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Third Zen Bunka Prize

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Date 2009/9/2
Details During the ceremony in 2009 celebrating the forty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Institute for Zen Studies, Zen Bunka Encouragement Prizes were awarded to the Rinzai-kai (Rinzai Association) and the Rinzai-shū Seinensō no Kai (Rinzai-School Young Priests Association). No Zen Bunka Distinguished Service Prizes were awarded on this occasion.
Rinzai-kai:  In October, 1949, when social conditions were still chaotic in postwar Japan, a group of Rinzai-school priests, primarily from the Tokyo area, gathered together to form the Rinzai-kai, a new organization dedicated to Zen education. In 1950 it began publication of the Buddhist quarterly Hōkō (“The Light of the Dharma,” a revival of a prewar journal), which has appeared without interruption ever since. Their bulletin, Rinzai Kaihō, has been published continuously since 1966, the same year that the Rinzai-kai began its annual Zen lecture series “Zen o Kiku Kōen-kai” (Listen to Zen Lectures) and Zen meditation programs. The motto of the organization has always been the traditional Zen saying “Kyakka shōkō,” literally, “Watch carefully what’s under your own feet”: be aware of the reality of where you yourself stand, and act from there.
Rinzai-shū Seinensō no Kai:  The Rinzai-shū Seinensō no Kai was formed in 1980 by a group of young Rinzai-school priests from all over Japan who wished to apply their youthful energy toward addressing the problems facing Buddhism today, with an emphasis on creating a communications network to facilitate the dissemination and exchange of information between its members. Towards that goal they publish a newsletter, Fuji (Nonduality), maintain an active website, and conduct annual workshops on issues relating to the operation of temples, the religious education of the laity, and continuing Zen education for the Zen priesthood. The organization has strengthened ties between its members, facilitating cooperative efforts to develop management and teaching skills and improve conditions in the surrounding communities.