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70/1. Ryôkan Taigu (1757-1831)
Sôtô zen
Natsu chawan, summer teabowl - Grasses
Signed: Ryôkan
Technique: Hand-shaped eartheware with a light blue glazed kyôyaki Ø 14.5 x 5.4
Condition: very good

Ryōkan Taigu was an eccentric Sōtō zen monk. Much of his life he lived as a hermit. He is best known for his poetry and calligraphy, which present the essence of Zen life. He is still famous and his poetry is considered to be on a par with Bashô, Buson and Issa.

Ryōkan was born in the village of Izumozaki in Echigo Province (now Niigata Prefecture) in Japan to the village headman. at an early age to train at nearby Sōtō Zen temple Kōshō-ji, After a visit of the Zen master Kokusen (..-..) to ythe temple Ryôkan became his pupil and the two returned to Entsū-ji monastery in Tamashima (now Okayama Prefecture). After he received his enka Kikusen died a year late, after which Ryōkan left Entsū-ji to embark on a long pilgrimage. The rest of his monastic life he lived as a hermit and spent much of his time writing poetry, doing calligraphy, and communing with nature.

In 1826 Ryōkan became ill and was unable to continue living as a hermit. He moved into the house of one of his patrons, Kimura Motouemon, and was cared for by a young nun called Teishin.

Addiss ‘89 p.158 ff
Addiss ‘06 p.239 ff
and many other books