Zengo (Zen Word) – Hanatsu (放つ)

A week ago, I was happened to get a Zen calligraphy book. I personally don´t follow any religions but I think anyone who was born in Japan (or perhaps in any Far East countries) is influenced by Zen (Buddhist) and Shintoism philosophy at some extent. We never actually learn it from school or temple. But I suppose the way of living is some how contains a sense of Zen. Perhaps that is why these Zengo (禅語/Zen words) explained in this book are so familiar to me although I have never learned in these words.

In Zen teachings, 無 (mu / nothingness) is very important. The great tea master, Sen no Rikyu (千利休) established wabi sabi (侘び寂び),  which “represents a comprehensive Japanese aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection” (wikipedia). He changed the concept of beauty from adding to taking away. After letting everything go, there will be emptiness = Mu.

We have a lot of attachment in our life. Not only materials but also our thoughts or feelings. To be enlightened (satoru /悟る), we need to let them go. This “letting go” is Hanatsu (放つ) . I have chosen this word as a today´s word.

To be enlightened may not be what we are looking for but I certainly believe that we obtain too many things and sometimes it´s good to “lighten” ourselves. Because the life as it is is complicated enough and many of us may be seeking a little simpler life. Would you like to hanatsu some weight?  


  1. I believe that exactly this is the point and challange of our “modern life” these days. I like this nice, simple description of actually a whole life style. In my home country Germany, we sometimes say: ‘less is more’ ..

    • Thank you for your comment, Manuel san.
      I guess the concept of “emptiness” is to be able to see the actual space and then fill with the knowledge. With full mind, it´s hard to see the container (yourself) and to place knowledges. Of course “less is more”. Vielen Dank.

      Juju Kurihara - reply
  2. Hi! Thank you so much for this information!

    I’m writing my thesis about Japanse Zengo. Could you tell me the exact title of this book or any other books you could advise me about zen words? I would be really grateful.

    Please, contact me by e-mail.yuubimbako@gmail.com

    Best Regards

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