Kalligrafie „Die grosse Wolke“  一帯雲 | (Ōbaku) Kōsen Shōton黄檗 高泉性潡 | 1633-1695

Calligraphy “The Big Cloud” 一帯雲 | (Ōbaku) Kōsen Shōton 黄檗 高泉性潡 | 1633-1695

The Ōbaku monks came from China; they fled in the middle of the 17th century from the repression that came with the change from the Ming to the Ching period in China in 1644. Three great priests were allowed to settle in Kyoto with the school name Ōbaku and build a temple according to their customs.

The head of this Ōbaku school, Ingen Ryūki, called Kōsen to the Manpukuji Temple in Kyoto in 1661. Kōsen's reputation quickly spread among the sophisticated aristocracy in Kyoto - Emperor Gomizunoō held him in particularly high esteem and had his son study with him.

In the publication "Obaku: Zen Painting and Calligraphy" (Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, USA 1978) by Stephen Addiss, page 21 shows a counterpart to this scroll painting from the Richard and Ellen Laing Collection, whose stamps are identical to those on this image. The signature is also convincingly similar, and ultimately the two calligraphers are of equal rank.

The three calligraphed characters are: 一 "one" / 帯 "belt" / 雲 "cloud". What does that mean? S. Addiss has no convincing interpretation. It may simply be about the miracle of a cloud that can split into individual groups and suddenly merge again into a single complex. From a Zen perspective, that would mean: everything you see individually is actually a whole.

S. Addiss did not read the signature on the left quite correctly: The reading is “Bukkoku Kōsen” and not “Bukkokuji Kōsen”.

Dimensions: 32cm x 195cm | Material: Paper

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