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5. Jiun Onkô (Sonja) (1718-1804)
Anchor (”selfportrait”)
Signed: Onkô Sanjin jidai
Seals: Jiun, Shaku Onkô in, Ninjoku dai-ichi dô (tp)
Technique: sumi on paper 93.8 x 28.4
Mounting: bronze brocade and dark greyish blue silk
black lacquered rollers, 168 x 30.8
Box: inscribed
Condition: some minor flaws, otherwise very good

我當そ有省 / 建仁そ練道 Gatô so yûshô Ken’nin so rendô.

That’s me, self-examination; establish virtue and practice the way.

Jiun has been a main inspiration for many calligraphers after him. He had an inmense output of great quality and wrote as well in Kanji, Kana and Siddham, but always with force and confidence and very often with a straw brush.

Jiun was born in Osaka the seventh son of the rônin, masterless samurai, Kôzuki Yasunori. Before entering the Shingon monastery of Hôrakuji of Shingon sect at the age of thirteen he was trained in martial arts, confucian classics and calligraphy. After two years he already mastered Siddham script, a derivative of Sanskrit.

At the age of sixteen he was send to Kyoto to study Confucianism with the scholar Itô Tôgai (1670-1738). After two years he returned to the Hôrakuji where he served as abbot between 1738-1741. For a wider perspective he studied Sôtô zen from 1742-1746 with Daibai Hôsen (1681-1757). Until 1758 Jiun travelled and lived in various sanctuaries.

For the next 13 years Jiun lived at a hermitage on Mt. Ikoma at the Nagao waterfall in order to practise Zen meditation and the study of the Sanskrit language. on which he wrote a massive study “Bongaku Shinryô”, (Guide to Sanskrit Studies) of 1000 volumes.

In order to purefie Buddhism Jiun organized his own school, the Shôbo Ritsu, True doctrine Discipline. His sect granted official recognition by the Bakufu, government, which involved 28 temples, hunderds of monks and thousands of lay followers. After a stay of four years in Kyoto, to teach at the Amidaji he returned to Osaka where he started a life in seclution on Mt. Katsuragi.
Here in his last thirty years he wrote most of his calligraphy.
In 1804 he went back to the Amidaji in Kyoto to preach. Here he died 87 years old.

Osaka 2004
Roberts p. 61
Rosenfield B. 31
Addiss ‘06 p.227-231
Gitter Yelen ‘06 p. 86-88

Price: EUR 3,600 / USD 4,140