- an archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those who knew him.

check home for more links       what's new        bibliography         interviews        stories    excerpts/articles   DC Misc.  digressions and current events    Zen Aluminati       links             Library of Tibetan Works & Archives              comments                         and more if you look around 

A LETTER FROM BRIAN VICTORIA           Brian Victoria Page
March 27, 2005

Dear David,

How very nice to hear from you, old friend.  And how very nice to learn that both of us are still alive and 'kickin'!

And, of course, many thanks for thinking of me by placing the material on my books on your website.  Actually it should soon be easier to acquire a copy of "Zen at War" thanks to the fact that a new and enlarged 2nd edition is now under preparation at the publishing company of Rowman and Littefield in Boulder, CO. It should be out by mid-year at around $19.95.

The second edition is enlarged in the sense that it will contain a new concluding chapter entitled, "Was It Buddhism?"  In this chapter I make a first attempt to show that what happened in wartime Japan was the result of Zen(and Buddhism)'s longstanding history of subservience to the political rulers of the day, including China and reaching as far back as Emperor Ashoka in India.  This is hardly surprising  in light of the history of other world religions, but, of course, we would like "our Buddhism" to be the one exception!  Sorry to say. . .

At the moment I am a visiting professor of Asian Studies at SUNY Binghamton in outstate New York (through the end of May 2005).  While in the U.S. I have been giving a series of guest lectures at about a dozen universities on both coasts. One lecture is entitled: "'The Last Samurai' meets WWII: the Zen of Japanese Militarism" and the second even more provocative lecture is: "Religion Hijacked: The Universal Characteristics of Holy War."  Needless to say, the latter remains a 'hot topic' these days.

Look forward to hearing what you are up to.

In friendship,


                               Go to What's New