Lecture on D.T. Suzuki’s 1950 Visit to L.A.

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Shinshu Center of America will present a public lecture, “D.T. Suzuki Visits the City of the Angels, 1950,” by Rev. Wayne Yokoyama on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. at Higashi Honganji Los Angeles Betsuin, 505 E. Third St. (at Central Avenue) in Little Tokyo.

D.T. Suzuki and Rev. Wayne Yokoyama

In February 1950, D.T. Suzuki, at age 80, arrived in Los Angeles. This was the beginning of his final long stay in America until he returned to Japan in 1959 at age 88. During this time, he completed his lifelong mission to introduce Buddhism to the West.

Although Suzuki, who died in 1966 at age 95, is famous as the author of “Zen and Japanese Culture,” he was deeply connected to Higashi Honganji and for several years worked closely with Rev. Ensho Ashikaga. His bold mission has inspired a new SCA project to publish books on Buddhism.

Rev. Yokoyama was born in Wahiawa, Oahu, in 1948 and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles and Otani University in Kyoto, both with Rev. Nori Ito. He was ordained as a Shinshu Otani-ha minister and is a lecturer at Hanazono University, a Zen college in Kyoto.

According to his self-introduction, he was dismissed twice from the Eastern Buddhist Society; was dismissed once and reinstated at Matsugaoka Bunko, a Buddhist library in Kamakura; was the “unknown translator” of Shinmon Aoki’s “Coffinman,” the basis of the movie “Departures”; was the “ghost editor” of two volumes each of Suzuki’s and Soga Ryojin’s writings; and is the leading researcher on Suzuki’s stay in Hawaii in 1949.

A discussion will follow the lecture. The event is free and open to the public. Parking available. For more information, call (213) 621-4064 or email [email protected]

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