Calligraphy on silk, repaired and re-mounted with silk brocade from a formal sari.
I used sections of the sari’s border at the top and bottom of the artwork in place of a more traditional ichimonji brocade strip.
scroll 15.75 x 69 in.
Is Not Mind
“Gendō” signature of Yamaguchi Gendō
The characters in this piece are FU ZE SHIN ”Is Not Mind”—from a collection of Zen koans called The Gateless Gate.
Case no. 27 Nansen’s No Mind, No Buddha
A monk asked Nansen, “Is there any teaching never before revealed?”
Nansen replied, “There is.”
“What is it?,” asked the monk.
“It is not mind; it is not Buddha; it is not things.”
I found this scroll in terrible condition. The silk of the painting had detached from the backing, and the mounting silk was in tatters. But the calligraphy itself was so striking, I decided to try to remount it.
The man who brushed this was Yamaguchi Gendō (1863-1937) a wealthy industrialist, philanthropist, and tea adept, who also supported the Zen temple Daitokuji, where he is buried.