Buddhism and the Japanese calligrapher Sugawara Mitsushige: Bodhisattva Kannon

Buddhism and the Japanese calligrapher Sugawara Mitsushige: Bodhisattva Kannon

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The inscription of the Japanese calligrapher Sugawara Mitsushige dates the scroll to 1257. Thus the start of the brief Shoka era. Also, in this period of Japanese history, the famous Buddhist monk Nichiren (1222-1282) spread new ideas and reinvigorated Buddhism in Japan.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says “According to the calligrapher Sugawara-no-Mitsushige’s inscription, this scroll was made in the first year of the Shoka era (1257) and was modeled after a Chinese Song-dynasty printed book dated 1208. Although the compositions and the figural and architectural motifs of this version reflect Chinese pictorial traditions, it is clear that the anonymous artist inventively incorporated native Japanese (yamato-e) elements, especially in the manner of representing the landscapes and the fantastic beasts and demons.”

Its power never ceases to amaze all viewers who cherish art, culture, history, and religion. Hence, the images of the Universal Gate” remain visually powerful.

Thirty-four amazing images of Chapter 25 of the “Universal Gate” combine with the holy texts of the sutra. Indeed, the images highlight the mercy shown by Bodhisattva Kannon and the compassion that awaits. 

Bodhisattva Jizo and Bodhisattva Kannon are extremely popular deities in Japan. Therefore, these two deities dot the landscape. 

The Middle Kingdom (China) played a powerful role in the cultural growth of Japan. Internally, the indigenous Shinto faith would fuse many new ideas that entered the country. Also, new internal Buddhist sects would emerge that were extremely diverse – from Shingon Buddhism (Vajrayana lineage) to Nichiren. 

Therefore, the diversity of Japanese Buddhism can be felt strongly in Chichibu, Kamakura, Kyoto, Koyasan, Nara, Negoro-ji, Nikko, and other important centers of this religion. 

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/44849

PLEASE DONATE TO HELP MODERN TOKYO TIMES

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

DONATIONS to SUPPORT MODERN TOKYO TIMES – please pay PayPal and DONATE to sawakoart@gmail.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website and Modern Tokyo Times artist

https://moderntokyonews.com Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News

PLEASE JOIN ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/MTT_News Modern Tokyo Times

PLEASE JOIN ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/moderntokyotimes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.