• SHARE

Most people know the famous riddle, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Many are also aware that it is connected with Zen Buddhism, and some will even know that it is a famous koan by the 18th-century monk Hakuin.

A koan, of course, is a paradoxical parable or query used in Zen Buddhism to elicit enlightenment. One of the interesting aspects of this famous koan is that it raises the question of what the other hand — presumably that of Hakuin himself — is doing, which is appropriate, because Hakuin more than perhaps any other famous Zen master had a dual approach to Buddhism.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)