• Stone Bridge Press

Announcing 'My Heart Sutra,' Frederik L. Schodt's new book

Updated: Oct 6

Stone Bridge Press is happy to announce the publication of longtime and beloved Stone Bridge Press author Frederik L. Schodt's My Heart Sutra: A World in 260 Characters. Hitting stores December 8, 2020.


Author Frederik L. Schodt and his new book, 'My Heart Sutra"

Available where all books are sold December 8th, 2020

Religion/Body, Mind & Spirit/Philosophy

Print ISBN: 9781611720624

eBook ISBN: 9781611729443

$16.95/ $22.99 CAN

248 pages

Trim 5" x 7"

Format: Paperback / softback


Schodt is credited as a pioneer who helped bring Japanese manga (comics) to the West by way of his translations, most notably the works of Osamu Tezuka, with whom he had a close relationship and whose manga biography (The Osamu Tezuka Story) he published in translation in 2016.


Translator and author, Frederik L. Schodt with legendary Manga and Anime creator, Osamu Tezuka

In recognition of his accomplishments, Schodt in 2009 was awarded the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, by the Japanese emperor for his contribution "to the introduction and promotion of Japanese contemporary popular culture in the United States of America."


Now, amid the tumult of the COVID pandemic, Schodt is gearing up to publish a new book on a subject very different from much of his previous work. 


My Heart Sutra: A World in 260 Characters, due December 8, 2020, explores Schodt's lifelong fascination with The Heart Sutra, the most widely read, chanted, and copied text in East Asian Buddhism. 


The Buddhist Heart Sutra written in Chinese

Schodt has had a mysterious, half-century-long fascination with the simple mantra that is chanted at the end of the sutra. On a normally routine flight that unexpectedly developed mechanical difficulties, he resolved to memorize the Heart Sutra and to finally seriously study it.


Beloved by millions in East Asia for over 1,400 years, the Heart Sutra,  is used as solace, protection, and a gateway to another mode of thinking. Schodt realized that it could also be his entry into a world of faith.


Ryôzen Kannon statue in Higashiyama, Kyoto. (© 2019 Frederik L. Schodt)

In his new book My Heart Sutra, Schodt explores his lifelong fascination with the sutra: its mesmerizing mantra, its ancient history, the “emptiness" theory, and the way it is used around the world as a metaphysical tool to overcome chaos and confusion and reach a new understanding of reality--a perfection of wisdom. 


To help put this ancient sutra into a modern context, Schodt's journey takes him to caves in China, American beats declaiming poetry, speculations into the sutra's true origins, and even a robot Avalokiteśvara at a Kyoto temple.



Get your copy of Frederik L. Schodt's My Heart Sutra: A World in 260 Characters here.

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