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.
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
Lawrence. Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. "Obaku: Zen Painting and Calligraphy," April 8, 1978–May 31, 1978.

New Orleans Museum of Art. "Obaku: Zen Painting and Calligraphy," June 15, 1978–August 6, 1978.

New York. Japan Society Gallery. "Japanese Calligraphy from Western Collections," October 4, 1984–January 6, 1985.

Kansas City. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. "Japanese Calligraphy from Western Collections," February 15, 1985–March 31, 1985.

Seattle Art Museum. "Japanese Calligraphy from Western Collections," May 9, 1985–July 14, 1985.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Kodai-ji Lacquer," 1995.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Paintings from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection," October 1, 2002–March 2, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.

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