friend, who has guided me through this project with utmost patience and skill; Michael Wenger and Bill Redican of the San Francisco Zen Center for all they have done to make this book possible; Bill Schwob for years of help with photography and photos in America and Japan; Liz Tuomi for years of transcribing; and Fred Harriman for so much of his time, skill with Japanese language, and knowledge of Japanese culture and history.

 I am also deeply indebted to the following people for all they have done and apologize that there is not space to adequately give them the credit and praise that they deserve. To all of you, and to some whom I have surely neglected, I offer nine bows.

For extensive help with editing: Elin Chadwick, Michael Katz, Jisho Cary Warner, Linda Hess, Holly Hammond, Bill Redican, Carol Williams, and Charlie Conrad of Broadway Books.

For other editing, corrections, and suggestions upon reading the manuscript or parts of it: Richard Baker (especially for his work on editing Suzuki quotes), Ed Brown, Ananda Dalenberg, Arthur Deikman, Mike Dixon, Della Goertz, Daya Goldschlag, Janet Goldstein, Bob Halpern, Silas Hoadley, Wako Kato, Bill Lane, Taigen Dan Leighton, Gwynn (Catterton) O'Gara, Koshin Ogui, Grahame Petchey, Pauline Petchey, Louise Pryor, Yvonne Rand, Lew Richmond, Angie Runyon, Peter and Jane Schneider, Albert Stunkard, John Tarrant, Steve Tipton, Betty Warren, Mel Weitsman, Dan Welch, Michael Wenger, Phillip Wilson, and Marian (Derby, Mountain) Wisberg.

To Yuki Ishimatsu, librarian for Japanese reference services at UC Berkeley, for frequent assistance; Kirk Rhodes for all the help in Yaizu; Harry Ransom Rose for generously answering so many questions about his adoptive mother, Nona Ransom; Grahame Petchey, Hideko Petchey, Mark Petchey, and Pauline Petchey for all sorts of help; Toshikazu Yasui for Japanese weather reports and details on Shoganji; and Elsie Mitchell for letters and more.

For scholarly information and suggestions: Carl Bielefeldt, Jeff Broadbent, Angelika Cedzich, Rick Fields (rip), Richard Jaffe, Wako Kato, Taigen Dan Leighton, Shohaku Okamura and Taiken Yokoyama of the Soto Zen Education Center of North America, Peter Schneider, Frank Joseph Shulman, Kazuaki Tanahashi, Philip Yampolsky (rip), and Brian Victoria, who commented on the sections about Shunryu Suzuki and Japan's militaristic period, with thanks for his skeptical tolerance of my unscholarly narrative method.

For translation of interviews: Carl and Fumiko Bielefeldt for simultaneous translation on tape and Fred Harriman for written translation of the Schneider interviews and of his own; Kyoko Furuhashi for translating her own interviews and to her and Shizuko Takatsuka for translating my Japan interviews of 1993 and Kaz Tanahashi's interviews with Mitsu Suzuki; Takayo Harriman and Hideko Petchey for additional translation assistance.

For transcribing: Liz Tuomi, Jose Escobar, Layla Bockhorst, Bill Redican, Gary Brandt, and, in years past, Brian Fikes, Katherine Thanas, Barry Eisenberg, Tom Cabarga, and others.

For work on or assistance with audio tapes of Suzuki-roshi lectures and various interviews: Mark Watts, Bill Redican, Jim Wheeler, Peter Schneider, Michael Katz, Tony Johnson, Mike Dixon, Emma Bragdon, Michael Wenger, Howard Hammerman, Dan Gurley, Stan Jacox, and Kenji Muro.

For photos: Bill Schwob for his and Raymond Rimmer's copy photos of archival photos, Pat McFarlin for the front cover photo, Tim Buckley for the back cover photo, Robert Schilling for the author photo. For providing historical photos of Shunryu Suzuki's Japan years: Hoitsu and Otohiro Suzuki, and Harry Ransom Rose. For the American years: San Francisco Zen Center, Crestone Mountain Zen Center, Sokoji Soto Zen Mission of San Francisco, Catrina Boni, Della Goertz, Pauline Petchey, Peter Schneider, and Dan Welch. For other photo help: Richard Baker, Rosalie Curtis, Christina Lehnherr, Ikki Nambara, Susan O'Connell, Bill Redican, Russell Smith, Jeannie Stern, Meiya Susan Wender, Michael Wenger. Special thanks to Robert Boni (rip). Every effort was made to identify photographers of photo inserts. Thanks to those not identified.

For design of the book: David Bullen. For the dingbat: Frances Thompson. Other graphics help: Mark Wiley and the folks at Sprint Copy Center in Sebastopol.

For various types of assistance or suggestions: Gil Fronsdal, Jane Hirshfield, Shozen Hosokawa, Dan Kaplan, Michele Lesure, Paul Maxwell, Misha Merrill, Jun Mink, Ikki Nambara, Brian Power, Diane Renshaw, Laurie Schley, Akemi Shinomiya, Steve Snyder, Shigematsu Soiku, Reiko Takahashi, Steve Tipton, Brian Unger, Betty Warren, Dan Welch, Celeste West of the San Francisco Zen Center Library, Daphne Woodall, and Shin Yoshifuku.

From Broadway Books: Rebecca Holland, Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich, Ted Sammons, and Rebecca Cole.

For finding errata: Donald Allen, Bernd Bender, Ahdel Chadwick (lots of it), Bob Halpern, Richard Jaffe, Rick Levine (lots), Andrew Main, Fran Miller, Jim Morton, David Padwa, Britton Pyland, Bill Redican, Neil Rubenking, Victor Sergeyev, Albert Mickey Stunkard, Liz Tuomi, J.J. Wilson.

And others whom I may have left out and who informed me of errata after the book came out which is recorded in the Errata section on - if not already added here.





My own memories of Suzuki-roshi's lectures and conversations with him and his other students, family, and acquaintances through the years are essential sources for this book. In addition, I have studied all the surviving transcripts of Suzuki's lectures (almost three hundred), including Marian Derby's original transcript of twenty-one lectures which led to Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (book and tapes, which I did not use as a source for quotes, though I reread and listened to them several times). I found other useful materials in the archives and library of the San Francisco Zen Center, such as board notes, letters, and brochures.

Most useful were the interviews: Peter Schneider's with Shunryu Suzuki in 1969 in English and others with Suzuki's oldest students in that year, and the interviews done by Peter and Jane Schneider and Carl and Fumiko Bielefeldt in 1971 and 1972 in San Francisco and in Yaizu, Japan, with the Suzuki family, Gen'ichi Amano, and Kojun Noiri. Fred Harriman's interviews in Japan in 1995 with Hoitsu Suzuki, Taro Kato, Tsuna Kato, and Kan Kimpara, Kyoko Furuhashi's interviews with Hoitsu Suzuki and Masaji Yamada in 1993, Kaz Tanahashi's interviews with Mitsu Suzuki, and other interviews and records of people's own memories in Wind Bell and in the San Francisco Zen Center's archives and other publications.

Aside from the family of Shunryu Suzuki, those whom I interviewed in Japan were Shoko and Noriko Okamoto of Zoun-in, Kando and Tomiko Sugiyama of Zuioji, Seison Suzuki, Jr., Kumataro and Mrs. Yamada, Masaji Yamada, Shunko Yamaguchi, Masao Yamamura, Kin'ichi Sugizaki, Takei Yuzo of Shoganji, Ryuho Yamada, and Sadayoshi Asaoka, Yasumasa Amada, and Yasuo Suetsune of the Takakusayama-kai (the High Grass Mountain Group).

In the course of writing this book I interviewed and informally talked to about 150 people in America, some of them a number of times for many hours and some of them for a few minutes. The following list includes the names of those people and an equal number who wrote to me, those who had memories printed in Wind Belland the Chronicles of Haiku Zendo, some whose stories from before this project I recalled, those whom I have heard speaking at meetings, those whose letters are collected in the San Francisco Zen Center archives, and those whose memories of Shunryu Suzuki came to my attention through someone else. A few of them never met Suzuki but relayed second-hand information on him or background information. Mark Abrams, Robert Aitken, Marc Alexander, Paul Alexander, Donald Allen, Jonathan Altman, Peg Anderson, Reb Anderson, Rusa Chiu Anderson, Frank Anderton, Antoinette Artino, Tony Artino, Tim Aston, Art Atkinson, John Bailes, Peter Bailey (rip), Richard Baker, Virginia Baker, Marty Balin, David Barrow (rip), Joshua Bear, Anna Beck, Bob Beck, Lucy Bennett, Bill Benz, Ken Berman, Layna Berman, Craig Boyan, Emma Bragdon, Jeff Broadbent, Annapurna Broffman (Georgianne Coffey), Ed Brown, Tim Buckley, Joanna Bull, Sterling Bunnell, Tim Burkett, Susan Burns, Katy Butler, Del Carlson, Ahdel Chadwick, Susan Chadwick, Kobun Chino, Milton Clapp III, Darlene Cohen, Don Collins, Bill Colvig, Kathy Cook, Peter Coyote, Linda Ruth Cutts, Arthur Dahl, Ananda Dalenberg, Dave Davenport, Gertrude Davenport, Kent Davis, Donn DeAngelo (Donnie Crockin), Lee deBarros, Arthur Deikman, Etta Deikman, Gene DeSmidt, Peter DiGesu, Lorraine Dieudonne, Paul Discoe, Ruthie Discoe, Mike Dixon, Pam Dixon, Trudy Dixon (rip), Issan Tommy Dorsey (rip), Margo Patterson Doss, Jane Dunaway, Jack Elias, Rick Fields, Jacob Fishman, Stephanie Flagg, Tim Ford, June French, Mark Frisch, Robert Front (Roovane Ben Yumin), Jerry Fuller (rip), Charles Gilman, Allen Ginsberg (rip), Della Goertz, Herb Gold, Jack Goldberg, Daya (Dianne) Goldschlag, Eva Goldsheid, Richard Gomez, Edmond Gordillo, Robert Halpern, Jerry Halpern, Gladys Halprin, Larry Hanson, Lou Harrison, Trudy Hartman, Blanche Hartman, Lou Hartman, Mitzi Hartman, Dave Hazelwood, Roy Henning, Pat Herreshoff, Harriet Hiestand, Barbara Hiestand (rip), Silas Hoadley, Ned Hoke, Niels Holm, Irene Horowitz, Liz Horowitz, Tony Johansen, Molly Jones, Barbara Kaiser, Dahlia Kamesar, Jack Kamesar, Dainin Katagiri (rip), Tomoe Katagiri, Wako Kato, Les Kaye, Mary Kaye, Fran Keller, Durand Kiefer, Fred Kimball, Richard King, Taiji Kiyokawa, Allen Klein, Howard Klein, Arnie Kotler, Margaret Kress, Rowena Pattee Kryder, Bill Kwong, Laura Kwong, Joanne Kyger, Myo Denis Lahey, Lewis Lancaster, Bill Lane, Paul Lee, Rick Levine, Mark Lewis, Yvonne Lewis, Jim Lewinson, Jed Linde, Maria Linde, Margo Locke, Juan Lopez, Dot Luce, David Lueck, Deborah Madison, Taizan Maezumi (rip), Andrew Main, Alan Marlowe (rip), Barrie Mason, Toni (Johansen) McCarty, Willard McCarty, Pat McFarlin, Grace McLeod, Chris Miller, Elsie Mitchell, Russ Mitchell, Reb Monaco, Daigyo Moriyama, Carolyn Morton, Jim Morton, Rick Morton, Kenji Muro, Michael Murphy, Toshiaka Nakahara, John Nelson, Koshin Ogui, Phil Ohlson, Ann Overton, Peter Overton, David Padwa, Caroline Page, Charles Page, Susan Page, Loring Palmer, Tony Patchell, Grahame Petchey, Pauline Petchey, Jerome Peterson, Rene Pettit, Pat Phelan, Brian Power, Larry Prager, Louise Pryor, Brit Pyland, Mary Quagliata, Yvonne Rand, Norman Randolf, Jerry Ray, Carole Raymond, Richard Raymond, Charles Reeder, Eric Remington, Amy Richmond, Lew Richmond, Doug Roberts, Sue Roberts, Fred Roscoe (rip), Nancy Roscoe, Harry Ransom Rose, Paul Rosenblum, Jean Ross (rip), Loly Rosset, Angie Runyon, Sue Satermo, Ed Sattizahn, Elizabeth Sawyer, Ken Sawyer, Jill Schireson, Jane Schneider, Peter Schneider, Kenneth Schnelle, Bob Shuman, Holly Schwarz, Mary Lou Schwarz, Charlotte Selver, Helen Seward, Henry Shafer, Ippo Shaku, Jim Shriner, Noboru Shumizu, Bill Shurtleff, David Silva, Amy Simpson, Bill Smith, Huston Smith, Gary Snyder, Mary Kate Spencer, John Steiner, Brother David Steindl-Rast, Jeanie Stern, Norman Stiegelmeyer, Will Stocker, Barton Stone, Erik Storlie, Steve Stroud, Teah Strozer, Albert Stunkard, Jim Sullivan, Kazuaki Tanahashi, Katherine Thanas, Frances Thompson, Steve Tipton, Al Tribe, Fran Tribe (rip), Ted Tripp, Elizabeth Tuomi, Helen Tworkov, Edward van Tassel, Jack van Allen, Helen Walker, Betty Warren, Bob Watkins, Sandy Watkins, Judyth Weaver, Steve Weintraub, Mel Weitsman, Dan Welch, Jack Weller, Bill Wenner, Philip Whalen, Gerald Wheeler, Stan White, David Whitaker, Wesley Williams, J.J. Wilson, Phillip Wilson, Stephen Wiltse, Marian (Derby) Wisberg, Daphne Woodall, Tom Wright, and Barbara Young.

Throughout the book I have referred to people by their real names. By necessity, many people who were close to Suzuki were left out, and a few people in the book are, to a small extent, composite characters: Yasuo Suetsune (who represents himself and Yasumasa Amada in the High Grass Mountain Group); and, in Part Two, George Hagiwara and Bob Halpern, Niels Holm, and me David Chadwick. Those instances are mostly pointed out in notes to this book.


Contributions of further memories and stories about Shunryu Suzuki, lost lecture tapes or transcripts, or financial support to help continue this archiving work may be sent to: Cuke Archives, PO Box 151471, San Rafael, CA 94109.