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Fūgai Ekun [Dōjin]locked

(b Hijishio, Kanagawa Prefect., 1568; d Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefect., 1654).
  • Stephen Addiss

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[Dōjin]

(b Hijishio, Kanagawa Prefect., 1568; d Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefect., 1654).

Japanese Zen monk, painter and calligrapher. He entered the Shingon-sect temple Kansōji at the age of four or five, transferring to the Sōtō-sect Zen temple Chōgenji a few years later. Around the age of 16 he moved to the leading Sōtō temple in eastern Japan, Sōrinji. After completing his Zen training, perhaps in 1596, Fūgai spent two decades on pilgrimage. In 1616 he became abbot of Jōganji in Sagami Province (now part of Kanagawa Prefect.), but after only a few years he gave up his position to live in mountainside caves, which earned him the nickname Ana Fūgai (‘Cave Fūgai’). This practice may have been in emulation of Bodhidharma (Jap. Daruma, the first Zen patriarch), who was reputed to have meditated in front of a wall for nine years; but such rejection of temple life was rare for a 17th-century Japanese monk. While living in the Kamisoga Mountains, Fūgai is said to have made ink paintings of Daruma, which he would hang at the entrance to his cave, so that farmers could leave rice for the monk and take the paintings home. Many such works remain, darkened by incense, in farmhouses of the region. After some years Fūgai moved to a small hut in the village of Manazuru, south of Odawara, where he continued his ink painting and calligraphy. Besides Daruma, he also depicted the wandering monk Hotei (Chin. Budai; one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune) and occasionally brushed self-portraits and landscapes in ink on paper....

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