My Heart Sutra


New Age / Esoterics

Frederik L. Schodt


Language of origin

Publication date

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248 pages
5 x 7"

A World in 260 Characters

Author Frederik L. Schodt has had a mysterious, half-century-long fascination with the simple mantra that is chanted at the end of the Buddhist “Heart Sutra.” On a normally routine flight that unexpectedly developed mechanical difficulties, he resolved to memorize the sutra and to finally seriously study it.

The Heart Sutra, beloved by millions in East Asia for over 1,400 years, is used as solace, protection, and a gateway to another mode of thinking. Schodt realized that it could also be his entry into a world of faith.

In My Heart Sutra, Schodt explores his lifelong fascination with the sutra: its mesmerizing mantra, its ancient history, the “emptiness” theory, and the way it is used around the world as a metaphysical tool to overcome chaos and confusion and reach a new understanding of reality—a perfection of wisdom.

To help put this ancient sutra into a modern context, Schodt’s journey takes him to caves in China, American beats declaiming poetry, speculations into the sutra’s true origins, and even a robot Avalokiteśvara at a Kyoto temple.

Frederik L. Schodt

Fluent in spoken and written Japanese, Frederik L. Schodt is an author and translator of impressive breadth. He has written extensively on Japanese manga, as well as on pop culture, technology, and history. His books include Dreamland Japan, America and the Four Japans, and Native American in the Land of the Shogun, which was a Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title in 2005. In 1998, Schodt translated and annotated Japanese immigrant Henry Kiryama's The Four Immigrants Manga, one of the first American original comic books; graphic novelist Will Eisner called the book "a treasure [that] belongs in every library." The Astro Boy Essays is Schodt's most recent Stone Bridge Press publication. Schodt was befriended by Japanese "God of Manga" Osamu Tezuka in the late 1970s and maintained a close relationship with him until his death in 1989. Schodt frequently served as Tezuka's interpreter and is the translator of several of Tezuka's manga, including the 23-volume Astro Boy series. He has also translated numerous other manga into English, including Tezuka's Phoenix and Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen. Schodt received an award at the Manga Oscar Awards in 1983 for his groundbreaking book, Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha). The now classic book includes an introduction by Tezuka and has been reprinted several times. In 2000, Schodt received a Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize from the Asahi Shumbun for his work in popularizing manga overseas. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, by the Japanese Government for his contribution "to the introduction and promotion of Japanese contemporary popular culture in the United States of America. Schodt has lectured at venues worldwide, including San Francisco's Asian Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Art Gallery, Temple University Japan, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Tokyo University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lives in San Francisco.
Agence Schweiger

Agence Schweiger