Kobayashi Taigen (*1938)

Calligraphy "Inexhaustible Treasure" and Ensō Circle

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

Comes with inscribed and signed wooden box.

The three characters „mu jin zō“ 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 Ōbai-in, subtemple of Daitoku-ji, Kyōto