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The Zen Buddhist and social activist signs his name on this slip of paper in green ink
Signature: “Robert Aitken/1938” in green ink. 6x3¼. Robert Baker Dairyu Chotan Aitken (1917-2010) was a Zen teacher in the Harada-Yasutani lineage. Living in Guam as a civilian working construction at the onset of World War II, he was detained by the Japanese and held in internment camps for the duration of the war, where he discussed Zen Buddhism and anarchism with the scholar Reginald Horace Blyth. After the war studied literature and Japanese in Hawaii then moved to California to become an activist on leftist social issues. He co-founded the Honolulu Diamond Sangha in 1959 together with his wife. Aitken was a strong opponent of the nuclear arms race and at one point was investigated by the FBI. He was a socialist advocating social justice for gays, women and Native Hawaiians throughout his life. In 1978 Aitken helped found the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, an organization that advocates conflict resolution globally. Aitken also was the author of multiple books such as A Zen Wave: Basho's Haiku and Zen (1978), The Dragon who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice (1992), and The Ground We Share: Everyday Practice. Buddhist and Christian (1994). Lightly toned. Edges irregular. Corners rounded. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: June 19, 1917 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: August 5, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii

Film Credits
2006 A Zen Life: D.T. Suzuki (in person)

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