From which book is the maxim


Go player Fan

Zen kōan だいどうむもん "Daidō mumon"
"to achieve great understanding there is no single but thousands of ways".

  • What language is this? You've tagged your question with both Japanese and Chinese, but which is it?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 9:33
  • I don't know which, so I tagged both.
    – Oni
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 10:02
  • Strangely enough, it seems to be a mixture: according to Google Translate, 大道無門 is Chinese while だいどうむもん and 藤沢秀行 are Japanese. Also, what's the image?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 10:04
  • From a fan where I got the quote. And 藤沢秀行 is a name Fujisawa Hideyuki (from the fan too).
    – Oni
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 11:08
  • @Randal'Thor Google translate has a bad habit of defaulting to Chinese for text purely in Kanji (unless the text has some Kokuji characters).
    – muru
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


“大道無門” is the first line of a verse:


This is from the introduction to 無門關, usually translated as The Gateless Barrier or The Gateless Gate, a collection of kōans by Zen master Wúmén Huìkāi (無門慧開), published in 1228. (He is perhaps better known in the West under the Japanese version of his name, Mumon Ekai.) In Robert Aitken’s translation:

The Great Way has no gate;
there are a thousand different paths;
once you pass through this barrier,
you walk the universe alone.

“大道無門” contains a pun: the author’s name Wúmén is written with the same characters (無門) as “no gate” so the line can be understood as “Wúmén’s Great Way” as well as “the great way has no gate”.

“だいどうむもん” (daidō mumon) is the Japanese pronunication of “大道無門” (dàdào wú mén).

Hideyuki Fujisawa (藤沢秀行) was a professional Go player also known for his calligraphy: presumably the writing on the fan is his work.

  • In Chinese, I would expect “Wúmén’s Great Way” to be rendered as 無門(的)大道, not “大道無門” (which just means "great way, no gate"; the verb is implied). Does the other word order work in Japanese?
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 0:58

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