It’s been a year…

…since Daido Loori, the influential American Zen master, died. Since we talk about tattoos a lot here on the Horse, I thought I’d re-present this anecdote from the New York Time’s obituary of Daido, which somehow seems emblematic:

Zen Buddhist elders nearly prevented Abbot Loori’s ordination as a monk, after seeing a tattoo peeking from his robe. A Navy souvenir, it depicted an innocent-enough anchor, but Japanese associate tattoos with criminals, and Abbot Loori refused to erase his past.

The ordination finally went ahead. But the abbot wore a bandage over the tattoo when he visited Japan, Newsday reported in 2004.

“I think they were a bit puzzled when I returned year after year and the burn still hadn’t healed,” he said.

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