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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

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

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 ...

Article

Elizabeth Horton Sharf

[Muan Xingtao; Wu]

(b Quanzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, 1611; d Nagasaki, 1684).

Chinese monk, calligrapher, painter and poet. He was the second abbot of Manpukuji and a prominent early patriarch of Ōbaku Zen Buddhism in Japan. Together with Ingen Ryūki (Yinyuan Longqi) and Sokuhi Nyoitsu (Jifei Ruyi), he became known as one of the Three Brushes of Ōbaku (Ōbaku no Sanpitsu), noted master Zen calligraphers (see also Japan, §VII, 2, (iv), (c)). Mokuan was ordained at the age of 18 (19 by Chinese reckoning) and studied under the eminent Chinese monks Miyun Yuanwu (1566–1642) and Feiyin Tongrong (1593–1661) before training at Wanfu si on Mt Huangbo (Fujian Province) under Ingen. Mokuan received dharma transmission from Ingen in 1650 and went on to serve as abbot of the monasteries Taiping si on Mt Lianshi and Huiming si on Mt Xiang in south-eastern China. In 1655, at Ingen’s behest, Mokuan emigrated to Nagasaki, where he took over as abbot of the monastery Fukusaiji and served as Ingen’s senior disciple in Japan. Sokuhi Nyoitsu and Mokuan gained renown as the ‘Two Gates to the Nectar [of liberation]’ (Jap. ...

Article

Helmut Brinker

[Kyōunshi]

(b Kyoto, 1394; d Kyoto, 1481).

Japanese Zen Buddhist priest, poet, calligrapher and painter. He was one of the most unconventional figures in 15th-century Japan, an uncompromising critic of the Zen establishment, both in his poems, religious statements, paintings and calligraphic works and in his eccentric conduct that sometimes verged on the manic. Kyōun (‘Crazy Cloud’), his self-mocking sobriquet, is rich in literary connotations and emphasizes his non-attachment to the world, the essential requirement of a committed Zen monk. His famous manuscript of the Chinese verses named Kyōunshū (‘Crazy Cloud anthology’) reveals Ikkyū’s unique literary genius and also his mercurial temperament. According to the Ikkyū Oshō nenpu (‘Chronicle of Reverend Ikkyū’), which is thought to have been compiled shortly after the master’s death by his disciple Shōtō Bokusai, he was the illegitimate son of Emperor GoKomatsu (reg 1382–1412) and a woman of a branch of the Fujiwara clan, connected with the rival southern court, who was dismissed from the imperial household before her child was born. Although Ikkyū was never recognized as the offspring of an emperor, GoKomatsu received him twice in audience. At the age of five Ikkyū was sent to Ankokuji, a temple in the province of Yamashiro (now part of Kyoto), where he began his training as a Zen monk. In ...

Article

Cecil H. Uyehara

[Son’en Shinnō]

(b Japan, 1298; d 1356).

Japanese prince, Buddhist monk, poet and calligrapher. He was the sixth son of Emperor Fushimi and the half-brother of the emperors GoFushimi (reg 1289–1301) and Hanazono (reg 1308–18), all of whom were excellent calligraphers. He began his Buddhist training at the age of 11 at the temple of Shōren’in in Kyoto, took his vows at 13 and later served three times as abbot there. He studied the calligraphy of Fujiwara no Kōzei (see Fujiwara family §(2)) and Ono no Michikaze, two of the Sanseki (‘three brush traces’; three masters of calligraphy) and leaders in the later part of the Heian period (ad 794–1185) in creating a Japanese-style (Wayō) calligraphy. Building on this foundation he developed a style that became known as the Shōren’in (less popularly, the Son’en or Awata) school of calligraphy (see Japan §VII 2., (iii)). This style was perpetuated by successive abbots of the Shōren’in. During the Edo period (...

Article

Bruce A. Coats

(b Ise Prov. [now in Mie Prefect.], 1275; d Kyoto, 1351).

Japanese Zen master, poet, scholar and garden designer. As spiritual adviser to both Emperor GoDaigo (reg 1318–39) and the military leaders who overthrew him, Musō was politically influential and acted as mediator during the civil wars of the 1330s. At various times in his life Musō served as abbot of Nanzenji, one of the various Gozan (Five Mountains) Zen monasteries including Nanzenji in Kyoto (see Kyoto §IV 4.). The support of both imperial and shogunal courts enabled him to found many new Rinzai Zen temples. He was instrumental in popularizing Zen teachings, though also criticized for the secularization of some Zen institutions. Three times during his life and four times posthumously he was given the honorific title kokushi (National Master).

Musō began Buddhist studies at the age of three. Although his early training was in the Esoteric Tendai and Shingon doctrines, attraction to Zen brought him to Kamakura, where he received instruction from the Japanese disciples of distinguished Chinese Chan (Jap. Zen) monks, including Kōhō Kennichi (...

Article

Masatomo Kawai

(fl 1342–66).

Japanese painter, poet, calligrapher and Zen monk. He was a disciple of Musō Sōseki, the founder of Tenryūji in Kyoto. He went to China during the Yuan period (1279–1368) to study devotional poetry with the Chan (Zen) monk Gulin Qingmou. In addition to his Zen training, Tesshū also studied suibokuga (ink painting) (see Japan §VI 4., (iii)), and his style shows the influence of the Yuan-period painter Xuechuang Puming, who specialized in ink paintings of orchids (see China, People’s Republic of §V 3., (vi)). Tesshū’s representative work is Ranchikuzu (‘Orchids and bamboo’; Princeton U., NJ, A. Mus.), which bears an inscription by Gidō Shūshin. Other extant works include the Ransekizu (‘Orchids and rocks’; Tokyo, Gotoh Mus.) and the Roganzu (‘Reeds and wild geese’; New York, Met.). After his return to Japan in 1347 he became head of Hodaji in Awa (now Tokushima Prefect.), and in ...

Article

Deborah Nash

[Feng Tzu-K’ai; Feng Tse-kai]

(b Shimenwan, near Changde, Zhejiang Province, Nov 9, 1898; d Shanghai, Sept 15, 1975).

Chinese cartoonist, teacher, translator and writer. He is best known for the lyrical cartoons he created from the 1920s to the 1960s, which explored themes of Buddhist philosophy and the innocence of childhood through humorous observations of daily life. He trained as a teacher at the First Teacher Training College in Hangzhou, where he was taught by Li Shutong, a Buddhist monk who was to prove influential in Feng’s conversion to Buddhism in 1927 and in the development of his artistic career.

In 1921 Feng left Shanghai, where he had founded a teacher training college, and went to study Western art in Japan. However, as he later acknowledged in his book The Art of the Cartoon, he became fascinated by the popular Japanese manga (Chin. manhua; cartoon). On his return to China ten months later he joined the editorial staff of the Kaiming Book Company and began to publish his cartoons in the journal ...