C a l l i g r a p h y


Ensô Circle by SHÛHAN GENPÔ (1848-1922), 468th Daitoku-ji Head Monk

Inv. Nr.  #17.003
Date Early 20th c.
Material Ink on paper
Dimensions H 124 (37) x D 40 (37) cm

Comes with blank woodenbox.

A very delicate, thin Ensô painting from the brush of the 468th Daitoku-ji temple's head monk Shûhan Genpô 宗般玄芳 (1848-1922) who is often misleadingly named Sohan Genpo in english transscription. Shûhan Genpô has been 468th head monk of Japan's most famous Zen temple Daitoku-ji in Kyoto. He might be better known by his Zen master name Shôun 松雲, which means 'Pine Cloud' with which he often sigend his works like this one. As a leading disciple of famous Nakahara Nantenbô (1839-1925), Shûhan Genpô was a skilled calligrapher and painter who created many Zenga.



Calligraphy and Ensô Circle by

HOSOAI KATSUDÔ (1919-1985)

Inv. Nr. #A40
Date 1970s
Material Ink on paper
Dimensions H 129 x D 54,5 cm

Comes with inscribed and signed woodenbox.

The excellent even circle line by Hosoai Katsudō gives proof of a strong and serene mind shaped over years through the strict Zen training. Only the thickening that results unavoidably from putting the brush on the paper and the white empty spaces within the end of the brush line make the perfect round impossible. The angular inscription shows Katsudō's distinct calligraphic style with its powerful and yet dynamic stroke that was set on the paper with strength and precision. It provocatively  asks "What is this?" (Kore nan zo 是什麼) Hosoai Katsudō 細合喝堂 lived from 1919-1985 and was abbot of Daitoku-ji's subtemple Ryūgen-in.



Calligraphy "Mu" ("Nothing") by

NISHIGAKI SÔKÔ (1908-1985)

Inv. Nr. #A56
Date 1960/70s
Material Ink on paper
Dimensions 119,5 x 54 cm

Comes with inscribed and signed woodenbox.

Hanging scroll with the single character "Mu" 無 (Nothing), which refers to the emptiness of all things written by Nishigaki Sôkô 西垣宗興 (1908-1985). Nishigaki was born in Gifu prefecture in 1908. He entered monastic life first at Shinju-an, Daitoku-ji that is the famous subtemple of Zen-eccentric Ikkyû Sôjun. Later he became abbot of Daitoku-ji's affiliated temple Gokuraku-ji in Kinosaki, Hyôgo prefecture.



Calligraphy and Ensô Circle by

KOBAYASHI TAIGEN (*1938)

Inv. Nr. #A41
Date 2nd half 20th c.
Material Ink on paper
Dimensions H 129 x D 54,5 cm

Comes with inscribed and signed woodenbox.

The three characters „mu jin zô“ are part of  a poem by Chinese Song period poet and scholar Su Dongpo (1037–1101): „Within the lack of possessions, an inexhaustible treasure” (無一物中無尽蔵). In Zen-Buddhism this short aphorism does not only refer to material belongings, but more to an enlightened mind that is freed of beliefs and conceptions.

The wave-like outer edge of the circle line brings out the playful easiness of Kobayahi Taigens handwriting. Drawing and writing with a soft brush makes an exact and contour of the strokes more difficult, but however, it is suitable for Taigen's dynamically alternating brush line.

Kobayashi Taigen was born 1938 in Shenyang and raised in a Buddhist monastery when he was six years old. In 1975 he became successor of abbot Miyanishi Genshō at Ôbai-in, subtemple of Daitoku-ji, Kyôto