Ikkyū (1394-1481) is one of the most significant figures in Zen history. He was an eccentric, iconoclastic Japanese Zen Buddhist priest and poet. He had a great impact on the infusion of Japanese art and literature with Zen attitudes and ideals. To Japanese children, he is a folk hero, mischievous and always out-smarting his teachers.
In addition to passed down oral stories, this is due to an extremely popular animated TV series "Smart Ikkyū San" from 1975 to 1982 in Japan.
This cartoon series is loosely based on the childhood adventures of Ikkyū during his training days at Ankokuji Temple. This mischievous young monk, despite a bit of a troublemaker, is always able to use his intelligence and wit to solve all types of problems, from distraught farmers to greedy merchants, and to help others while outsmarting his frustrated teachers.
When the series was premiered in China in 1983, it quickly became a favorite among children there. Over the years, it has been broadcasted repeatedly across Asia and has developed a huge following especially among the younger audience and those young at heart. This book tells a story based on one episode of the popular cartton series.
The book comes with Chinese characters and the Pinyin (phonetic transcriptions), making it an excellent means of learning elementary Chinese. The book ends with a Q & A, which helps parents engage their children in a discussion about the story.