- 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 ...