The D. T. Suzuki Museum was opened in 2011 to commemorate and celebrate the life and work of Suzuki Daisetz Teitaro (1870-1966) an important Japanese Zen philosopher who was born in Kanazawa. The museum is not only a place to learn about Suzuki’s life and thinking, but in its structure it puts Zen thought into practice and there is a special area where visitors can sit quietly and meditate. The museum is not very big, but is well worth visiting as a place to learn more about Zen and also to enjoy the graceful modern architecture.
The museum has two main parts: interior and exterior. Inside the museum is an exhibition space dedicated to the life of D. T. Suzuki. A prolific writer and translator, Suzuki wrote over 100 books in English on the subject of Zen Buddhism. His work played a major role in introducing Eastern philosophy to the Western world and deeply influenced many Western writers, philosophers, poets, and musicians. In the museum’s exhibition area you can learn about his life and writings through photographic displays, and memorabilia, and English information is provided throughout. Interactive touch screens provide more information and there is a learning area where you can read his books in English as well as Japanese.
Outside the museum is a Contemplative Space and Water Mirror Garden designed by the architect, Yoshio Taniguchi. This garden is arguably the museum’s most important feature as its clean and simple design physically embodies the abstract beauty of Suzuki’s teachings.
The Contemplative Space is a simple square room which is open on four sides and looks out over the tranquil water. Here you can sit, breathe, and enjoy a moment of tranquility.
The D. T. Suzuki Museum is located to the south of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in the Hondamachi area. To get there from Kanazawa Station take the Kanazawa Loop Bus from the East Exit bus terminal and get off at the Hondamachi bus stop. The fare is 200 yen and the trip takes 20 minutes.
Adults: 300 yen
Senior Citizens (over 65): 200 yen
Children (under 18): Free
Open: 9.30 – 17.00 (Last entry at 16.30)
Closed: Mondays or on Tuesdays if Monday is a national holiday. Also closed during New Year’s holidays: December 29th-January 3rd
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.