Miura Isshu, Zen teacher, Hakuin Rinzai line, dies at 75. The author of "The Zen Koan" along with Ruth Fuller Sasaki.
Ruth Fuller Sasaki (Oct. 31, 1892-Oct. 24, 1967), born Ruth Fuller, was an important figure in the development of Buddhism in the United States. As Ruth Fuller Everett (during her first marriage),she met and studied with D. T. Suzuki in Japan in 1930. In 1938, she became a principal supporter of the Buddhist Society of America (later known as the First Zen Institute of America), in New York. She married Sokei-an, the Zen priest in residence there, in 1944, but he died within a year. She went to Kyoto in 1949 to find another roshi to live and teach in New York, to complete translations of key Zen texts, and to pursue her own Zen training, receiving sanzen from Goto Zuigan. She stayed in Kyoto for most of the rest of her life, becoming in 1958 the first foreigner to be a priest of a Rinzai Zen temple, and the only westerner, and the only woman, yet to be a priest of a Daitoku-ji temple. She was careful to record, however, that she did not perform the usual duties of a priest, "because I was a foreigner, a woman, untrained in temple procedures, and because I needed the years left me to carry on the work of spreading Zen to the west."nbsp;Sasaki was instrumental in the translations into English of many Zen texts. One of the most important was Zen dust; the history of the koan and koan study in Rinzai (Lin-chi) Zen, published in 1966 by her own First Zen Institute. In 2006, Snyder wrote, "Her writings from the sixties were ahead of their time and remain accurate and relevant."