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Josetsu  

Karen L. Brock

(fl c. 1405–23).

Japanese painter and Zen monk. Contemporary biographical information about Josetsu is limited to two references. A brief entry dated 1448 in the diary of the Onryōken, a subtemple of Shōkokuji in Kyoto, mentions that in around 1416 Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi consulted with Josetsu about going to the island of Shikoku in search of stone for the carving of a stele in commemoration of Shōkokuji’s founder, Musō Soseki. The entry makes no mention of Josetsu as a painter, but it suggests his acquaintance with Yoshimochi and an association with Shōkokuji, which was an important centre in the development of ink painting in the Muromachi period (1333–1568) (see Japan §VI 4., (iii)). A colophon by the otherwise unknown Kanjōsō on Josetsu’s Sankyōzu (‘The three doctrines’; Kyoto, Ryōsokuin) states that the painting is by ‘[Jo]Setsu’ (clumsy-like), and that the painter was given this name by Zekkai Chūshin (1336–1405...