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By Suzuki's Hand (letters-calligraphy)

Letters from and to Shunryu Suzuki

Letters and cards sent by Shunryu Suzuki to Elsie Mitchell
1964 - 1970

Comments on the letters by DC
Reminder notes - who the people in the letters are
Elsie's Way of Eiheiji - recordings and booklet in Publications
Elsie Mitchell cuke page

"I feel a great responsibility for future students of Zen in America." - letter of 67-01-16

Scanned image of letters   |     Typed, slightly edited version

Letter of 64-05-14                         transcribed version
praying for Elsie's husband to get well - Katagiri, Fujimoto, Inoue

Letter of 64-09-09                         transcribed version
intent to visit Elsie for first time in Cambridge

Post card of 64-09-17                   transcribed version
[wrong] date and time of arrival  - excited about coming 

Post card of 64-09-29                   transcribed version
items left behind at her house - secret hobby

Post card of 64-10-01                   transcribed version
tells his students about visit to Cambridge

Post card of 64-11-16                   transcribed version
thanks for sending coat and donation

Letter of 64-12-01                        transcribed version
wishes to join Cambridge Buddhist Asso.

Letter of 65-05-22                        transcribed version
about Fujimoto, Yasutani, Inoue and a sesshin

Letter of 65-09-17                       transcribed version
details about another planned trip to the East 

Letter of 65-12-01                        transcribed version
thanks for stuff left behind & donation - about Michiko - Katagiri's wife and son arrive

Letter of 66-01-20                        transcribed version
can Michiko really come back?

Letter of 66-04-20                        transcribed version
writes from nearby of U. of Mass. - thanks for travel money - coming soon

Letter of 66-07-00                        transcribed version
thanks for everything and copies of The Way of Zazen - apology - going to Japan - heartfelt comments on DT Suzuki's passing.

Letter of 67-01-16                        transcribed version
More on Michiko - plans to bring teachers to Tassajara - plan to go East in Feb.

Letter of 67-12-08                        transcribed version
 - poor copy - written in light blue pencil - about the unusual board [han] he'd sent her - Chino Sensei and sesshin - Tassajara fundraising update and thanks

Card of 69-05-12                        transcribed version
sorry I can't visit you this time - sending a Tassajara stone

Letter of 70-05-16                        transcribed version
reflecting on and remembering their relationship - Tatsugami - Yoshida - I miss you



New Year's card - The two larger characters at the top right mean "Happy New Year." The characters literally mean "happy" and " spring," the old moon calendar new year beginning in the traditional spring which Japanese ancestors anticipated and celebrated in early February. The characters down the center say "Sokoji - Suzuki Shunryu." The "ji" in Sokoji is obscured and since Sokoji means "San Francisco Temple," it looks like it says "San Francisco - Shunryu Suzuki." Don't know what the bottom character which looks like a hiragana "nu" means. It's over the Sokoji seal. The card is undated. He didn't draw the bird or flowers. - dc