by Jorge Sanchez - 5 months, 2 weeks ago
The first time that I went to Japan was in 1982. See the enclosed photocopy of my passport with the stamp of Niigata, up on the right side, with the date of entry 16th April 1982. I left Japan 3 months later by boat from Naha (Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands) to the port of Keelung, in Taiwan.
I flew in USSR times from the Russian city of Khabarovsk to Niigata, and some days later I entered a Buddhist Zen Monastery in Obama, in the Prefecture of Fukui (Chubu), as a monk, where I spent two months. I was “ni-ju hachi”, or 28 years old. Since then I have come back to Japan about ten more times.
Probably the time that I spent in that monastery, half Soto and half Rinzai, was of the most precious of my life. Those two months changed my life. First I wanted to become a "Superman", but when I left the Monastery my wish was to become just a man.