Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

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markatex
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Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

Post by markatex » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:17 am

This appears to be out of print, but you can still find plenty of used copies. How are the translations?

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Bois de Santal
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Re: Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

Post by Bois de Santal » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:13 pm

I believe the translations are largely the work of Burton Watson so I wouldn't expect anything hugely different to the official SGI/NSIC translations. That said, maybe there are subtle differences? It is highly probable that the Watson translations would have been tweaked slightly to support NS orthodoxy. Apart from that, it seems (from this review at least https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-revi ... 0231072600 ) that the contents is largely volume 1 of MWND plus the remaining five major gosho not included in volume 1.

markatex
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Re: Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

Post by markatex » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:01 pm

I ordered a used copy for $6. I have the NShu U of Hawaii Press translations and the Murano translations available through BDK. I'm interested in comparing them, but not really interested in anything that's obviously/heavily slanted toward Shoshu's views.

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Bois de Santal
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Re: Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

Post by Bois de Santal » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:42 pm

You should be alright then. I don't think anyone has every considered Watson comprised because of his work for the soka gakkai. But he was never credited as the sole translator. I believe he did the heavy lifting and then an editorial committed tidied things up for the NSIC translations. (The seven volumes of the MWND). I vaguely recall that his contract with NSIC also allowed him to publish his translations separately, hence the Yampolsky edition.
I ordered a used copy for $6.
It looks like I've been gipped. I just ordered a used copy for around EUR 11, plus shipping :-)

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Queequeg
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Re: Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

Post by Queequeg » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:46 pm

Interested to hear the comparison. Have not looked at Yampolsky in a long time, but I recall it was sold in SG bookstores, and so I assume it was more or less the same as the MWND series.

BTW, "gipped" is not such a nice word. It refers to Gypsies, ie. Roma people. Like "red handed" being a reference to First People.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

markatex
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Re: Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

Post by markatex » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:29 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:46 pm
Interested to hear the comparison. Have not looked at Yampolsky in a long time, but I recall it was sold in SG bookstores, and so I assume it was more or less the same as the MWND series.
Maybe this has been discussed before, but how biased is the MWND series?

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Queequeg
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Re: Yampolsky's Selected Writings of Nichiren

Post by Queequeg » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:17 pm

markatex wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:29 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:46 pm
Interested to hear the comparison. Have not looked at Yampolsky in a long time, but I recall it was sold in SG bookstores, and so I assume it was more or less the same as the MWND series.
Maybe this has been discussed before, but how biased is the MWND series?
IMO...

I have not read the originals extensively. Usually when I find a passage that vexes me, my process is to compare the different English translations and then look at the Japanese original.

MWND is basically the same as WND. IIRC, WND volume 1 was published before the schism. The difference is that the MWND includes a lot of Japanese terms. In the WND, they rendered terms into English.

All the available translations have their short comings. The WNS, for instance, IMO is inconsistent. I understand that writings were translated piecemeal by different translators. Also, the guidelines of the translation favored readability for the ordinary reader, so some detail might be lost in favor of getting the gist.

The MWND/WND is more consistent, I think, and there seems to be a little more rigor in the translation - indicative of a professional scholar (Watson). It also suffers twofold - 1. Its a translation of the modern Japanese rendering of the original gosho done by Soka Gakkai in close consultation with Hori Nichiko of Nichiren Shoshu (Gosho Zenshu) rather than the Showa Teihon. That should not be considered an automatic strike, though. Hori Nichiko was a well respected scholar beyond Nichiren Shoshu. I think its inevitable that a Nichiren Shoshu bias would come through, but there's only so much it can be bent. The biggest knock might be that there is no indication when writings are disputed. 2. The footnotes at critical passages have a clear Shoshu bias - "What Nichiren actually means here is... He's the Buddha."

If you're like me and you like to collect books and cross reference... something you might want for your library.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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