The Lotus Sutra--one of the most popular Buddhist classics--is here accessibly introduced by one of its most eminent scholars.
"Soon after entering university in December of 1943, I was sent to the front as a student soldier. I wondered if I were allowed to bring but a single book on the trip, possibly to my death, which would I want to bring. It was the Lotus Sutra" -- from the author's Preface. Having developed a lifelong appreciation of the Lotus Sutra -- even carrying a dog-eared copy with him through service in World War II -- Yoshiro Tamura sought to author an introduction to this beloved work of Buddhist literature. Tamura wanted it to be different than other basic explorations of the text; his introduction would be plain-spoken, relevant and sensitive to modern concerns, and well-informed by contemporary scholarship. He succeeded marvelously with Introduction to the Lotus Sutra, which Gene Reeves -- Tamura's student and translator of the popular English edition of The Lotus Sutra -- translates and introduces in English for the first time here. Tackling issues of authenticity in the so-called "words of Buddha," the influence of culture and history on the development of the Lotus Sutra, and the sutra's role in Japanese life, Introduction to the Lotus Sutra grounds this ancient work of literature in the real, workaday world, revealing its continued appeal across the ages.
Michio Shinozaki is a long-time member of Rissho-Kosei Kai, a popular Japanese lay Buddhist organization, and president of the Rissho Kosei-kai Gakurin Seminary in Tokyo. Shinozaki has authored numerous articles on Japanese Buddhist practice for English speaking members of the organization.
"Learned yet accessible, this Introduction to the Lotus Sutra provides an elegant historical, textual, and philosophical overview of key aspects of the background, translation, and development of lived communities centered around what is arguably the most widely disseminated scripture of Mahayana Buddhism."
– Mark Unno, editor of Buddhism and Psychotherapy
"Tamura offers a gentle and reflective introduction the history of Buddhism, the substance of the Lotus, and the roles of its followers. His teaching nourishes us like the single flavor of the rain falling on all living beings."