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Celebrating the Legacy of Yinyuan Longqi (Ingen Ryuki) and the Art of Ōbaku

Celebrating the Legacy of Yinyuan Longqi (Ingen Ryuki) and the Art of Ōbaku

Ingen’s Disciples and Other Chinese Lineage Monks

From the moment they arrived in Japan, the Chinese monks who would eventually establish the Ōbaku school of Zen were regarded as living embodiments of Chinese literati culture. Their portraits and works of calligraphy manifest this charisma and were highly esteemed.

In Ōbaku, as in all Zen traditions, the abbot played a pivotal role in the ritual life of the monastery. Works of calligraphy by the early abbots—often brushed in large powerful strokes and carved into wood to adorn building entrances and gateways, or displayed in scroll format for private interior spaces—enliven the temple grounds. These calligraphic displays throughout the monastery continue to evoke the enduring presence and exuberant spirit of the early Ōbaku leaders.

In traditional portraits of Zen abbots, the disciple commissioning the portrait often asks the abbot being portrayed to add the inscription. In these cases, we use the term “self-eulogy.” Eminent Ōbaku abbots are also often asked to brush eulogies on portraits of other figures, including legendary ancestors, monks, and the laity. Eulogies often make light of the portrait-making process, at times mocking the attempt to capture the likeness of a real person as futile, as Buddhist metaphysical truths are evoked. 

This room features important early Ōbaku monks and other major figures with whom they interacted: the second (Mokuan) and fourth (Dokutan) abbots of Manpukuji, who were Ingen’s Dharma heirs; the fifth Manpukuji abbot Kōsen who was the Dharma heir of Ingen’s successor at Wanfusi in China; Sokuhi, also Ingen’s Dharma heir, who gained renown as a Zen teacher and calligrapher, and sojourned as abbot at Ōbaku temples in Nagasaki and in Kokura (Fukuoka prefecture); and Dokuryū, who became a monk under Ingen but never received dharma transmission. The latter served Ingen as scribe and gained renown as a physician and a master of the arts of calligraphy and seal carving.

Other Zen monks featured in this room include the Japanese master Bankei and his émigré Chinese teacher Daozhe who was not in Ingen’s lineage, and the Japanese monk Hōgen, an imperial prince who first trained under Mokuan and then with Dokutan, from whom he received Dharma transmission.  

Please visit Room 3, Artists and Poets, for works of calligraphy and painting by monks and artists in the cultural sphere of Ōbaku Zen.

 

UNIVERSE by Hōgen Dōin

UNIVERSE by Hōgen Dōin

Universe, 1726 Hōgen Dōin 法源道印 (1651-1730) Japan, Edo Period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 27.5 x 50 cm; 111.5 x 61.5 cm (mounted) Collection of Stuart Katz Not dependent on anything, not attached to anything: Just be yourself in the universe. —trans....

THE WAY by Gaoquan Xingdun (Jp. Kōsen Shōton)

THE WAY by Gaoquan Xingdun (Jp. Kōsen Shōton)

The Way, 1669 Gaoquan Xingdun 高泉性潡 (Jp. Kōsen Shōton, 1633- 1695) Japan, Edo period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 26.3 cm x 60 cm, 114.5 cm x 63.5 cm (mounted) Collection of Harald Conrad 道▢有道之士為 国宝乙酉春 The Way For the men of the way, A national treasure in...

NOTHING by Daoben (Jp. Dōhon Jakuden)

NOTHING by Daoben (Jp. Dōhon Jakuden)

Nothing, 1774 Daoben Jichuan 道本寂伝 (Jp. Dōhon Jakuden, 1664-1731) Japan, Edo Period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 87 x 26 cm; 163.8 x 37.1 cm (mounted) Collection of Stuart Katz 無事 Nothing [button link="https://ingen.arizona.edu/ingens-disciples/"...

WITHIN THE MOON by Daozhe Chaoyuan (Jp. Dōsha Chōgen, aka Dōshagen)

WITHIN THE MOON by Daozhe Chaoyuan (Jp. Dōsha Chōgen, aka Dōshagen)

Within the moon Daozhe Chaoyuan 道者超元 (Jp. Dōsha Chōgen, aka Dōshagen, 1602-1662) Japan, Edo Period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 30.7 x 48 cm; 114.3 x 51.6 cm (mounted) Collection of Stuart Katz Within the moon: on the night of the wedding, By chance the...

NOTHING by Bankei Yōtaku

NOTHING by Bankei Yōtaku

NOTHING Bankei Yōtaku 盤珪永琢 (1622-1693) Japan, Edo Period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 33 x 52 cm; 24.7 x 67.1 cm (mounted) Collection of Stuart Katz 無生法忍 NOTHING Arises, patient acceptance —trans. adapted from Digital Dictionary of Buddhism Bankei’s genius...

PORTRAIT OF TŌRAN SŌTAKU 東瀾宗澤 by Kita Genki

PORTRAIT OF TŌRAN SŌTAKU 東瀾宗澤 by Kita Genki

Portrait of Tōran Sōtaku 東瀾宗澤 (1640-1707) Kita Genki喜多元規 (active c. 1663-1709) Self-eulogy Japan, Edo Period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk 106.5 x 47 cm; 196.5 x 60.5 cm (mounted) Collection of Stuart Katz Predestined to be born in the country of...

FOUR-LINE POEM IN CURSIVE SCRIPT by Duli Xingyi (Jp. Dokuryū Shōeki)

FOUR-LINE POEM IN CURSIVE SCRIPT by Duli Xingyi (Jp. Dokuryū Shōeki)

Four-Line Poem in Cursive Script, 17th century Duli Xingyi 獨立性易 (Jp. Dokuryū Shōeki, 1596-1672) Japan, Edo period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 23.5 x 25 cm; 105.6 x 35.2 cm (mounted) Collection of Stuart Katz With just one call of the rooster, Startled...

PORTRAIT OF DULI XINGYI 獨立性易 (Jp. Dokuryū Shōeki) by Kita Genki

PORTRAIT OF DULI XINGYI 獨立性易 (Jp. Dokuryū Shōeki) by Kita Genki

Portrait of Duli Xingyi 獨立性易 (Jp. Dokuryū Shōeki, 1596-1672) Kita Genki 喜多元規 (active c. 1663-1709) Self-eulogy dated 1671 Japan, Edo period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper 111.4 x 50.1 cm; 211.8 x 63.8 cm (mounted) The Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr....

A SASH OF CLOUDS by Gaoquan Xingdun (Jp. Kōsen Shōton)

A SASH OF CLOUDS by Gaoquan Xingdun (Jp. Kōsen Shōton)

A sash of clouds, after 1678 Gaoquan Xingdun 高泉性潡 (Jp. Kōsen Shōton, 1633-1695) Japan, Edo period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 167.8 x 38 cm Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Purchase—funds provided by the Friends of...

AN ACCOMPLISHED SPIRIT by Jifei Ruyi (Jp. Sokuhi Nyoitsu)

Click here for image An Accomplished Spirit, mid-17th century Jifei Ruyi 即非如一 (Jp. Sokuhi Nyoitsu, 1616-1671) Japan, Edo period (1615–1868) Hanging scroll, ink on paper 131.5 x 36.8 cm; 215.9 x 38.5 cm (mounted) Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Museum...

PORTRAIT OF JIFEI RUYI 即非如一 (Jp. Sokuhi Nyoitsu) by Kita Genki

PORTRAIT OF JIFEI RUYI 即非如一 (Jp. Sokuhi Nyoitsu) by Kita Genki

Portrait of Jifei Ruyi 即非如一 (Jp. Sokuhi Nyoitsu, 1616-1671) Kita Genki 喜多元規 (active c. 1663-1709) Self-eulogy, 1666 Japan, Edo period (1615–1868) Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk 109.5 x 44 cm; 201.3 x 56.5 cm (mounted) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Harry...

PORTRAIT OF MUAN XINGTAO 木菴性瑫 (Jp. Mokuan Shōtō) by Kita Genki

PORTRAIT OF MUAN XINGTAO 木菴性瑫 (Jp. Mokuan Shōtō) by Kita Genki

Portrait of Muan Xingtao 木菴性瑫 (Jp. Mokuan Shōtō, 1611-1684) Kita Genki 喜多元規 (active c. 1663-1709) Self-eulogy, 1674 Japan, Edo period (1615-1868) Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk 109.5 × 41.9 cm; 202.2 x 59.4 cm (mounted) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of...