The temple where Shunryu Suzuki was born and spent his childhood. In Hiratsuka not far from Yokohama.

Bill Schwob's photo - see it and another below larger

Shoganji in Crooked Cucumber

Suzuki lecture mentioning Shoganji

Below - more on Shoganji and Mark Petchey who made this video.



Photo of the hondo.

Individual film links marked with 🎥 below are to download and play on your own device. It's easier to watch them on YouTube. (This video is poor quality.)

🎥 Shoganji - video by Mark Petchey made ca 1998.

🎥 Shoganji Slide Show


Photos of Shoganji

Two from Bill Schwob below

Stills from the video start here


Thanks Mark Petchey

🎥 See video of Japan festival street scene with Mark walking along now and then.

Just the few cuts from that video 🎥 with Mark

Here's the YouTube Shoganji playlist for this video - easier to use.

Mark Petchey, son of early Suzuki disciple Grahame Petchey and Hideko Oga, lives with his parents in Sebastopol, CA. He had a traumatic brain injury not long after this film was made.

DC note to Hideko Oga and Shoganji material in Japanese - JP and English.

Flyer from Shoganji Note on it says Butsumon Sogaku died November 22nd, Showa 8 (1933) - a note I took while in the founder's hall with the markers of past priests. Added this date to Suzuki chronology.

Bill Schwob's photos of Shoganji are from this page with more on Bill.
Now Bill's temple photos are also on this site here.


Shoganji in
Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki


Childhood - Chapter One of  - setting is Shoganji

Ch 2 Master and Disciple


While not huge, Zoun-in was much larger and more impressive than Shoganji.


Many mornings he'd go back to sleep, and his eyes would next open when he heard the sounds of the Heart Sutra coming from the buddha hall--"*Kanjizai bosatsu gyo jin hannya haramita ... ." At Shoganji he'd heard his father chant that alone in the mornings and with others in ceremonies.


In 1919, when Shunryu was fifteen, Sogaku and Yone killed the deal with So-on and took their son back to Shoganji from Rinso-in. This time Shunryu had agreed, as had So-on. In the minds of Shunryu's parents, maybe he'd get Zoun-in down the road and maybe he wouldn't, but it wasn't worth sacrificing him for it.


Ch 3 - Higher Education


In April 1924 Shunryu Suzuki was almost twenty. Having skipped his last year at Kaisei, he was now a junior at the Soto preparatory school in Tokyo, living in the dorm and studying hard. In terms of age, he was still way behind because of all the time he'd spent serving So-on and helping with the two temples. But that was not considered a handicap. This school was attached to the Soto college, where Soto Zen monks from all over Japan came to get the degrees now required by the government.

Shoganji wasn't far away.


On August 21, 1926, in a private ceremony at Rinso-in, Shunryu Suzuki received *shiho, dharma transmission, from So-on. So-on wanted Shunryu and his family to be responsible for Zoun-in, and the ceremony authorized the transfer.



This was a big event for Sogaku as well. He retired as abbot of Shoganji, leaving it to a priest from Shizuoka, and finally moved with his wife, Yone, and daughter Aiko back to Zoun-in to be *inkyo, retired master. So-on was still the abbot of Zoun-in in name, but Shunryu's family resided there and was in charge.


Ch. 5 - Temple priest


Even though Buddhist priests had been getting married since the previous century, it was still controversial. When Shunryu's parents were married, it was legal for priests to do so, but the prohibition against women being lodged in temples was still part of the Soto regulations when he was born at Shoganji.


End matter


Acknowledged Takei Yuzo, priest of Shoganji for assistance.