Episode 430 – If the Wind Blows, Let it Blow

This week on the podcast, we’re talking the tale of the iconoclastic monk Ikkyu Sojun. His fame is predicated on an odd combination of Zen austerity and the embrace of the wine shop and the brothel, rather than the temple, as the place to seek enlightenment.


Keene, Donald. “The Portrait of Ikkyu.” Archives of Asian Art 20 (1966-67).

Hoover, Thomas. The Zen Experience: The Historical Evolution of Zen Through the Lives and Teachings of its Greatest Masters.

Besserman, Perle and Manfred Steger. Crazy Clouds: Zen Radicals, Rebels & Reformers.

Sanford, James H. “Mandalas of the Heart: Two Prose Works by Ikkyu Sojun.” Monumenta Nipponica 35, No 3 (Autumn, 1980).

Stevens, John, translator. Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu.


Daitokuji, the temple that Ikkyu first abandoned and then returned to rebuild.
A promo image of the Ikkyu-san TV show from the 1970s. Never watched it, if you’re wondering.
A portrait of Ikkyu (indeed, probably the most famous one) by his student Bokusai.
A portrait of Ikkyu from 1447 (which would make him 53 by the Western counting). The text above the image is apparently Ikkyu praising his own wisdom (my eyes are not good enough to get anywhere near reading any of it).

3 thoughts on “Episode 430 – If the Wind Blows, Let it Blow”

  1. The episode can’t be listened to or downloaded. It isn’t on Libsyn at all and on this website. Just the episode notes are.

    1. Sorry about that. Looks like an error on my end. Couldn’t fix it while I was at work, but it should now be corrected.

  2. I had heard about Ikkyu-san, the anime, and had no idea it was supposed to be based on this guy!

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