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Portrait of Ingen (Yinyuan)
NMHC_E(ohbaku)11
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Being inscribed by Ingen himself, this portrait witnesses not only his monumental arrival at Japan but the beginning of the portrait tradition of successive Zen masters of the Obaku sect. All these facts, apart from the flourishment of the sect in present-day Japan, are enough to call this portrait a great masterpiece. Ryuji HIRAOKA and Kenji KUBO, curator, Nagasaki.

History of the Object
Ingen (Yinyuan, 1592-1673) was a Ming Chinese Zen master, who in 1654 came to Japan and founded the Obaku (Huangbo) sect, one of the most influential Zen schools throughout early modern Japan, along with the Rinzai (Linji) and Soto (Caodong) sects. After repeated requests of Itsunen (Yiran, 1601-1668), a Chinese Zen master who had been staying in Nagasaki since 1644, Ingen arrived at the port in 1654 by the ship of Tei Seikou (Zheng Chenggong, 1624-62) with 20 of his disciples. He soon became the abbot of Kofuku-ji (Xingfu-si) temple, one of the Chinese temples in Nagasaki. Later, he won the support of the fourth Shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna (1641–1680), to build a temple in Uji, just south of Kyoto, as the headquarters of his new line of teaching. In 1661, he named the new temple Manpuku-ji (Wanfu-si) Temple, with the mountain-name Obaku-san (Huangbo-shan), in honor of his home temple in China. The tradition of the Zen schools has succeeded well until now. More than 1000 temples of the sect exist all over Japan. This portrait is drawn by a Nagasaki painter KITA Douku (?-1663) who learned painting from , Yang Daozhena Chinese painter who came to Japan with Ingen. He is known for his unique style of deep colors and perspective drawing, Douku, together with his disciple Genki (?-1663-?), is called the founder of the Obaku painting school in Japan. In this hanging-scroll, Douku succeeds in expressing Ingen’s gentle and soft character (“Nyu”) as he was so called. He portrays Ingen sitting on the back of Foo Dog, as if he is the reincarnation of Monju bosatsu (Manjusri bodhisattva), thus highlighting Ingen's wisdom and intellect.

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Type
Drawing 
Materials
color on paper 
Measurements
103.5cm ×42.2 cm 
Creator name
KITA Douku, inscribed by Ingen 
Creator date
KITA Douku (?-1663), Ingen (1592-1673) 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
17th Century; early Edo period (1603-1867) 
Function
 
Acquisition
It was once in the collection of Nagasaki City Museum and now preserved in Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Nagasaki City, Japan 
Museum
Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture 
Credit line
Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture, Nagasaki, Japan 

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