Martin Collcutt is a professor of East Asian studies and history at Princeton University, where he teaches Japanese intellectual and cultural history. He also has a particular interest in the introduction and development of the monastic practice in Japanese Rinzai Zen. In the 1960s he studied and practiced Zen in Japan and met Morinaga Roshi at Daishuin in Kyoto. Subsequently he served as Roshi's interpreter on some of his visits to the United States and England. His academic background in Japanese Zen and his personal and longstanding involvement with Morinaga Roshi and his teaching makes Professor Collcutt's informative introduction a valuable contribution to the understanding of this classic text.
Soko Morinaga, was head of Hanazono University and abbot of Daishu-in in Kyoto, one of the twenty-four sub-temples of Daitoku-ji. After finding himself adrift following World War Two, he took up Zen training at Daishuin under Goto Zuigan, formerly abbot of Myoshin-ji and at that time abbot of Daitoku-ji. Morinaga later became the Dharma successor to Oda Sesso Roshi, becoming head monk of Daitoku-ji. He taught regularly at Rinzai temples in California and in England during the latter part of his life. He is author of Pointers to Insight: Life of a Zen Monk, The Ceasing of Notions: Zen Text from the Tun-Huang Caves, and Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity. Morinaga Roshi passed away in 1995.