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date: 24 January 2020

Mokuan Shōtō [Muan Xingtao; Wu] locked

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

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