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Ikkyū Sōjun

Ikkyu (一休宗純 Ikkyū Sōjun) (1394-1481) was an eccentric, iconoclastic Japanese Zen Buddhist priest, poet and calligrapher. He was born as an illegitimate son of Emperor Go-Komatsu and was forced to become a priest in his childhood. He was one of the influential figures in establishing the Japanese tea ceremony as the mentor of its early master.


  • That stone buddha deserves all the bird droppings it gets
    I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind.
  • Natural, reckless, correct skill;
    Yesterday's clarity is today's stupidity
    The universe has dark and light, entrust oneself to change
    One time, shade the eyes and gaze afar at the road of heaven.
  • Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
    A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
    Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
    Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.
    • A Fisherman
  • It has the original mouth but remains wordless;
    It is surrounded by a magnificent mound of hair.
    Sentient beings can get completely lost in it
    But it is also the birthplace of all the Buddhas of the ten thousand worlds.
    • A Woman's Sex
  • Eight inches strong, it is my favourite thing;
    If I'm alone at night, I embrace it fully -
    A beautiful woman hasn't touched it for ages.
    Within my fundoshi there is an entire universe!
    • A Man's Root
  • From the world of passions returning to the world of passions:
    There is a moment's pause.
    If it rains, let it rain, if the wind blows, let it blow.
  • Anybody can enter the Budda's world so few can step into the devil's.

See also

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