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Genkei  

Japanese, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1648, in Kyoto; died 1710.

Sculptor, monk.

After having been a sculptor of Buddhist statues in Kyoto, Genkei became a monk in 1669, at the age of 21, and a disciple of Tetsugen Zenji. He then went on a long preaching tour of Japan during which he conceived the vast project of carving statues of the Rakan (the Arhats, or disciples of the Buddha). He went to Edo (now Tokyo) to seek the assistance of Tetsugyu Osho, a priest of the Gufuku-ji at Ushima, through whose good offices he was permitted to stay at the monastery attached to the Senso-ji (Asakusa-dera) at Edo. There, at the beginning of the Genroku period (...

Article

Donald F. McCallum

Japanese sculptor and Buddhist monk. He was an ascetic priest of the Shingon sect (see Buddhism, §III, 10) during the Edo period (1600–1868) and apparently functioned as an itinerant monk (hijiri) in early adulthood. At the age of 45 he took vows as a ‘wood-eater’ (...

Article

Tankai  

Japanese, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1629; died 1716 or 1718.

Sculptor.

Edo period.

The founder of the Hozan-ji temple in Nara Prefecture, Tankai made a considerable number of Buddhist statues, of which the Fudo Myoo (Acala or Acalanatha, the Immutable) statues in Horyu-ji, preserved in the Toshodai-ji, Nara, are a representative example. Unlike most of his professional contemporaries, who made up for a lack of talent with an excess of technical skill, Tankai produced work remarkable for its power....