Étienne Zeisler (1946-1990) was one of Deshimaru’s principle disciples. He was Deshimaru’s translator and teacher until Deshimaru’s death in 1982.
Etienne was born in Hungary and when he was three years old his family moved to France. He studied law, and it was while he was a student in 1967 that he met Taisen Deshimaru, who had recently arrived in France from Japan. Etienne was among the first persons to practice with Deshimaru in France. And 15 years later, at Deshimaru’s death, Etienne assumed a principle role in continuing Deshimaru’s mission in Europe. A task which lasted until his own death. Etienne received shijo, certification, from Niwa Roshi, who was, at that time, the abbot of Eiheiji. Etienne produced a number of translations and commentaries of fundamental Zen-Buddhist texts, and led numerous seshins, where he transmitted the teachings that he has received.