place: Likely Japan?
| oshobob The Living Workshop
was a visitor at a certain
fire started under the kitchen floor.
A monk rushed into Tokai's bedroom,
shouting: 'A fire, master, a fire!'
'Oh?' said Tokai, sitting up. 'Where?'
'Where?' exclaimed the monk. 'Why, under the
kitchen floor -- get up at once.'
'The kitchen, eh?' said the master drowsily.
'Well, tell you what, when it reaches the
passageway, come back and let me know.'
Tokai was snoring again in no time.
Tokai was a great Zen master, enlightened,
living in total awareness, and whenever you
live in total awareness you live moment to
moment. You cannot plan, even for the next
moment you cannot plan -- because who
knows, the next moment may never come! And
how can you plan it beforehand, because who
knows what the situation will be in the next
moment? And if you plan too much you may
miss it, the freshness of it...
And the Flowers Showered, ch. 7
not the only one who can't find any info on this guy Tokai. Only in
this anecdote does someone with this name show up in net searches.
There is a famous temple with his name, Tokai-ji, built in the 1600s for Takuan Soho. Could he be Tokai?
There are places in Japan here and
there called Tokai. There is even a stream of Zen teachers called the
Tokai line, but who or where is Tokai the person? Takuan looks like the
best bet but not good enough to go with yet.
Another indication for Takuan might be -- stretching things just a little -- that their situations in Oshobob's site are quite complementary: Tokai was a guy with a page and a link to it from Oshobob's Zen Masters lineage chart (in the unconnected Japanese portion) but no history, and Takuan had a lot of history but no link. Both are of course linked (separately) from his Zen Masters list; otherwise, how do we even come to know of their existence?
It is tempting, in a killing-two-birds-with- one-stone kind of way, to amalgamate them, but since evidence is still fairly thin and logic less than compelling, we'll wait on it.]