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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 4.2 (2021): 535–543;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wheel that Crossed the Borders: Buddhist and Non-Buddhist Religions)

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Reischauer, Edwin O., trans. Ennin’s Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law. New York: The Ronald Press Company. Reprint. New York: Angelico Press, 2020. Pbk. $22.95
Reischauer, Edwin O. Ennin’s Travels in T’ang China. New York: The Ronald Press Company. Reprint. New York: Angelico Press, 2020. Pbk. $22.95

University of Saskatchewan

Every library that does not own copies of the original 1955 printing of these two volumes must purchase reprinted editions of Edwin O. Reischauer’s (1910–1990) two books about Ennin 円仁 (794–864), a Japanese Buddhist monk and pilgrim who journeyed to China from 838–847. Among the many reasons why academics and educators worldwide should be especially grateful to Valerie Hansen (Stanley Woodward Professor of History, Yale University) for leading the project to have Reischauer’s two marvelous books about Ennin republished by Angelico Press more than six decades after these monographs were first published is that, unfortunately, it very well may be the case that not enough has changed in our teaching curricula to assuage Reischauer’s rationale for writing about Ennin in the mid-twentieth century. In Ennin’s Travels In T’ang China (3), Reischauer wrote:

The Venetian’s account of his wanderings, by stirring men’s imaginations, helped to shape the course of history, while Ennin’s record of his travels has gone virtually unread and unknown to this day. Yet Ennin long preceded the Italian to that great land and left what is in some ways an even more remarkable record of his peregrinations. The illiterate Marco Polo, years after his travels were over, recounted his adventures orally and in broad and sometimes hazy outline, but Ennin’s day-to-day diary of his varied experiences is a unique document
for its time in world history.


About the Author: George Keyworth received his B.A. (Honors) in Chinese and Asian Studies and M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He received his Ph.D. in Chinese Buddhist Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Keyworth was an Assistant Professor of East Asian Religions at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) from 2001–2006, followed by three years as a researcher in Kyoto, Japan, from 2006–2009. In 2011, Dr. Keyworth joined the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada as an Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies and East Asian Religions. After receiving tenure in 2017, Dr. Keyworth transferred to the Department of History as an associate professor, teaching courses in the areas of premodern Chinese and Japanese history, Asian Studies, the history of religion in East Asia, and comparative manuscript studies. Dr. Keyworth has published several articles on topics ranging from Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) Chinese Chan Buddhism and the figure of Juefan Huihong 覺範惠洪 (1071–1128); Japanese pilgrims to Song China (e.g., Jōjin 成尋 [1011–1081]); apocryphal Chinese Buddhist scriptures and the particular case of the Shoulengyan jing 首楞嚴經 (*Śūraṃgama-sūtrano. 945) using Chinese and Khotanese Sanskrit sources from Dunhuang; esoteric Buddhism in Tang (618–907) and Song China; Zen Buddhism in Edo (1603–1868) Japan and the figures of Xinyue Xingchou 心越興儔 (Shin’etsu Kōchū, 1639–1696) and Kakumon Kantetsu 覚門貫徹 (d. 1730); and old Japanese manuscript Buddhist canons (issaikyō 一切経), especially from Nanatsudera 七寺 the Matsuo shrine 松尾社 canon kept at Myōrenji. He is currently working on two books, tentatively titled: Zen and the Literary Arts and Copying for the Kami: A Study and Catalog of the Matsuo Shrine Buddhist Canon. He has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada to support his research projects. He has also supervised M.A. students who wrote theses on topics ranging from modern religion in China and Japan to early modern Daoism.


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