Why am I, a monk, reading Dostoevsky and world literature?" Articles - The Surprising Similarities Between Shinran and Dostoevsky

Shinran and Dostoevsky Shinran and Dostoevsky

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Why I, a Jodo Shinshu monk, study Dostoevsky - Summary 11 articles

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)Wikipedia.

Shinran and Dostoevsky.

A monk who lived from the late Heian to Kamakura periods, and on the other hand, a great writer representing 19th century Russia.

What if two people who seem to be completely unrelated actually have a significant connection?

As a Jodo Shinshu priest, I have studied the teachings of Shinran Shonin up to now.

And through my round-the-world trip in 2019, I was once again forced to consider the question, "What is religion and what is Buddhism?"

It was then that I met the writer Dostoevsky.

His masterpieceThe Brothers Karamazov.has shaken me to my core. I can no longer escape him. I must face Dostoevsky and reexamine what my path, Buddhism, is. That is how I felt.

This summary article describes such an encounter between me and Dostoevsky and why I, as a monk, must study Dostoevsky.

I would be happy to be a bridge between you and Shinran and Dostoevsky. So let's get started.

Around the World of Recollection - Is Religion a Man-Made Thing or...

The theme of my 2019 round-the-world trip was "What is Religion?

The key to solving this problem is human evolution, and I went to Tanzania to feel it.

Religion is an outgrowth of the human evolutionary process and has played a very significant role in mankind's survival in the natural world.

And as a result, the monotheistic religions that still exist today, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are polytheistic religions. Buddhism is of course one of them.

Religion was born to help mankind survive in the harsh natural world, and it has changed over the years to take the form it has today.

This was my most important hypothesis, which subsequently led me to visit sacred sites around the world.

However, during the trip, and even after returning home, there was a problem that just could not be solved.

It is,

Is religion really a human creation?"

This was the problem.

I understand that "human evolution gave birth to religion." However, the tough question, "Then is religion merely a human creation?" has become more and more present.

In other words, I have come to feel that there is something about trying to think too scientifically and rationally that could lead to the conclusion that everything is just "~~ is just 00.

For example, "Religion is just something created by man to create a strong group. Therefore, God is a human creation and does not exist in reality.

This article gives my thoughts on such questions.

Around the World of Recollection - Is Religion a Man-Made Thing or...

Aum Shinrikyo, the Temple, and Me: An Encounter with Dostoevsky

In one previous article, "Around the World in Reminiscence - Are Religions Created by Man or...?", I talked about how religions are not created by man, but are born from within man.

This article was a reiteration of the question, "What is religion to me?"

Then, after that article was uploaded, one person asked the following question, and this article was born.

If religions are born out of people, then so are new religions? If so, what are we to make of that incident at Aum?"

Yes, it is. This is a very important issue.

Let me rephrase this question by drawing it back to me,

What makes me any different from a parrot?"

The question becomes.

This is the problem I have suffered, and continue to suffer, from.

This article describes how I became connected to Dostoevsky.

Aum Shinrikyo, the Temple, and Me: An Encounter with Dostoevsky

Why I, a monk, study Dostoevsky - My encounter with Dostoevsky (1)

I have had problems with religion since I was in high school.

It was in Tokyo, as a university student, that I had my first encounter with Dostoevsky.

This article describes how it happened.

My Encounter with Dostoevsky (1) Why I, a monk, study Dostoevsky

The Shock of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov! What exactly is religion? My encounter with Dostoevsky (⑵)

I picked up "The Brothers Karamazov" under the guidance of a university professor I met at a bar in Nakano.

And I will be numb to the "Grand Inquisitor's chapter" in it.

Dostoevsky's lightning bolt fell on me as I was wondering, "What is religion?" and "What is the difference between Aum and me?"

I have come to know. There is no turning back now.

I can no longer live my life from now on ignoring the issues discussed in this chapter of the Grand Inquisitor.

This was the moment when a clear path was made for me, who had been vaguely wondering "what is religion" and "what is the difference between Aum and myself?

Will I be able to overcome this problem?

Is religion really what the Grand Inquisitor says it is?

This was the second origin of my study of religion.

My Encounter with Dostoevsky (2) "The Brothers Karamazov" and the Grand Inquisitor

My Round-the-World Journey, Don Quixote's Ideals, and Dostoevsky: My Encounter with Dostoevsky (3)

The Brothers Karamazov" had a strong impact on me when I was a university student. Although it left a strong impact on me, I was swallowed up by the busyness of my daily life and never got around to reading other Dostoevsky's works after that, and I became estranged from Dostoevsky.

The turning point for me came one summer night after my round-the-world trip.

It all started with an incident at a children's group at a temple.

This article is about my second encounter with Dostoevsky.

(My Encounter with Dostoevsky (3) Round-the-World Journey, Don Quixote's Ideals, and Dostoevsky

I am numb to Kobayashi Hideo's theory of reading! This is how I started reading Dostoevsky - my encounter with Dostoevsky⑷.

After the events at the children's party at the end of July, I began reading "The Brothers Karamazov" while simultaneously writing an article on the first circumnavigation of the world.

And right around that time, I was also reading a book called "On Reading" by Hideo Kobayashi while reading "The Brothers Karamazov.

Hideo Kobayashi was a literary figure active in the Showa period and is known as the "God of Criticism.

This book, "On Reading" is a collection of essays written by Hideo Kobayashi about reading.

At the time, I had no idea that this book by Kobayashi Hideo would lead me to seriously confront Dostoevsky.

My Encounter with Dostoevsky⑷ This is how I decided to go with my stomach - Hideo Kobayashi and Dostoevsky

What was Dostoevsky like? ~ Read the complete works of Dostoevsky

Read the complete works of Dostoevsky."

I decided to do so, but in fact, at that time I had no idea how large the complete works of Dostoevsky would be.

I immediately went to the stacks of the complete literature section of the library in Hakodate, where I live, and I couldn't help but moan, "Oh....

The complete works of Dostoevsky (Shinchosha edition) is in 27 volumes and one separate volume, for a total of 28 volumes.

I realized with my own eyes that in addition to famous works such as "The Brothers Karamazov," "Crime and Punishment," and "Evil Spirits," Dostoevsky left behind a tremendous number of other works.

In this article, we discuss our impressions as we went through the entire collection and our subsequent findings.

What was Dostoevsky like? ~ Read the complete works of Dostoevsky

Surprising similarities between Shinran and Dostoevsky: Echigo exile and Siberian exile

Shinran and Dostoevsky.

A monk who lived from the late Heian to Kamakura periods, and on the other hand, a great writer representing 19th century Russia.

What would you think if these two people who seem to have absolutely nothing in common are actually very similar?

In this article we discuss three commonalities between Shinran and Dostoevsky below.

Commonalities (1) Exile as a political prisoner as a young man.
Commonality (2) Encounters with the people in exile
Commonality 3) Thorough self-reflection. Demons of thought.

Surprising similarities between Shinran and Dostoevsky: Echigo exile and Siberian exile

What should I read in the Dostoevsky materials? -Who is Dostoevsky after all?

I started reading the complete works of Dostoevsky last August, but the first thing that troubled me when I started to learn about Dostoevsky was that I did not know where to start reading.

Dostoevsky is too famous, too huge a writer.

As a result, the number of books related to Dostoevsky was huge, and it was very difficult to know where to start.

The biographies I have on hand alone are nearly 10 books.

And even more troubling, the image of Dostoevsky portrayed in each book is different.

Some books may no longer feel like a different person.

This is likely due in large part to the way biographers write their stories and the different positions of the authors.

This article will consider the strange character of Dostoevsky, who is seen in different ways by different authors.

What should I read in the Dostoevsky materials? -Who is Dostoevsky after all?

Future blog updates - Why study Dostoevsky now? What do I want to do?

I have been updating my article on Dostoevsky since about April 2020.

For those who are not interested in Dostoevsky, this may be nothing but "? and those who are interested in Dostoevsky may wonder why I, a monk and a non-specialist, have to keep writing about Dostoevsky to this point.

In this article I talk again about why I study Dostoevsky and why I also study the works of Hugo, Zola, and other non-Dostoevsky writers.

Future blog updates - Why study Dostoevsky now? What do I want to do?

A word about my recent blog - why study war, oppression, and genocide - read Genshin's "Ouijaoshu" and the modern day tour of hell "Bloodland: The Truth About Hitler and Stalin's Genocide" ⑺.

Just this time last year I started writing articles on Dostoevsky on this blog. Many of you may have wondered why I, a monk, am blogging about Dostoevsky.

But after a long time, I'm sure many of you have gotten used to it (laughs).

But what does it mean to write about Dostoevsky and world literature, but a recent blog about Soviet history and the Russo-German war?

In fact, recently I have been getting a lot of "It's getting hard to read about the war and all the mass killings. Why do you have to go that far?

Indeed, we have been updating on Soviet history, the Russo-German War, and the Holocaust for some time now.

In this article I will tell you why I am learning about them and updating them on my blog.

Do you take up war, oppression, and genocide? Read Genshin's "Oujo-Yoshu" and a modern-day tour of hell, "Bloodland: The Truth About Hitler and Stalin's Massacres" ⑺.

Takahiro Ueda, "Dostoevsky and His Wife's Fateful Journey: Travels in Western Europe of Madness and Love" - A journey that traces a once-in-a-lifetime journey with his wife that changed the destiny of a great writer.

From early November to late December 2022, I traveled again to Europe.

Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

I visited these countries because they are associated with Dostoevsky, the great Russian writer. Dostoevsky and his wife, Anna, spent four years touring these countries. The main purpose of this trip is for me to follow in his footsteps.

I have been studying for three and a half years, starting in the summer of 2019, on the topic of Shinran and Dostoevsky. And as the culmination of this study, I planned this trip.

And this travelogue is more than just a travelogue. This travelogue is a hybrid of a biography of Dostoevsky. In other words, by reading it, you will learn about Dostoevsky's personality and his tumultuous life.

Dostoevsky is famous for his profound novels such as "Crime and Punishment" and "The Brothers Karamazov. You probably have an image of Dostoevsky as a "difficult, gloomy, and heavy novelist. In this travelogue, however, we will introduce to you a completely different image of Dostoevsky.

Dostoevsky, a hopeless man who kept making his wife cry because of his gambling addiction.

Dostoevsky, a loving wife.

Dostoevsky with his children.

Dostoevsky overcame his gambling addiction by getting the best partner.

Dostoevsky, who is good at coffee and grinding it.

A variety of Dostoevsky will be presented in this travelogue.

I love, love, love the dramatic journey of Dostoevsky and his wife Anna.

In fact, the main focus of this travelogue is not so much on Dostoevsky as on his wife, Mrs. Anna. I will talk about that in the article above, so please refer to the first article above first.

I tried to write this travelogue so that even those who know nothing about Dostoevsky can enjoy it. I tried to write this travelogue in such a way that even those who know nothing about Dostoevsky will be surprised to learn that the famous Dostoevsky was such a man! I hope you will be surprised to know who the famous Dostoevsky was.

My thoughts after "Dostoevsky's Journey" and future blog updates - in reply to the message to all visitors to this blog.

I like Dostoevsky. But above all, I love "Dostoevsky with Mrs. Anna. I would be very happy if the journey of these two men could be seen by as many people as possible.

After this, our blog will be updated with articles about Rome, but for me personally, I will now plunge into the study of Buddhism. Finally, I have returned to my main focus. I will be studying the history, thought, and culture of Buddhism along the route of its transmission from India, Asia, China, and Japan. My ultimate goal is to write a novel biography of Shinran Shonin. My research is now entering a new phase, and I have no regrets about my nearly four years of research on "Shinran and Dostoevsky.


These are the 13 articles we have presented.

Many of you may wonder why I, a Buddhist monk, only feature the works of Dostoevsky and other great writers from abroad in my blog, but I believe you will understand why after reading these articles.

For me, facing Dostoevsky is an essential process in learning about Shinran Shonin, the founder of Jodo Shinshu.

I am happy if this blog has been a place for you to meet Shinran Shonin, Dostoevsky, and other great writers from abroad.

The above is a summary of the article "Why Me, a Monk, Dostoevsky and World Literature? The surprising similarities between Shinran and Dostoevsky".

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