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Article

Dapeng  

Chinese, 18th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the 18th century.

Painter.

Dapeng was a Buddhist monk and finger painter who specialised in painting bamboo. He travelled to Japan in 1722.

Article

Chinese, 18th century, male.

Painter.

Qing dynasty.

Ding Guanpeng worked in the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796). He painted mainly Buddhist and Taoist figures in the style of Ding Yunpeng (active c.1584-1638). He also produced elegant copies after the ancient masters. His very wide use of colour suggests some western influence, which he no doubt learned from one or other of the Jesuit artists at Qianlong’s court....

Article

Stephen Addiss

[Nagasawa]

(b Hara, 1685; d Hara, 1769).

Japanese Zen monk, painter and calligrapher. He was one of the most important painters of the Edo period (1600–1868), creating hundreds of paintings and calligraphies that revolutionized Zenga (painting and calligraphy by Zen monks from the 17th century to the 20th; see Japan, §VI, 4, (vii)). In earlier centuries, Zen painting and calligraphy had been generally limited to portrayals of famous masters of the past, landscapes and Zen phrases or poems. Under Hakuin’s influence, however, a new range of styles and of subjects—including Zen-related subjects, those drawn from other Buddhist sects and from native folklore—made Zenga appealing not only to the Zen initiates but also to lay people. In this way Hakuin responded to the Tokugawa government’s lack of support for Zen; he reached out to people of all beliefs and levels of education through art that had both humour and dramatic impact. Indeed, his use of art in the service of religion permanently changed the ...

Article

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

Stephen Addiss

[Hyakudō, Kohaku]

(b Taniguchi, Mino Prov. [now Gifu Prefect.], 1750; d Shōfukuji, Fukuoka Prefect., 1838).

Japanese Zen monk, painter and calligrapher. Of later Japanese artists in the Zenga (‘Zen painting’; see Japan §VI 4., (vii)) tradition, he is perhaps the best-known in the Western world.

Born to a farming family, he became a monk at the age of ten at Seitaiji in Mino Province and at 19 began studies with the outstanding Zen teacher Gessen Zenne (1701–81) at the Tokian in Nagata (near Kamakura), continuing until the latter’s death. Sengai reached enlightenment by meditating on the kōan (Zen conundrum) ‘Why did Bodhidharma [Jap. Daruma; the first Zen patriarch] come from the west?’, and then went on a pilgrimage from one Zen master (angya) to another throughout central Japan. He settled for a time in Mino, but was forced to leave after speaking out against the ruling daimyo’s policies, which he felt oppressed the farmers.

In 1788 Sengai accepted an invitation from Taishitsu, another of Gessen’s students, to travel to Kyushu, where he soon became abbot of the Rinzai-sect temple–monastery Shōfukuji, the oldest Zen monastery in Japan. He succeeded in renovating this temple, and his strict Zen practice and kind heart made him well known and loved throughout Japan and the subject of many legends. He retained the post of abbot until ...

Article

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1737; died 1812.

Painter.

Gyokuzan was a painter from Osaka. He was promoted to the rank of hokkyo, a title meaning ‘bridge of Buddhist law’ initially given to Buddhist monks but later becoming an honorific given to other worthy members of society, such as artists. He illustrated many historical narratives, notably the ...

Article

Hemis  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery c. 45 km south-east of Leh in Ladakh, India. Founded by King Senge Namgyel in the 17th century, Hemis became the leading monastery in the region of the Tibetan Drukpa sect. Its buildings comprise chortens (stupas), mani walls, monastic dwellings and a large rectangular courtyard used for the annual monastic dance ceremony. This court is surrounded by a balcony with a throne used by the head lama on such occasions; small paintings of saintly figures appear on the rear wall of the balcony. Within the court are four tall poles decked with prayer flags and yak tails. On the right-hand side are two large temples, the Dukhang and the Chökhang; each is two storeys high and preceded by a wooden verandah containing Tibetan-style paintings of protector deities.

In the Dukhang are numerous modern paintings of Buddha figures and Tantric deities executed in the traditional Tibetan style; enormous red-painted pillars support a cupola that illuminates the interior of the hall. The Chökhang contains a fine image of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, a large, early 18th-century chorten and many other chortens ornamented with silver, gilt and hardstones. Images and paintings of Buddhas, great lamas and Tantric teachers abound. The Lhakhang Nyingpa Temple, at the rear of the monastery, contains the finest wall paintings at Hemis. The paintings of great abbots and Tantric masters are in an Indian style but show Chinese influence; adjoining paintings illustrating scenes from the Buddha’s life and furiously energetic Tantric deities also have a strong Chinese character. One of the most beautiful paintings depicts the 18th-century monk Shambunath delicately painted in a Kashmiri–Central Asian style....

Article

Patricia Fister

[ Yokoi Myōdō ; Kōmori Dōjin ]

(b Kasanui, Ōmi Prov. [now Kusatsu, Shiga Prefect.], 1761; d Kasanui, 1832).

Japanese priest and painter . The first half of his life is recorded in his autobiography. At the age of nine he became a Buddhist monk at the Jōdo (Pure Land) sect temple Sōkinji in Osaka. He left at the age of seventeen and went to Edo (now Tokyo), where he was admitted into the Jōdo temple Zōjōji in Shiba. Expelled later for frequenting the pleasure districts, he spent some years travelling. He returned to the Kyoto area and resumed his studies, later accepting a position as head priest at Gokurakuji on Mt Kinkoku, in northern Kyoto, from which he took his artist’s name. In 1788 Gokurakuji was destroyed by fire, prompting Kinkoku to become an itinerant preacher and painter. He travelled as far as Nagasaki, staying at Jōdo temples and painting Buddhist deities and scenes from the life of Hōnen (1133–1212), the sect’s founder. These are executed in a rather folksy version of the ...

Article

Kokan  

Japanese, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1653; died 1717.

Painter.

Kokan, who became the superior at the Hoon-ji temple in Kyoto, studied painting with Eino (1631-1697). He specialised in Buddhist themes as well as humorous subjects verging on caricature.

Article

Kumbum  

Barry Till

[sku ’bum (‘a thousand images’); Chin. Taer si]

Monastery complex c. 26 km north-east of Xining, Qinghai Province, China. Kumbum is one of the six great monasteries of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, as it marks the birthplace of Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), who founded the sect. Construction of a small monastery called Shardzong on this spot took place between 1560 and 1577. The original monastery underwent several enlargements in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the more recent buildings spreading around the ancient nucleus to cover an area of c. 44 ha. The buildings of the monastery display a harmonious combination of Tibetan and Chinese architectural features; Chinese-style glazed-tile roofs mingle with Tibetan-style flat roofs and gilded sheet-metal roofs (see Tibet §V 6., (ii)). The numerous structures, which rest on solid foundations, include chanting and assembly halls, verandahs and annexe halls, chortens, or stupas, and living quarters for monks. At the front of the lamasery are eight white chortens called the Eight Tathagata Stupas (h. 6 m; built ...

Article

Donald F. McCallum

[Mokujiki Gogyō; Mokujiki Gyōdō; Mokujiki Meiman]

(b Marubatake, Kai Province [now Yamashi Prefecture], 1718; d 1810).

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’ (mokujiki), one who abstained not only from meat, fish and fowl but also from grains, eating only nuts, roots and berries. In 1773, after taking an additional vow to travel throughout Japan, he embarked on a programme of missionary activity that took him from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south. Mokujiki was already in his early 60s when he began sculpting devotional images for the communities he visited, apparently following the example of his predecessor Enkū. Interestingly, he avoided localities where Enkū had made images. Mokujiki enjoyed excellent health and continued to produce sculptures until he was over 90 years old....

Article

Ryōkan  

Cecil H. Uyehara

(b Echigo Prov. [now Niigata Prefect.], 1758; d 1831).

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 Maki Ryōko and Ichikawa Beian. His modern popularity has given rise to an increasing number of Ryōkan forgeries. Most of his extant calligraphies consist of letters and poems in his own hand, much of the subject-matter deriving from his everyday experiences, as for example the letter brushed in ink on paper between 1806 and 1810 (Tokyo, N. Mus.). Ryōkan studied the 100-character text by the Chinese calligrapher Huaisu, the calligraphy of the legendary 4th-century ...

Article

Stephen Addiss

[Hyakufuchi Dōji; Katsuragi Sanjin; priest’s names: Onkō, Sonja]

(b Osaka, 1718; d Kyoto, 1804).

Japanese monk–scholar, calligrapher and painter. He is considered one of the most powerful calligraphers in the so-called Zenga tradition (see Japan §VII 2., (iv)), excelling in Chinese, Japanese and Sanskrit scripts. He was born to a family of samurai–official status; his father was a noted scholar and his mother a calligrapher and devout Buddhist. Jiun initially received a Confucian education, but after his father’s death in 1730 he was sent to Hōrakuji in Settsu Province (now part of Hyōgo Prefect.), a temple of the Shingon sect, where he studied Esoteric Buddhism (mikkyō) under Ninkō Teiki (1671–1750). He also spent three years at the academy of the Confucian scholar Itō Tōgai (1670–1736), mastering original Confucian texts, before returning to Hōrakuji for the completion of his Buddhist studies. At the age of 21, Jiun officially became an abbot at Hōrakuji. He devoted the rest of his life to teaching, emphasizing the importance of Sanskrit studies because he believed that mastery of the original Buddhist texts was essential to full understanding of the religion. His greatest work of scholarship, the 1000-volume ...

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....

Article

Wu Zi  

Chinese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1755, in Quanjiao (Anhui); died 1821.

Painter.

Wu Zi painted Buddhist and Taoist figures in the style of Wu Daozi and Wang Guang.

Article

Chinese, 18th century, male.

Active in Suzhou c. 1765.

Born in Shanghai.

Painter.

Qing dynasty.

Yu Zongli painted landscapes and Buddhist and Taoist figures.