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Masatomo Kawai

Japanese Zen monk, scholar, calligrapher, poet and painter. He began his training as a monk at Nanzenji in Kyoto, under Shun’oku Myōha, the nephew and disciple of Musō Sōseki, one of the leading Zen prelates of the Muromachi period (1333–1568). His other teachers included the Zen recluse Shakushitsu Genkō and Gidō Shūshin, under whom he studied literature. A trusted adviser of the fourth Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimochi, Gyokuen was appointed to the prestigious abbacies of Kenninji (...

Article

Korean calligrapher, painter, scholar and poet. He was also a lay Buddhist. Born into a family related by marriage to the imperial household, from an early age he showed his talent for calligraphy, studying with Pak Che-ga. Kim had an extremely successful civil service career before being exiled in ...

Article

Guanxiu  

Joan Stanley-Baker

Chinese painter, calligrapher, poet and Buddhist monk. During the reign (ad 901–3) of the Tang emperor Zhaozong (reg ad 888–904), he visited Sichuan Province and was honoured by the King of Shu, who bestowed on him the title of Master. At that time, Daoism and Buddhism flourished in Sichuan, prompting many temple-building projects and giving an unprecedented impetus to the liturgical arts and figurative painting. Of the 50 or more painters recorded as then working in Sichuan, most were producing Daoist and Buddhist figure paintings....

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1895, in Kyushu; died 1933.

Painter, poet.

Koga Harue trained as a Buddhist monk, subsequently becoming a poet and then a painter. Influenced by Paul Klee and Giorgio de Chirico, he played an important role in the development of early 20th-century Japanese painting, introducing echoes of the modernist movements in Europe, such as cubism, futurism, constructivism and especially surrealism, which he can be said to represent. His pictures from the late 1920s are full of unusual and bizarre figuration. He exhibited regularly at the Nika (two disciplines - sculpture and painting) Salon and was selected for the 4th Nikakai Exhibition in ...

Article

Elizabeth Horton Sharf

Chinese monk, poet and calligrapher. He became a major figure in the Ōbaku Zen lineage in Japan. Along with Ingen Ryūki and Mokuan Shōtō, he is extolled as one of the ‘Three Brushes of Ōbaku’ (Jap. Ōbaku no sanpitsu), master Zen calligraphers (see also...

Article

Karen M. Gerhart

Japanese poet, calligrapher, potter and painter. Shortly after her birth, she was adopted by Ōtagaki Mitsuhisa who worked at Chion’in, an important Jōdo (Pure Land) sect temple in Kyoto. In 1798 she was sent to serve at Kameoka Castle in Tanba, where she studied poetry, calligraphy and martial arts. She returned to Kyoto in ...

Article

Ryōkan  

Cecil H. Uyehara

Japanese Zen monk, calligrapher and poet. He became a monk at the age of 18 at the temple Kōshōji, Okayama Prefecture, but, being a wanderer for most of his life, never attained high monastic rank. He is known for his poetry in Japanese and Chinese and his individualistic, indeed idiosyncratic, swiftly brushed style of calligraphy and is one of the most respected calligraphers of the late Edo period, receiving more attention and study than his contemporaries ...

Article

Elizabeth Horton Sharf

Chinese monk, poet and calligrapher, active in Japan. Along with his disciples Mokuan Shōtō and Sokuhi Nyoitsu, he was extolled as one of the Ōbaku no Sanpitsu (‘Three Brushes of Ōbaku’), the three principal calligraphers of the Ōbaku Zen school. He was a leading southern Chinese Buddhist master who, not long after the end of the Ming period (...

Article

Saga  

Samuel C. Morse

Japanese emperor, poet, calligrapher and patron of the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism. Along with Kūkai and Tachibana no Hayanari, he is regarded as one of the Sanpitsu (Three Brushes; master calligraphers) of the Heian period (ad 794–1185) (see Japan, §VII, 2, (ii)...

Article

Norihisa Mizuta

Chinese Zen monk, seal-carver, calligrapher, poet and Musician, active in Japan. He left his family at the age of seven and entered the Buddhist order, first training in Jiangxi Province and eventually in Hangzhou. In 1677 he emigrated to Japan, at the invitation of the monk Chin’i Dōryō of Kōfukuji, an Obaku-sect Zen temple in Nagasaki. He took up missionary work but found himself at odds with Ōbaku monks and for a short time was held in temple confinement. In ...