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Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Masatomo Kawai

[Gyokukei]

(1348–c. 1420).

Japanese Zen monk, scholar, calligrapher, poet and painter. He began his training as a monk at Nanzenji in Kyoto, under Shun’oku Myōha, the nephew and disciple of Musō Sōseki, one of the leading Zen prelates of the Muromachi period (1333–1568). His other teachers included the Zen recluse Shakushitsu Genkō and Gidō Shūshin, under whom he studied literature. A trusted adviser of the fourth Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimochi, Gyokuen was appointed to the prestigious abbacies of Kenninji (c. 1409) and Nanzenji (1413) in Kyoto. His true wish, however, was to retire from the world, and in 1420, after a disagreement with Yoshimochi, he left Kyoto to lead a life of seclusion. An accomplished poet, Gyokuen also brushed colophons on many shigajiku (poem-painting scrolls) of the period, including Josetsu’s Catching a Catfish with a Gourd (c. 1413–15; Kyoto, Myōshinji). His own painting, which shows the influence of the mid-14th-century Chinese priest–painter Xue Chuang and of Tesshū Tokusai, strongly reflects his literary disposition. He is especially well known for his subdued monochrome ink paintings of orchids (emblems of moral virtue), 30 of which have survived (...

Article

[ho Ch’usa, among others]

(b Yesan, Ch’ungch’ŏng Province, 1786; d Kwach’on, Kyŏnggi Province, 1856).

Korean calligrapher, painter, scholar and poet. He was also a lay Buddhist. Born into a family related by marriage to the imperial household, from an early age he showed his talent for calligraphy, studying with Pak Che-ga. Kim had an extremely successful civil service career before being exiled in 1840 and again in 1848.

In 1809 he accompanied his father on a mission to China and went to Beijing, where he met such eminent scholars as Wen Fanggang (1733–1818) and Ruan Yuan. The scholarship of the Qing period (1644–1911), in particular the northern stele school of calligraphy (see China, People’s Republic of §IV 2., (vii), (b)), which chose as its calligraphic models the stelae of the Han (206 bcad 220) and Northern Wei (ad 386–534) dynasties, made a deep impression on Kim. His own style of calligraphy was characterized by vigorous strokes with a strong contrast between thick and thin lines. This style, known as the Ch’usa (i.e. Kim Chŏng-hŭi) style, was highly influential in Korea and well respected in China (...

Article

Helmut Brinker

[Lanqi Daolong]

(b Sichuan Province, 1213; d Kamakura, 1278).

Chinese Zen master and calligrapher, active in Japan. He was the first recognized Chinese Chan (Jap. Zen) teacher to reach Japan. He became a major figure in the transmission of the doctrines and spirit of Rinzai (Chin. Linji) Zen and the introduction of Chinese Song-period (ad 960–1279) monastic practice. He entered a Buddhist monastery in the Chinese provincial capital of Chengdu at the age of 13 and later moved to the Hangzhou area, where several of the most distinguished prelates resided at Chan centres. Travelling from one monastery to another, he seems to have met the most renowned religious masters, among them the venerated abbot of Mt Jing, Wuzhun Shifan (1177–1249). He was accepted as a direct disciple by Wuming Huixing (1160–1237). After learning about the condition of Zen in Japan from the pilgrim monk Getsuō Chikyō, Rankei and two of his friends went to Japan to propagate their religious ideals. After a short stay in Hakata, Kyushu, Rankei went on to Kyoto to visit Getsuō Chikyō, who probably advised him to go to Kamakura, where Zen was more readily tolerated by traditional Buddhist sects. In Kamakura, Rankei was invited to Jufukuji by the Zen monk Daiketsu Ryōshin, who was acquainted with the Regent, Hōjō Tokiyori (...

Article

Stephen Addiss

[Nagasawa]

(b Hara, 1685; d Hara, 1769).

Japanese Zen monk, painter and calligrapher. He was one of the most important painters of the Edo period (1600–1868), creating hundreds of paintings and calligraphies that revolutionized Zenga (painting and calligraphy by Zen monks from the 17th century to the 20th; see Japan, §VI, 4, (vii)). In earlier centuries, Zen painting and calligraphy had been generally limited to portrayals of famous masters of the past, landscapes and Zen phrases or poems. Under Hakuin’s influence, however, a new range of styles and of subjects—including Zen-related subjects, those drawn from other Buddhist sects and from native folklore—made Zenga appealing not only to the Zen initiates but also to lay people. In this way Hakuin responded to the Tokugawa government’s lack of support for Zen; he reached out to people of all beliefs and levels of education through art that had both humour and dramatic impact. Indeed, his use of art in the service of religion permanently changed the ...

Article

Stephen Addiss

[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....

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

Guanxiu  

Joan Stanley-Baker

[Kuan-hsiu; original family name Jiang; zi Deyin; hao Chanyue

(b Lanxi, Zhejiang Province, ad 832; d Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 912).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, poet and Buddhist monk. During the reign (ad 901–3) of the Tang emperor Zhaozong (reg ad 888–904), he visited Sichuan Province and was honoured by the King of Shu, who bestowed on him the title of Master. At that time, Daoism and Buddhism flourished in Sichuan, prompting many temple-building projects and giving an unprecedented impetus to the liturgical arts and figurative painting. Of the 50 or more painters recorded as then working in Sichuan, most were producing Daoist and Buddhist figure paintings.

According to contemporary sources, Guanxiu deviated from current fashions in depicting the Buddhist luohan (Skt arhats; enlightened beings) in his paintings with Tatar features and Indian faces. Like those of his predecessor, Yan Liben, these ascetics had long, trailing eyebrows, enormous, deep-set eyes, huge ears and bulbous noses. Guanxiu said that his inspiration ‘came from dreams’. Although he is said to have used only ink wash, his dexterity in that medium produced the effect of a full-colour spectrum. He reputedly sat in meditation in a room perfumed by incense and, when a genuine vision of the Buddha came to him, leapt up and rapidly depicted two or three ...

Article

Cecil H. Uyehara

(b Japan, ?ad 778; d 842).

Japanese government official and calligrapher. Together with Emperor Saga and the Buddhist monk Kūkai, he is regarded as one of the Sanpitsu (Three Brushes) calligraphy masters of the early Heian period (794–1185) who played an important role in the introduction, diffusion and revered status of Chinese culture and calligraphy styles. He was born into an aristocratic family of government ministers, the son of either Tachibana no Irusue or Tachibana no Kiyotomo, and cousin of the emperor. He went to China in 804 and, to judge from a historical record, he was acquainted with Kūkai, who was in China at the same time. They both returned to Japan in 806. Hayanari rose only slowly in the imperial government, and in 842 he was banished to Izu Province (now part of Shizuoka Prefect.) for his alleged involvement in a dispute over imperial succession but died en route. A decade after his death he was posthumously upgraded in court rank, and after another decade his spirit was ‘returned’ to Kyoto. He was deified 370 years later. The Sanpitsu are said to have been accorded their cognomen for creating the calligraphies for plaques over the doors in the Daidairi (the palace complex), Kyoto. Several calligraphies have been attributed to Hayanari, but none has been authenticated. The best-known work attributed to him is the scroll ...

Article

Huaisu  

Ho Chuan-Hsing

[Huai-su; xing Qian; zi Cangzhen]

(b Lingling County, Hunan Province; fl c. ad 730–80).

Chinese calligrapher and Buddhist monk. He left home to become a monk while still young, taking the monastic name Huaisu, over his family name, Qian. Early devoted to the art of cursive script (caoshu) calligraphy, he initially imitated the style of his step-brother Wu Tong (fl c. mid-8th century). Huaisu probably decided to become a serious calligrapher during the 760s, after his cursive script was praised by Wei Zhi (697–761), a court official in the Board of Civil Appointments. Between ad 767 and 769 Huaisu went south to Guangzhou (Canton) to request annotations on his works from the famous calligrapher Xu Hao (ad 703–82), then provincial governor. As a result, Huaisu’s reputation spread throughout southern China.

In ad 772 Huaisu went north to the capital Chang’an and the auxiliary capital Luoyang. Here, his unrestrained individualism and exquisite skill in cursive script earned him the admiration of calligraphers, including Yan Zhenqing, poets, aristocrats, officials and other figures. Huaisu received numerous poems and essays eulogizing his cursive script, some of which he rendered as calligraphy in his ...

Article

Joseph D. Parker

[Shūhō Myōchō]

(b Harima [now in Hyōgo Prefect.], 1282; d Kyoto, 1337).

Japanese Zen abbot and calligrapher. It is to Daitō Kokushi (‘national teacher Daitō’) that the abbots of virtually all modern Japanese Rinzai Zen temples trace their religious heritage, and he was one of Japan’s foremost monk–calligraphers. Daitō took monastic orders as a youth and at the age of about 21 became a disciple of Kōhō Kennichi (1241–1316), who had studied in Japan under the Chinese master Wuxue Zuyuan (1226–86), and who was a son of Emperor GoSaga (reg 1242–6). By 1305 Daitō was studying Zen under Daio Kokushi [Nanpo Jōmyō] (1235–1308), a monk who had studied for eight years in China and under whom Daitō achieved enlightenment. Daitō’s early, graceful, Japanese-style calligraphy may have been the result of his training under Kōhō Kennichi. The early style is fluid, yet betrays a penetrating strength in the use of the brush tip. A fine example is his two ...

Article

Kōmyō  

Samuel C. Morse

(b ad 701; d 760).

Japanese empress, Buddhist patron and calligrapher. She was the consort of Shōmu, her half-brother and the 45th emperor of Japan (reg 724–49). Kōmyō was the daughter of Fujiwara no Fubito (659–720), a powerful aristocrat who was also the father of Shōmu’s mother, and Agata Inukai no Tachibana no Michiyo (d 733). Kōmyō and Shōmu, who married in 716, were two of the most fervent Buddhist patrons in the history of Japanese art. They and their family are said to have commissioned 24 complete sets of the Buddhist canon of texts (Jap. issaikyō or daizōkyō), at that time numbering 5048 volumes, and they frequently took up the brush to copy sūtras and the Chinese classics themselves. No extant works can be firmly attributed to Kōmyō, but a copy of the Luoyi lun (Jap. Gakkiron; Nara, Shōsōin) in the style of the 4th-century master Wang Xizhi (...

Article

Kūkai  

Samuel C. Morse

[Kōbō Daishi]

(b Byobugaura, Sanuki Province [now Zentsūji, Kagawa Prefect.], ad 774; d Mt Kōya, Wakayama Prefect., 835).

Japanese monk and calligrapher. He introduced the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism to Japan (see Japan §II 3.) and is also known for his many important artistic and cultural achievements. Together with Saga and Tachibana no Hayanari, he was known as one of the Sanpitsu (Three Brushes, i.e. three master calligraphers) of the early part of the Heian period (794–1185)

Kūkai (known only after his death as Kōbō Daishi; see §3 below) was born into the Saeki clan and in 788 went to the capital, Heijō (now Nara). Three years later he entered the Confucian university, the formal centre for the bureaucratic training of young nobles, but soon gave up the possibility of a career as a government official and, denouncing Confucianism, adopted a life of Buddhist practice. The next 13 years of his life remain shrouded in mystery. At some time during that period he took Buddhist precepts at the temple of Tōdaiji in Nara, but he seems to have spent much of his time wandering about Japan searching for the essential teachings of Esoteric Buddhism. Realizing that his quest was fruitless in Japan, he left for China in 804 on an official envoy ship, intending to stay for 20 years....

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

Karen M. Gerhart

[Ōtagaki Nobu]

(b Kyoto, 1791; d Kyoto, 1875).

Japanese poet, calligrapher, potter and painter. Shortly after her birth, she was adopted by Ōtagaki Mitsuhisa who worked at Chion’in, an important Jōdo (Pure Land) sect temple in Kyoto. In 1798 she was sent to serve at Kameoka Castle in Tanba, where she studied poetry, calligraphy and martial arts. She returned to Kyoto in 1807 and was married to a young samurai named Mochihisa. They had three children, all of whom died shortly after birth; in 1815 Mochihisa also died. In 1819 Nobu remarried, but her second husband died in 1823. After enduring the tragic loss of two husbands and all her children, Nobu, only 33 years old, cut her hair off and became a nun, at which time she adopted the name Rengetsu (‘lotus moon’). She lived with her stepfather, who had also taken vows, near Chion’in. After his death in 1832 Rengetsu began to make pottery, which she then inscribed with her own ...

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 ...

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

Saga  

Samuel C. Morse

(b ad 786; reg 809–23; d 842).

Japanese emperor, poet, calligrapher and patron of the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism. Along with Kūkai and Tachibana no Hayanari, he is regarded as one of the Sanpitsu (Three Brushes; master calligraphers) of the Heian period (ad 794–1185) (see Japan §VII 2., (ii)). He was the second son of Emperor Kanmu (reg 781–806), who founded the capital Heian (now Kyoto) in 794, and Empress Otomuro (ad 760–90). In 809 he succeeded his half-brother, Emperor Heizei (reg 806–9), to the throne as the 52nd emperor of Japan, and although he abdicated in 823, Saga remained the most powerful figure at court until his death. Politically the most significant event of his career occurred in 810 when Heizei attempted to return the centre of government to the old capital of Heijō (now Nara). Saga and his allies quickly crushed the rebellion, thereby assuring a pre-eminent cultural role for Kyoto in subsequent Japanese history. Saga had a deep passion for Chinese culture. He actively promoted the use of Chinese modes of dress and the adoption of Chinese nomenclature for the various structures of the imperial palace. He wrote accomplished poetry in Chinese and was responsible for the compilation of two imperial anthologies, the ...

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 ...