Japan Art and Sōami: Zen Buddhism and China

Japan Art and Sōami: Zen Buddhism and China

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sōami is an artist of high esteem in Japan from the distant past. Henceforth, despite the passage of time, Sōami is still revered in Japanese artistic circles. This notably concerns Japanese high culture.

The year of his birth remains open to speculation. However, it is widely accepted that he passed away in 1525. Surprisingly – and highlighting his innovative and independent streak – Sōami was influenced by the Southern School of Chinese art.

Zen Buddhism and the influence of Chinese art were the bedrock of his life. Henceforth, the teachings of Zen Buddhism guided Sōami – while Zen-inspired gardens and various angles of Japanese and Chinese high culture nurtured his artistic soul.

Sōami also designed gardens – naturally influenced by Zen Buddhism. Accordingly, his garden designs focused on contemplation, time, space, and meditation that were nurtured through the prism of Buddhism. Therefore, people felt his cultural traits concerning the distinguished Ryoan Temple and Daisei-in gardens.

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