Education About Asia: Online Archives

Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen, and the West

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Shoji Yamada’s Shots in the Dark is a smart book that offers a new perspective on the thriving project of unmasking false representations of Zen culture. A well-crafted work of clarity and logic, Shots challenges the common notion of Zen-as-the-embodiment-ofJapanese essence by historically deconstructing two of Zen’s most potent international emblems. The first of these is the long-accepted sagacity of Eugen Herrigel, author of Zen in the Art of Archery, the other is the aesthetic perfection of the quintessentially Zen rock garden at Ryōanji temple in Kyoto.