Shōbōgenzō (正法眼蔵?, lit. "Treasury of the True Dharma Eye") is the title most commonly used to refer to the collection of works written in Japanese by the 13th century Japanese Buddhist monk and founder of the Japanese Sōtō Zen school, Eihei Dōgen.


2 Answers 2


I loved the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi.

  1. Tanahashi's introduction is great. He explains how the Shobogenzo had been compiled, edited, and distributed through the years, (explained the number of fascicles, their order and grouping, and so forth)
  2. He analyses shortly Dogen's style in relation to how this style (such as the use of contradictions, non-sequitur, and so forth) leads your mind to such and such a place
  3. I compared many translations of the Genjokoan and found this one the most evocative

Tanahashi also edited a compilation of some of the fascicles of the Shobogenzo, grouped by way of themes. I found it most useful as well. The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master.


I like the translation I have at home, by Chodo Cross under guidance of Gudo Nishijima.

What makes this translation unique, it's goal was to stay as literal or as close to Japanese original as possible. So unlike other translations which are often overly idiomatic and make their interpretations for you, this one leaves it all as written by Dogen. Beside leaving interpretation of subtleties up to the reader, it also preserves the flavor of Dogen's speech - which makes for a more tasteful reading experience.

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