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Article

Elizabeth Horton Sharf

[Jifei Ruyi; Lin]

(b Fuzhou, Fujian Prov., 1616; d Nagasaki, 1671).

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 Japan §VII 2., (iv)). Jifei was ordained at the age of 17 under Feiyin Tongrong (1593–1661), and at 21 he was accepted as a disciple by Ingen, abbot of the Zen temple Wanfusi at Mt Huangbo (Fujian Prov.), where he became a colleague of Mokuan, another outstanding disciple of Ingen. In 1651, after a brush with death by asphyxiation while fighting a forest fire behind the temple had inspired his sudden ‘enlightenment’, Sokuhi received ‘dharma transmission’ (recognition as an heir in the spiritual lineage) from Ingen and the following year was promoted to high monastic office. About this time he became abbot of Chongshengsi on Mt Xuefeng (Fujian Prov.). In late ...

Article

Elizabeth Horton Sharf

[Yinyuan Longqi]

(b Fuqing County, Fujian Province, 1592; d Uji, 1673).

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 (1368–1644), emigrated to Nagasaki where, in the early 17th century, a community of Chinese merchants had established three Chinese Buddhist temples. In Japan Ingen quickly became a religious figure of national reputation, and was later celebrated as the founding patriarch of the Japanese Ōbaku Zen lineage (see Buddhism §III 10.). A search for his father, who had disappeared when he was five, brought him at the age of 20 to a temple on Mt Putuo (Zhoushan Archipelago, off the coast of Zhejiang Prov.), where, it is recorded, he served tea to the monks. It was not until he was about 28, however, after the death of his mother, that he was able to be ordained as a Buddhist monk at his family temple, Wanfusi, on Mt Huangbo. He trained under the eminent monks Miyun Yuanwu (...

Article

Norihisa Mizuta

[Xin yue; Shōun]

(b Puyang, nr Hangzhou, Zhejiang Prov., 1639; d Mito, Ibaragi Prefect., 1695).

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 1681 the daimyo of Mito, Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628–1700), hearing of this situation, invited Shin’etsu to his fiefdom, where in 1692 he became founding abbot of Mitsukuni’s temple, Jushōzan Gionji (formerly Tentokuji) in Mito, later the place of his burial. Shin’etsu’s school of Buddhism is known as the Jushō or Shin’etsu school of Sōtō Zen.

Shin’etsu is best known as an artist and true literatus. Together with Dokuryū Shōeki...

Article

Elizabeth Horton Sharf

[Duli Xingyi; Dai Mangong; Tianwai yi xianren]

(b Hangzhou Prefect., Zhejiang Prov., 1596; d Nagasaki, 1672).

Chinese Ōbaku Zen monk, calligrapher, poet, seal-carver and medical expert, active in Japan. Dokuryū was one of many learned men from south-east China to emigrate to Japan during the political turmoil following the collapse of the Ming dynasty in 1644. He arrived in Nagasaki in 1653 accomplished in several disciplines and quickly became a major force in the development of these arts and skills in Japan. Together with Tōkō Shin’etsu, Dokuryū is revered for having introduced techniques and practices of late Ming literati seal-carving to Japan. On his arrival there, Dokuryū became an itinerant scholar and medical specialist, establishing ties with émigré Chinese abbots and Japanese political figures. When the distinguished Chinese prelate Yinyuan Longqi (known in Japan as Ingen Ryūki) arrived in 1654, Dokuryū was ordained as his disciple and received the Buddhist names Dokuryū and Shōeki.

He was Ingen’s scribe from 1655 until 1658, when he took up residence at the Rinzai Zen monastery Heirinji (Saitama Prefect.) under the patronage of the shogunal minister ...

Article

Elizabeth Horton Sharf

[Muan Xingtao; Wu]

(b Quanzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, 1611; d Nagasaki, 1684).

Chinese monk, calligrapher, painter and poet. He was the second abbot of Manpukuji and a prominent early patriarch of Ōbaku Zen Buddhism in Japan. Together with Ingen Ryūki (Yinyuan Longqi) and Sokuhi Nyoitsu (Jifei Ruyi), he became known as one of the Three Brushes of Ōbaku (Ōbaku no Sanpitsu), noted master Zen calligraphers (see also Japan, §VII, 2, (iv), (c)). Mokuan was ordained at the age of 18 (19 by Chinese reckoning) and studied under the eminent Chinese monks Miyun Yuanwu (1566–1642) and Feiyin Tongrong (1593–1661) before training at Wanfu si on Mt Huangbo (Fujian Province) under Ingen. Mokuan received dharma transmission from Ingen in 1650 and went on to serve as abbot of the monasteries Taiping si on Mt Lianshi and Huiming si on Mt Xiang in south-eastern China. In 1655, at Ingen’s behest, Mokuan emigrated to Nagasaki, where he took over as abbot of the monastery Fukusaiji and served as Ingen’s senior disciple in Japan. Sokuhi Nyoitsu and Mokuan gained renown as the ‘Two Gates to the Nectar [of liberation]’ (Jap. ...