Activities


Exhibitions

The People around D. T. Suzuki

Feb.1,2018-Thu - Apr.22,2018-Sun

This Exhibition features the rich web of human relationships that characterized D.T. Suzuki’s life, focusing on Suzuki’s close friends and contemporaries and how they viewed his life and thought. Suzuki associated with a wide range of people of various occupations and social positions, and his achievements spanned a wide range of topics. His extensive activities, not bound in any way by fixed ideas, demonstrate the development of Suzuki’s thought throughout the course of his life. Among the people who admired and formed a relationship with Suzuki were artists and writers. Suzuki was not an artist as such, but many artists both in Japan and abroad were influenced by him. It was through his relationships with them that the characteristics of his extraordinary life developed.
―The artist's world is one of free creation, and this can come only from intuitions directly and im-mediately rising from the isness of things, unhampered by senses and intellect. He creates forms and sounds out of formlessness and soundlessness.―
D.T. Suzuki,“What is Zen?”in Zen and Japanese Culture  

Past Exhibitions



2017

YAFURYU-AN LETTER

Oct.4,2017-Wed - Jan.28,2018-Sun

“也風流[Yafuryu]” is a word from the Zen riddle, “不風流処也風流”*. The feeling of 風流furyu is not merely esthetical, it has also a religious signification. Daisetz T. Suzuki named his study “Yafuryu-an”, and wrote the name along with his name in his letters and in the introductions of his works. However, this name does not refer to a specific place. Wherever he lived, the basic style of his study was “a big desk and a kotatsu (foot warmer covered with a quilt) underneath”. “Yafuryu-an” meant any study where Suzuki was. This exhibition presents his letters written in “Yafuryu-an”, mostly letters to his relatives.

* Roughly speaking, this Zen riddle means “A completely bleak view is actually a form of an auspicious view. Tasteless places are also tasteful.

Sekai-Jin D.T.Suzuki

Jul. 20,2017-Thu - Oct. 1,2017-Sun

This Exhibition introduces various views relating to D. T. Suzuki and provides an opportunity to think about the way of living called Sekai-jin[world citizen]. Even after reaching the age of 79, Suzuki continued to give lectures in US, Britain, Germany, France, Mexico and India. Moreover, He wrote more than 30 books in English, as well as numerous works that were translated into many languages. Through his writings, people all over the world have learned about the Eastern and Japanese cultures. “I intend to be Japanese who is a sekai-jin[world citizen] at the same time.” Suzuki believed that Japan, as well as the East, had an important role to play in promoting the spiritual culture of the world. And realizing that the Japanese have to serve the world in that capacity, as a sekai-jin he threw himself into that role.

Love of Nature

Apr. 26,2017-Wed - Jun. 17,2017-Mon

Our exhibit is in keeping with the idea that Japanese people have the love of nature referred to by D.T. Suzuki.
He said that Nature has never been uncharitable to us, and Nature is not a kind of enemy to be brought under man’s power, and that our forefathers paid respect to nature, regarding it as a friend or companion. While referring to how our forefathers loved nature, Suzuki shows us, the people of modern society who are in crisis with regard to our relationship with nature, how we should regard it.
This museum provides an opportunity to think about nature while walking around its three SPACES and three GARDENS
【The Vestibule Garden, The Roji Garden, and The Water Mirror Garden】.


2016

Encounter D. T. Suzuki With An Open Mind 2017 Spring

Feb 1,2017-Wed - Apr 23,2017-Sun

The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM is an ideal place for visitors to deepen their understanding of the ideas and achievements of Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, a prominent Buddhist philosopher best known as D. T. Suzuki, and is also a place for self-reflection.
This EXHIBITION is not only intended to be a place for observing displays, but also as a place for visitors to encounter Suzuki with an open mind, so that they are inspired to contemplate their own thoughts.

“CONTEMPLATION and EXPERIENCE”

Nov. 16,2016-Wed - Jan.29,2017-Sun


Since its opening in 2011, the D.T. Suzuki Museum has had an agreement of cooperative affiliation with the Ishikawa NISHIDA KITARO Museum of Philosophy, and has featured “Suzuki and Nishida,” world-class thinkers and philosophers, to allow people both in Japan and abroad to learn more about them. Suzuki and Nishida were both born in Ishikawa Prefecture in the year 1870 and were classmates at Ishikawa the Fourth Higher Middle School , where they began a warm friendship that continued for the rest of their lives. The exhibition to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the cooperative affiliation focuses on the two men’s ties to the communities where they were brought up, as well as on the crucial keywords for both museums, “CONTEMPLATION” and “EXPERIENCE.” .

“Mu-Shin”

Jul. 27,2016-Wed - Nov. 13,2016-Sun


The concept of Mu-Shin (no-mind) was a constant theme throughout all of D.T.Suzuki’s thought. But It is difficult to translate “mushin” into English. Suzuki once used the word "no-mind", but he admitted that it was inaccurate. In addition, he often spoke of the difficulty of explaining Mu-Shin, whether in Japanese or in English. However, most of us have the experience of acting spontaneously and without thought, and may have noticed that things go unusually well such times. The exhibition introduces D. T. Suzuki’s thoughts on Mu-Shin, allowing us to re-experience the world of “mushin”. .

THE D.T. SUZUKI MUSEUM EXHIBITION O Wondrful !
Special Exhibition in Commemoration of The 50th Anniversary of
D. T. Suzuki’s Death

Apr 27,2016-Wed - Jul 24,2016-Sun

Praise of All Life

D. T. Suzuki died on July 12, 1966 at the age of 95. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Now that half a century has passed, the significance of Suzuki’s contribution to the dissemination of Japanese and Eastern culture and thought in the West is becoming increasingly apparent. He not only translated and explained the culture and thought, but he also used his thorough knowledge of Western and Eastern culture to create new values that everyone could share. In this Exhibition entitled “O Wonderful !”, we present Suzuki’s message about Myo, and his thoughts and way of life, which are still alive today.

2015

Beyond Master and Pupil

Aug 19,2015-Wed - Nov 8,2015-Sun

“From a metaphysical standpoint I like the term myo (wonderful, marvelous, subtle), whereas Yanagi, from an aesthetic standpoint, prefers the term bi (beauty).” ( D. T. Suzuki, “Myo ni tsuite” in The Eastern Way of Thinking )
D.T.Suzuki(1870-1966)and Yanagi Soetz (real name: Yanagi Muneyoshi,1889-1961)――-the two met in 1909, when Suzuki was 39 years old and Yanagi was 20. Yanagi demonstrated talent in various fields from his early years; he joined Naoya Shiga and Saneatsu Mushanokoji in founding the art and literary magazine SHIRAKABA, and later promoted MINGEI (folk crafts) and was a trailblazer in the Japanese folk crafts movement (Mingei Undo), along with artists such as Shoji Hamada and Bernard Howell Leach. Yanagi also did remarkable work in the field of philosophy. In addition, Yanagi helped Suzuki establish friendships with many people. Both Suzuki and Yanagi were involved in the dissemination of cultures and thoughts of the East into the West, and shared an outlook that transcended the difference of not only East and West but also all other opposing things. This Exhibiton, featuring calligraphy and writings by Suzuki and Yanagi,explored their perspective that transcended relativity.

D. T. Suzuki’s Hope: Peace & Liberty

Apr 22,2015-Wed - Aug 16,2015-Sun

Seventy years after World War II, this exhibition provides an occasion to consider our problems in modern society with the help of the words of Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966), through his calligraphy, books and photos. D. T. Suzuki contributed to the dissemination of Japanese and the Eastern culture and thought in the West, and maintained an outolook that transcended the East and the West. Generally the word “liberty” or “freedom” is translated into the Japanese word jiyū(自由). However he says that jiyū cannot be realized if it is regarded as being a release or escape from constraint, since when we think of getting away from something, our mind localizes on that thing, so we cannot be truly free from it. Suzuki explains the importance of the state in which the mind is not obsessed with anything. Thus, he gives guidelines for attaining Peace and Liberty.

Encounter D. T. Suzuki With An Open Mind

Jan 28,2015-Wed - Apr 19,2015-Sun

The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM is an ideal place for visitors to deepen their understanding of the ideas and achievements of Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, a prominent Buddhist philosopher best known as D. T. Suzuki, and is also a place for self-reflection.
This EXHIBITION is not only intended to be a place for observing displays, but also as a place for visitors to encounter Suzuki with an open mind, so that they are inspired to contemplate their own thoughts.

2014

D. T. Suzuki’s Living ZEN : Zen & Japanese Culture -

Nov 6,2014-Tur - Jan 25,2015-Sun

The word “Zen” is presently recognized throughout the world. “Zen” is the Japanese reading of the character 禅, pronounced “Chan” in the original Chinese; “Zen” became the generally accepted reading because the first books to introduce Zen to the West used Japanese pronunciations. Among Suzuki’s most notable achievements were introducing Zen to the world and indicating Zen’s influence on Japanese culture.

After awakening to the universal nature of Zen—that is, to Zen as a truth equally valid for people throughout the world—D. T. Suzuki devoted the rest of life to lecturing in America, England, Mexico, India, and elsewhere, and to producing a body of written work in English and Japanese that may rightly be regarded as a modern Zen canon.  Suzuki’s teaching was not limited to his lectures and writings, however. His spontaneous and insightful responses during conversations inspired countless people, and even today are widely remembered as examples of Suzuki’s “Living Zen.” Suzuki’s introduction of Zen to the West, which might be characterized as a development from “禅” to “Zen,” was, in effect, a process of recreating Zen for a world that had never known it before. Since then Zen has gone on to produce new cultural expressions in many lands. Introducing Suzuki’s Living Zen to the world is the fundamental mission of the D. T. Suzuki Museum.

The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM Third Anniversary Exhibition
Nishida Kitaro and D. T. Suzuki
 -The Genealogy of Two Great Thinkers-

July 16,2014-Wed - Nov 3,2014-Mon

Nishida Kitarō, Philosopher (1870-1945)

Nishida Kitarō and D. T. Suzuki were both born in Ishikawa Prefecture in the year 1870 and were classmates at Ishikawa the Fourth Higher Middle School (currently Kanazawa University), where they began a warm friendship that continued for the rest of their lives.
Nishida and Suzuki shared many intellectual interests. Both became interested from an early age in the practice of Zen meditation, through which they achieved a profound understanding of traditional Asian spirituality. From there Nishida embarked a thoroughgoing inquiry into the essentials of Western thought through his study Western philosophy, from its Greek beginnings to its modern manifestations, while Suzuki resided abroad for many years experiencing everyday life and exploring Western thought.
The present exhibition is a sequel to the 2012 exhibit “Nishida Kitarō and D. T. Suzuki,” which featured the long friendship and cooperation between these two great thinkers. This year’s event examines the philosophical background shared by Nishida and Suzuki and introduces several later thinkers who were most influenced by them.

Daisetz Tsurezuregusa (Suzuki's “Essays in Idleness”)

Apr 23,2014-Wed - July 13,2014-Sun

The name of the present exhibition comes from the title of a book published by Suzuki in 1966, the year of his death. The book, Daisetz Tsurezuregusa (Suzuki’s “Essays in Idleness”), is a collection of short reflections that convey the distilled essence of Suzuki’s thought, following the pattern of the classic medieval essay collection Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness), by Yoshida Kenkō (1283?-1352?).
The contents of Suzuki’s book, which center on a series of articles serialized in Japanese newspapers during the 1960s, range from musings on Buddhism to comments on current events. Even now they speak to us of the strong interest in the affairs of the world that Suzuki maintained throughout his long life.
Suzuki’s words offer a quiet hint for us as we attempt to live life more deeply. The present exhibition, in presenting Daisetz Tsurezuregusa, offers some “idle”- although hardly idle- moments for quiet reflections of our own.

2013

The People Around D. T. Suzuki

Dec 4,2013-Wed - Apr 20,2014-Sun

The present exhibition features the rich web of human relationships that characterized D. T. Suzuki’s life, focusing on Suzuki’s close friends and contemporaries and how they viewed his life and thought. Suzuki associated with a wide range of people of various occupations and social positions, and his achievements spanned a wide range of topics. His extensive activities, not bound in any way by fixed ideas, demonstrate the development of Suzuki’s thought throughout the course of his life.
Among those who supported and associated with Suzuki were a number of successful entrepreneurs, among them Ataka Yakichi , president of Ataka Sangyō; Nomura Yōzō, owner of the Yokohama Hotel New Grand; Idemitsu Sazō, president of Idemitsu Kōsan Co.; Matsukata Saburō, chairman of Kyodo News; Narahara Ryōichirō, president of Furukawa Mining; Hatakeyama Issei, president of the Ebara Corp.; and, in America, Cornelius Crane, president of Crane Plumbing. Over the course of many years such individuals assisted Suzuki’s work in numerous ways, not so much as formal patrons but rather as devoted friends.
Suzuki’s relations with these and other figures contributed much to the realization of the many exceptional achievements that characterized his unusual life.

The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM Second Anniversary Exhibition
D. T. Suzuki and Yanagi Sōetsu

Oct 2,2013-Wed - Dec 1,2013-Sun

The D.T. Suzuki Museum’s exhibition for autumn 2013 focuses on the philosophical discourse between D. T. Suzuki (1870-1966) and Yanagi Sōetsu (1889-1961).
Yanagi first met D. T. Suzuki when he studied English under Suzuki at Gakushūin Senior High School in Tokyo. After graduation he maintained contact with Suzuki, corresponding on various subjects of scholarly interest. Their friendship deepened in the late 1940s, following WWII.
Although Yanagi is best known as a leader in the Japanese folk art movement(Mingei Undo) and the founder of the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum (Nihon Mingeikan), he is also remembered for his important contributions to the field of philosophy. Yanagi and Suzuki, sharing an outlook that transcended east and west, worked together to introduce to the western world the central ideas of East Asian culture and thought, such as the Zen concept of “no-mind” (mushin). In the realm of Buddhist studies, Yanagi, inspired by Suzuki, investigated not only Zen but also the Pure Land schools. He and Suzuki, for example, were among the first Buddhist scholars to research the Pure Land lay mystics known as myōkōnin.
Suzuki described Yanagida as “a man of genius,” and placed absolute trust in him. It was his plan to have Yanagi succeed him as head of the Matsugaoka Library, but unfortunately Yanagi predeceased Suzuki by five years.
The present exhibition, featuring calligraphy and writings by the Suzuki and Yanagi, explores the philosophical ties between the two.

Encounter D. T. Suzuki With An Open Mind

July 24,2013-Wed - Sep 29,2013-Sun

The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM is an ideal place for visitors to deepen their understanding of the ideas and achievements of Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, a prominent Buddhist philosopher best known as D. T. Suzuki, and is also a place for self-reflection.
This EXHIBITION is not only intended to be a place for observing displays, but also as a place for visitors to encounter Suzuki with an open mind, so that they are inspired to contemplate their own thoughts.

D.T. Suzuki's Teaching of Zen

Apr 24,2013-Wed - July 21,2013-Sun

The word “Zen” is presently recognized throughout the world. “Zen” is the Japanese reading of the character 禅, pronounced “Chan” in the original Chinese; “Zen” became the generally accepted reading because the first books to introduce Zen to the West used Japanese pronunciations. The most important figure in this early dissemination of the Zen tradition to the Western world was D.T. Suzuki, some of whose many contributions are featured in this exhibition. D.T. Suzuki’s interests were not limited to Zen, but ranged widely from ancient Indian Buddhism to the Japanese Pure Land tradition of the myōkōnin. In the West, however, Zen remains the tradition that Suzuki is most strongly identified with. Zen became especially popular in America from the latter part of the 1950s, a decade when Suzuki, although well into his eighties, was delivering lively Zen lectures at various universities abroad. Suzuki’s teaching was not limited to his lectures and writings, however. In his many direct exchanges with Westerners his spontaneous and insightful responses inspired countless people, and even today are widely remembered as examples of Suzuki’s “Living Zen.” Maintaining this vital message is the D.T. Suzuki Museum’s fundamental mission.

2012

Commemorating the First Anniversary of the Cooperative Affiliation of the Ishikawa NISHIDA KITARO Museum of Philosophy and The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM

Nishida Kitaro and D.T. Suzuki

Nov 30,2012-Wed - Apr 21,2013-Sun

Nishida Kitaro, Philosopher (1870-1945)
Nishida Kitaro and D.T. Suzuki were both born in Ishikawa Prefecture in the year 1870 and were classmates at The Fourth Higher Middle School (currently Kanazawa University), where they began a warm friendship that continued for the rest their lives.
The exposition commemorates the first anniversary of the cooperative affiliation between the Ishikawa NISHIDA KITARO Museum of Philosophy and The D.T. SUZUKI MUSEUM with a display of writings by these two great thinkers, illuminating the relationship between them and emphasizing the intellectual background that influenced their development.

The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM First Anniversary Exhibition
Sengai and D. T. Suzuki

Sep 5,2012-Wed - Nov 25, 2012-Sun

Sengai Gibon 仙厓義凡(1750-1837),famous for his witty, skillfully rendered ink paintings, was an influential master in the Kogetsu line of the Rinzai Zen school.
Suzuki had great respect for Sengai. One of his favorite of all of the master’s paintings was Sengai’s famous “Circle, Triangle, Square” (○△□) painting, an enigmatic work that, lacking an accompanying inscription by Sengai, is open to various interpretations. In Suzuki’s view it represents the entire universe, consisting of the Absolute (circle), form (triangle), and phenomena (square). The painting inspired Suzuki to take up his brush and write △□不異○, a playful combination of Sengai’s symbols and regular Chinese characters to express one of the most famous phrases from the Heart Sutra, “Form is no different than emptiness. “
Suzuki’s reflections on the meaning of Sengai’s work formed an important element of his thought during the final years of his life.
The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM’s First anniversary Exhibition emphasized Suzuki’s spiritual ties with Sengai. The exhibition displayed fifteen of Sengai’s painting; the leaflet list Suzuki’s titles for the works. The paintings were displayed with Suzuki’s commentaries, providing an insightful window on his views of Zen philosophy and practice.

The Mushin (No-Mind) Exhibition of The D. T. SUZUKI MUSEUM

Apr 24, 2012-Tue - Jul 29, 2012-Sun

Based on "Mushin to iukoto" which is Daisetz’s work when he was 69year old, his own handwriting calligraphy and the photograph panels shows, under the three themes on "What is Mushin?", "Beyond a Finger", and "The State of No-Thought: Apple".

2011

Commemorative Exhibition on the Opening of The D.T. SUZUKI MUSEUM

Oct 18,2011-Tue - Apr 22,2012-Sun

This Exhibition shows Daisetz’s own handwriting works with a focus on calligraphy, under the three themes on “D.T.Suzuki’s way of Zen”,”Activity in the East and West”, and “Not to localize or partialize the mind”.