Art/ Collection/ Art Object

即非如一筆 墨蹟
Reading a Sutra by Moonlight

Sokuhi Nyoitsu (Jifei Ruyi) (Chinese/ Japanese, 1616–1671)
Edo period (1615–1868)
17th century
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 10 13/16 x 23 7/8 in. (27.5 x 60.6 cm) Overall with mounting: 44 1/4 × 24 5/8 in. (112.4 × 62.5 cm) Overall with knobs: 44 1/4 × 26 3/4 in. (112.4 × 68 cm)
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Chinese monk Yinyuan Longqi (1592–1673), known in Japan as Ingen Ryōki, came to Japan in 1654, where he introduced a style of Chan, or Zen, Buddhism and spread Ming-dynasty culture. He built a temple called Manpukuji near Kyoto, and his school was known as the Ōbaku sect after a mountain near the temple site. Sokuhi Nyoichi (Chinese: Jifei Ruyi) was among the group of monks who accompanied Ingen Ryūki. Together, his painting and calligraphy express the profundity found in the quotidian rhythms of Zen monastic life. The poem reads:

Moon and white paper are of
one color.
The pupil of the eye and the ink
are both black.
The marvelous meaning, lodged
in the circle,
Is beyond comprehension.
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