1-3 of 3 results  for:

  • Nineteenth-Century Art x
  • Religious Art x
  • Eighteenth-Century Art x
  • Books, Manuscripts, and Illustration x
Clear all

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

Walter B. Denny

[Muṣṭafā Rāqim; Mustafa Rakım]

(b Ünye, 1757; d Istanbul, 1826).

Ottoman calligrapher. Together with his elder brother, the calligrapher Isma‛il Zühdü Efendi (d 1806), he went to Istanbul, where he studied with several masters and obtained his diploma at the age of 12. He rose through the Ottoman civil service and eventually held a number of high government offices. He and his brother are generally recognized as freeing Islamic calligraphy from the style canonized by Hafiz Osman (see Islamic art, §III, 2(iv)(a) and (v)). His calligraphic works include a well-known picture of the invocation of the name of God (Arab. basmala; Turk. besmele) in the form of a crane and Tughras for the sultans Mustafa IV (reg 1807–8) and Mahmud II (reg 1808–39). He also crafted the inscriptions on the tomb complex of Mahmud’s mother, Nakşidil Sultan, in Istanbul.

Ş. Rado: Türk hattatları [Turkish calligraphers] (Istanbul, n.d.), pp. 196–9 A. Schimmel: Calligraphy and Islamic Culture...

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 ...