The D.T. Suzuki Museum (鈴木大拙館, Suzuki Daisetsu Kan) is a small museum commemorating the life and works of Suzuki Daisetz Teitaro (1870-1966), a prominent Buddhist philosopher. The museum was opened in 2011 in the district of Kanazawa where Suzuki was born, a ten minute walk from Kenrokuen. On display are exhibitions showcasing the writings of D.T. Suzuki which allow the visitor to learn more about his life and philosophy. In addition, the architecture of the museum serves as an interpretation of D.T. Suzuki's life and religious scholarship; its use of clean, simple lines and open spaces causes visitors to pause and reflect.
D.T. Suzuki was a prolific writer who was instrumental in introducing Japanese Zen philosophy to the west. Having spent much of his early life living and studying at Engakuji Temple in Kamakura, he wrote mainly about Zen Buddhism and its relation to and influence on everyday life. Suzuki was also proficient in English, Chinese and Sanskrit in addition to Japanese, and translated various religious texts and scholarly articles.
Designed by architect Taniguchi Yoshio who also designed the Heisei Chishinkan in Kyoto and the Horyuji Homotsukan in Tokyo amongst others, the architecture of the D.T. Suzuki Museum lends a hand in conveying the serenity that comes with Zen philosophy. From the unassuming entrance to the overall architecture and interior, there is a sense of tranquility that can be felt throughout the museum. Despite its small area, the museum has three buildings connected by corridors built around a large flat pond at their center called the Water Mirror Garden. There is also a garden around the grounds which visitors can enter.
Another feature of the museum is the Contemplative Space, consisting of a large room with openings on all four sides, which extends out into the Water Mirror Garden. There are seats in this space where visitors can take time to meditate and think over their thoughts whilst looking out over the water. In addition, a learning space at one end of the museum has English and Japanese books written by Suzuki for visitors to read; iPads for multimedia learning; as well as a large a window that looks out into a garden.
The D.T. Suzuki Museum is a stop along the tourist oriented Kanazawa Loop Buses (stop numbers LL7 and RL10). Frequently departing Hokutetsu buses also provide access between Kanazawa Station (east exit bus stop number 5 or 10) and the D.T. Suzuki Museum. Get off at the Hondamachi bus stop (本多町, around 15 minutes, 200 yen one way) from where the museum is about a five minute walk away.
The museum can also be reached in about a ten minute walk from the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Furthermore, a walking trail in the garden of the D.T. Suzuki Museum provides a shortcut to the nearby Kanazawa Nakamura Museum and the Prefectural Museum of Art.