Jakushitsu Genkō (1290-1367) and Buddhist Poetry in old Japan
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Jakushitsu Genkō (1290-1367) is a famous Japanese Rinzai Buddhist preacher who became the first abbot of the Eigen-ji temple that was built in his honor. He reportedly said about poetry, “Why pursue words, when one truly seeks silence?” This statement is especially appropriate for Jakushitsu because until nearing the end of his life, he had lived like a Buddhist hermit for a sizeable period. However, he was encouraged to teach Zen Buddhism in the late stages of his life and this equally coincided with changing internal thoughts.
The cultural power of China flowed naturally for Jakushitsu just like this angle influenced many Japanese preachers, scholars, and artists. He moved to China during part of his life and studied Ch’an at the Linji School between 1320 and 1326.
On returning to Japan a hermit life awaited Jakushitsu. Fittingly, in regards to this reality, he said:
Neither seeking fame
nor grieving my poverty
I hide deep in the mountain
far from worldly dust.
who will befriend me?
Plum blossom on a new branch
wrapped in moonlight
It could be that in these words Jakushitsu was envisioning a new horizon based on teaching Zen Buddhism to new generations before passing away from this world. Hence, he became the first abbot of the Eigen-ji temple that was finally completed in 1361. Therefore, in the final years of his life, he taught the wisdom he knew and expressed his deep passion of Rinzai Buddhism.
Jakushitsu pointedly wrote:
Rock slab seat
legs folded sitting alone
Not loathing noise
not savoring silence
The carefree clouds concur
The years pass, just like the decades and centuries, yet, certain static realities exist despite all the chaos and confusion of this world. Like Jakushitsu said, “Come here; free yourselves of karmic dust.”
BELOW IS A NEW BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI
Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit
European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters
ack/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.
http://sawakoart.com Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
DONATIONS to SUPPORT MODERN TOKYO TIMES – please pay PayPal and DONATE to firstname.lastname@example.org
http://moderntokyotimes.com Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News
http://sawandjay.com Modern Tokyo Times – Fashion
https://moderntokyonews.com Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News
http://global-security-news.com Global Security News – Geopolitics and Terrorism
PLEASE JOIN ON TWITTER
https://twitter.com/MTT_News Modern Tokyo Times
PLEASE JOIN ON FACEBOOK