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Mitsu Suzuki Main Page
Mitsu Suzuki, widow of Shunryu Suzuki
Suzukiís wife in America. As far as I know, they didnít live together in Japan, married five months before he came. - dc
Known to those of us at the SFZC as Okusan (wife) or Suzuki Sensei
Interviews by DC in US, Sept.93, Feb.96.
Interview by DC, April '94 in Japan.
2013 Birthday Greetings
Excerpt from Bodhisattva Archetypes by Taigen Dan Leighton
7/06/01 - A letter from Mitsu Suzuki
See Temple Dusk: Zen Haiku, a book of Mitsu Suzuki's poetry, in the bibliography.
See a few photos with Mitsu in them in the Photo Gallery.
See other interviews with members of Suzuki's family on the Interview link page. - on the right side under Suzuki
2-1-08-11 - Here's a New Year's card sent from Mitsu Suzuki, Mrs. Suzuki, Okusan, Shunryu Suzuki's widow, to Daya Goldschlag. Tozen Akiyama Roshi kindly translated it as
"I wish you Happy New Year," literally, "I respectfully say the joy/delight of the beginning spring."
This was sent before the conventional Western New Year. In Japan they use the new calendar and the old calendar for different purposes. They have a way of not erasing the old when they add the new. The traditional New Year in Japan, China, and all Asia I guess, is early February, the beginning of spring, the traditional seasons beginning about six weeks earlier than in the West, when there's a hint of the season. Sort of like Groundhog Day being the hint of spring. - dc
4-24-13 - Posting yesterday's Happy Birthday to Mitsu Suzuki one day late. See - it's down there now as if it were posted yesterday. However, personal congrats were sent to her via Rinsoin (Shunryu Suzuki's temple in Yaizu now son Hoitsu abbot). Just couldn't remember when it was. The SFZC event for her birthday doesn't stipulate what the date is. Wasn't sure of the date. Searched and found it here. I guess that's right. I'm sure it's elsewhere on this site or in my notes but Binging was easiest.
Normally I don't think about her birthday - they aren't a big deal to Japanese in my experience - but Richard Baker at Crestone got hold of me because they wanted to send her a birthday greeting so I sent him the Rinsoin email address which is Shungo's (Hoitsu's son, Shunryu's grandson.) I don't remember hearing Shungo speak English but he's doing a good job now with English email. Crestone sent her a video of sesshin attendees singing Happy Birthday. He responded:
So I, DC, sent a birthday greeting from 1st wife Daya Goldschlag (who was close) and me to Mitsu via Shungo and received this from Shungo: She said to me by phone yesterday,
"It's just important zen practice for me that how to finish my life".
There was an event for Mitsu at the SFZC earlier in the month but don't see her birthday date mentioned.
I just noticed that on the SFZC site it says "This April in Japan, she will be turning 99 and in our way of counting, 100" but that's not right. Unless I'm making a senior mistake, , it's the opposite: this April she will turn 99 in our way of counting and in Japan's 100. Born 1914 - same as my recently late mother, Ahdel. In Japan you're one at birth cause their one means 1st year.
4-23-13 - Happy Birthday Mitsu Suzuki!
[posted on What's New]
4-07-14 - Spent the night at Rinsoin, Shunryu Suzuki's home temple, and sat zazen this morning with his son the present abbot, Hoitsu, and Hoitsu's son Shungo, also a priest and next in line, and some men from Yaizu. After breakfast and laundry, Katrinka and I visited with Mitsu Suzuki, Shunryu's widow, and she gave me a copy of her new collection of haiku,A White Tea Bowl: 100 Haiku from 100 Years of Life. Mitsu's 100th birthday is coming up on the 26th of this month and she's doing great, quite energetic, walking well, was quite affectionate, hugging me repeatedly. Most touching.
Hoitsu's wife Chitose drove us to Mitsu's. Also there were Mitsu's daughter Harumi and Hoitsu's sister-in-law, Mitsuyo, who is visiting from San Francisco.
4-08-14 - Shunryu Suzuki's widow, Mitsu Suzuki, showed me how she could see Mt. Fuji, Fuji San, from her window. She said she bowed to it every morning. I said it's the heart of Japan isn't it and she said yes. She had a small piece of paper taped to the wall there with yukkuri yukkuri written in hiragana - slowly, slowly - like take it easy. She said (in Japanese), "You know how I was always running around doing things in a hurry. This is what Suzuki Roshi would say to me." I commented on how lovely her kimono was she told me something I was surprised to hear. She said that when she arrived in America to join Shunryu (and live together for the first time), that she was wearing a hat, high heels, and a western dress. But he only wore his robes and kimono so she threw all her western clothes away. She showed Katrinka and me a thick album with photos of many people from Zen Center, one being a photo of Dianne (Daya) Goldschlag and me at our wedding. Then she brought over an envelope with a letter from Daya. She held her hands out to indicate how big I'd gotten. That was a memory from the sixties and seventies. I weigh less than I have since then. I gave her a tiny old Buddha carved from stone, bought in Thailand. She wrote some reminders on the little blue paper envelope I'd kept it in and put it on her alter with various mementos and photos of Shunryu, Kobun Chino among others.
See Daya comment on these recent posts.
Thereís much more on her on cuke.com that can be found by searching within the site from the Index or Whatís New pages for Okusan, Mrs. Suzuki, Suzuki Sensei, and Mitsu.
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