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83. Shimizu Kôshô (1911-1999)
Zenga
Figure
Signed: Kôshô
Seals: Tôdai bettô, Kôshô, Shumui (bt)
Technique: sumi, red and white on paper, 135 x 33.5
Mounting: olive green silk
194 x 41.9
Box: signed
Condition: some scattered foxing, otherwise very good

機輪轉處, 達者猶迷; 四維上下, 南北東西!
When the spiritual wheels turns,
Even the master fails to follow them.
They travel in all directions, above and below,
North, south, east, and west.


It is verse eight in the series Forty-eight verses on the Past, Song gu sishiba shou) by the Chinese master Huikai (Jap. Mumonkan )(1183-1260).

Shimizu Kôshô was born in Himeji. In 1927 he entered the Todai-ji in Nara. Upon graduating in Buddhist studies from Ryokoku University in 1933 he took up residence at the Tenryu-ji for four years to study and practice Zen under the guidance of the Abbot Seki Seisetsu (1877-1945). In 1947 he became director of Todai-ji High School. In 1959 he was appointed director of the Monks' Academy (Kangakuin) at Todai-ji, and in 1963 became director of Todai-ji Girls' School and Todai-ji Kindergarten. 1969 marked a turning point in Kôshô's career, when he was appointed Head of Religious Affairs of the Kegon Tradition. When in 1975 the abbot Kamitsukasa Kaiun (1907-1975) died Kôshô was chosen to be his successor, and in 1978 he became the 208th abbot dai bettô, of Todai-ji. However, he already resigned in 1981.

For the remaining 18 years of his life, Shimizu Kôshô was dedicated to art. He became a prolific "eccentric" painter, calligrapher and figurative potter. In 1994, when the Shosha Art and Craft Museum (in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture), was founded, Kôshô was made its honorary director.

Price: EUR 1,250 / USD 1,475