Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro

D.T. Suzuki (1870-1966) first introduced Zen Buddhism to the general American public. Although he was never ordained as a full monk, for several years as a young man he lived in one of Japan’s main Rinzai temples, where he mastered koan study. After arriving in the United States in 1897, Suzuki devoted himself to translating Daoist and Buddhist works and writing introductory texts to Mahayana philosophy and history. He returned to Japan in 1911, where he founded the English-language journal The Eastern Buddhist. Suzuki gained a wide readership in the West with the publication of the three volumes of Essays in Zen Buddhism starting in the late 1920s. He returned to the United States in 1949, teaching at the University of Hawaii, Claremont Graduate School, and finally Columbia University. Suzuki eventually returned to Japan, where he continued to write until his death at the age of 96.