The Realized Universe
Genjo means “realized,” and koan is an abbreviation of kofu-no-antoku, which was a notice board on which a new law was announced to the public in ancient China. So koan expresses a law, or a universal principle. In Shobogenzo, genjo koan means the realized law of the Universe, that is Dharma, or the real Universe itself. The fundamental basis of Buddhism is belief in this real Universe, and in Genjo Koan Master Dogen preaches to us the realized Dharma, or the real Universe itself. When the seventy-five chapter edition of Shobogenzo was compiled, this chapter was placed first, and from this fact we can recognize its importance.