Buddhism to Save the World
Daisetsu Suzuki is one of the most respected Buddhist philosopher in Japan even today.
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (October 18, 1870 – July 12, 1966) was a Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin that were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West. Suzuki was also a prolific translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit literature. Suzuki spent several lengthy stretches teaching or lecturing at Western universities, and devoted many years to a professorship at Otani University, a Japanese Buddhist school.Daisetsu is well known as a person who introduced Buddhism in the upper society of the U.S.
One day he made a speech in Japan. He said that he had never seen money when he was a child.
In those days everybody practiced bill-and-hold trade in their daily life, especially in local places in Japan. General shops and country stores in a village and a local town before WWII usually sold goods and commodities on credit. People settled accounts once in a year, or usually at the end of the year.
So, children in a village went on an errand without holding coins and sometimes with vague notion about what to buy. But a shop owner could find what the child wanted. So, he handed goods precisely his or her family wanted. Such a shop owner even knew what state each family nearby was in. Then he put it down into a book to collect money at the end of the year.
So, most of local people lived in close human relationships in Japan. Japanese villages were places to grow and harvest rice mostly. People ate rice with vegetables, fish and some other animal protein though the Japanese Buddhism forbade meat eating. The land tax was paid with rice in the samurai era. However money economy was also active in big cities such as Edo (Tokyo), Kyoto, and Osaka.
But in a local village where Daisetsu was raised, money was a rare thing for children even in the late 19th century.
Daisetsu Suzuki continued his speech, saying that the Empire of Japan failed in WWII since it had adopted the German philosophy when it abolished the samurai rule and opened the nation to the world in the 1860s. He continued that someday the world would be stalled if people continued to rely on Western philosophy as the Empire of Japan had experienced.
After WWII, Japanese people switched their philosophical base from the German ideals to the American style of democracy based on the American Christianity. It has worked so far well. But even the US would be lost in maze of complicated situations in the modern society. Japan would follow suit.
If Japan borrowed any Western philosophy, it should be driven to the wall. Someday, Japan will have to pay for its easy introduction of foreign philosophy on credit.
So, Daisetsu emphasized that oriental ideas or the ideals of the East would be needed and wanted in future.
But India has lost Buddhism for 1000 years or more; Chinese has been brainwashed by Western communism and then capitalism without democracy.
Of course, various schools of Buddhism are preserved and practiced by some other people in South East Asia in addition to Tibetans and some other tribes in the east of the Indus River. And Japan is the largest Asian country that keeps and practices its own version of Buddhism today though Japanese are living in the very Westernized and advanced society.
Put simply, in this context, you can still expect Japan to exert its cultural potential to contribute to salvation of the world, spiritually and materially, as it did in the 20th century when it became the first non-European leading power in the world.
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Mat 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.