Chinese Chan Calligraphy
Huanbo Daoben (1644-1731)
Size: Length 198 cm Width 39 cm
Huangbo Daoben was possibly one of the last few Chinese monk from Fujian to immigrate to Japan to help continue the Huangboshan branch monasteries in Japan. During the 58th year of Emperor Kangxi, Doaben receives an invitation from Lingyuen to come to Japan. Daoben became abbot of Nagasaki's Soufukuji (Zhongfusi) and later established a small shrine near the temple.
Daoben was known for his sense of the literati tradition and became extremely famous for his Chinese poetries in Japan. To a certain extent, Daoben helped to establish Chinese Ming literati culture in Japan.
黃檗道本，即釋寂傳。 （1664~1731）俗姓陳，號茞亭，法號道本，晚號槐翁，字憲壽，名其齋樂樂庵。法諱寂傳，故後又以法諱寂傳稱世。日本江戶中期黃檗宗僧。福建省福清縣生。五十六歲時，受其師靈源海脈之召，於康煕58年東渡日本，後為長崎崇福寺六代住持。東渡前在國中已負詩名，廣與文人墨客雅酬。著詩集『蕭鳴草』一巻傳世。善書法，以唐樣書法名於當時。享保16年(1731)寂、68才。 [黃檗東渡僧寶傳卷上]
Fan Painting Depicting Sage with Peach
Ko Chien Lung
Late Qing Dynasty (1870-1900) Guangxu-Xuande
Size: Length 23" Height 13"
The peach has been an ancient symbol of longevity, possibly seen as early in the Han dynasty. Peaches were not only symbols of longevity but warding off evil and had magical symbolism that spread throughout East Asia. Recent research has even found that in early Japanese societies, this idea was incorporated in a ceremonial way.
The fan painting is depicting a Chinese sage walking amidst the clouds and appears to be coming out of the palace of Xi Wangmu, the famous goddess who has the noted peach groves that grant longevity. Often the sage Fulushou or Shulaoren are shown with peaches. This figure might either be a sage of longevity or another sage part of the 8 great immortals or other noted sages in the Daoist pantheon.
The work is done by an artist named Ko Chien Long. According to records, Ko Chien Long came from the Jiangsu Region and painted figural subjects often. However, he appears during the Kangxi period in the 17th century. The work has similar elements, but from the condition of the paper and other elements, the work might be a studio study done in the 19th century or so. Yet, the work retains that wonderful watercolor appeal often seen in contemporary French watercolors.
破墨山水双幅 Haboku Landscape, Sofuku (Pair Scroll)
狩野晴真筆Kano Haruzane (?-1862)
size: 45.3cm x 176.5cm or 17.8" x 69.4"
Kano Haruzane was trained by the noted artist of the late Edo period, Kano Seien-in. According to existing records and documents, Haruzane was working as the court-painter for the Owari Tokugawa Clan. Kano Haruzane's origisurname was Kamiya. However, no works appear to survive with his original surname. He receive recognition by his master and the Kano school through the adoption of the Kano surname and was thought to be around the 1850s, which this work may date to that period
The Kano school was patronized by not only the ruling Tokugawa clans but throughout most of the domains in Japan. A majority of the court artists were trained under the Kano, Unkoku, Tosa, Kose, and Sumiyoshi schools. These schools base their styles from Song and Yuan style paintings favored by the Ashikaga Shoguns during the Muromachi period around the 15th century, creating a factory almost producing works of art in the style of that dynasty. The Edo period saw the development of the Shijo- Maruyama and literati schools that gained interest by Western art collectors and scholars, the Kano, Unkoku, and Tosa schools, on the other hand, became ignored as being redundant and un original. However, with new scholarship, revealing new dimensions of these important schools and renewed appreciation of how Japanese art developed during this period of Japanese art history.
Mid to late Edo period Amida Buddha statue mounted on a simple wooden base. One hand mudra is attached incorrectly creating an interesting yet scientifically correct expression of the hands. The Buddha still retains the crystal insets on the ushnisa and the middle section of the head.
Contemporary artists such as Sugimoto Hiroshi have used old Buddhist images and objects with new contemporary mounts to give the images a new expression. The combination of old and new, visually, materialistically, and even environmentally is one of the new expressions of modern Japanese art. Sugimoto might have been inspired by such images in the West where fragments of pieces are mounted on metal or wooden stands as a form of display or the expression of a romanticized past.
Age: Edo Period c. 18th to 19th century
Size: To come
Fan Painting of Chrysanthemum and Autumn Flowers
By Yu Tsun
Late Qing Dynasty, 19th century
Size: Length 23" (58.42cm) Width 12" (30.5cm)
Autumn flora is one of the few favorite seasonal motifs in the literati tradition. Especially with Chrysanthemums which were the favorite flower of Tao Yuan Ming, the noted literati scholar poet who wrote a verse of chrysanthemums growing near a bamboo fence set in the Western side of his home. Additionally, chrysanthemums were thought be medicinal and during the month of September edible flowers were once placed in wine to pray for longevity and good health.
The work is done by an artist named Yu Tsun. No records or information is found who the artist was, but the stylistic appearance and quality is a signature element in 19th century Chinese paintings of flowers.
The simplicity of the black lacquer with the contrast of the bold design of the paulownia and chrysanthemum is the appeal of this black lacquered tea container or natsume. The Kodaiji motif is derived from the lacquered panels on the shrine where Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his wife, Nene's figures are placed in. Patterns such as chrysanthemums and paulownia, cherry branches flowing on wooden ikats, among other designs represent not only Kodaiji temple, but the preferences of the Momoyama period.
The container comes with a wooden box to contain the container.
Age: Late Edo Period (1850-1860) to Early Meiji Period. The natsume lid has a crack which has been repaired on the exterior with a thin layer of lacquer.
Size: Diameter 2.8 in : Height 2.9 in
Suio Genro (1717-1789)
Suio Genro is known as the main disciple who inherited the seat of abbot from Hakuin Ekaku at Shoinji temple. Suio was the second top disciple of Hakuin and was always near his side, even at his death around 1764.
The work, unlike the traditional images Hakuin painted, has a firmer more conformed appearance than a modern-like animated figure. The Hotei has a slight smile expressing his understanding of the dharma as Mahakasyapa did when Shakyamuni smiled.
Interestingly, the box that came with the scroll contains a date of the Second year of Kansei (circa 1790) was when the scroll came into the collection of a Japanese collector, a year after Suio's death. The work came from a noted gallery in Mishima city, Shizuoka Prefecture and acquired by an individual was part of the early pioneers in transmitting zen to the West during the 1950s.
Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907)
Size: Height 75" Width 24.5"
Born in the same region of Japan as the noted literati artist Tanomura Chikuden, Chokunyu was exposed to Nanga and literati style paintings from an early age. After Chikuden's passing in 1830, Chokunyu increased his study of Chinese style paintings and produced a wide range of works inspired or incorporating traditional Chinese brush techniques. Some critics and scholars have lauded that Chokunyu was the last great literati artist of the Meiji period, aside from Tessai who was noted for his independent style.
Provenance: Work comes from the collection of Nakagawa Soen of Ryutakuji temple in Mishima of Shizuoka Prefecture. The work comes with a box inscribed by Soen. The work then was passed down to an individual who was the few pioneers of transmitting zen to the West with Soen.
Landscape In the Style of Shen Chou
Period: Edo Period (late 18th to 19th century)
Size: Length 38" Width 8"
The work done on silk is done in the manner of the noted literati artist, Shen Zhou or Shen Qi-tian (1427-1509). Chinese literati landscapes initially come to Japan in the early part of the 17th century through merchant artists from the Fujian- Guanzhou region and later imports of works fueled the pursuit of literati landscapes. This work, unlike common literati landscapes done in Japan during this period retain elements and styles used by the literati painters of the Song and Ming dynasties.
A splendid and refined Edo period Ko Imari porcelain dish. The dish is decorated with Chinese lions set in geometric medallions with peonies and various flora set in a stylistic manner.
Imari porcelains were developed in response to the Chinese porcelains that were imported to Japan during the 16th and 17th centuries. Potters in the Arita-Imari region discovered kaolin deposits in the mountains enabling the potters to create Japanese made works. Early pieces contain inscriptions associated with Ming dynasty porcelains such as the Chenghua and Wanli year marks. Later, different characters and signatures were replaced.
This fine dish was part of the collection of a noted collector of Japanese porcelains and had his works published in catalogues concerning about Chinese porcelains and the history.
Age: 18th century
Size: Diameter 6.25" Height 3"