Art of Japan: Buddhist Monk and Winter

Art of Japan: Buddhist Monk and Winter Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times Sawako Utsumi fuses a stunning landscape with a wandering Buddhist monk in the bleak midwinter of Japan. Indeed, the religious angle, be it Buddhism, Christianity, or Shintoism, is a theme that pops up often in her art. However, her faith is embedded…

Sugawara Mitsushige and Buddhism: Bodhisattva Kannon and the Middle Kingdom

Sugawara Mitsushige and Buddhism: Bodhisattva Kannon and the Middle Kingdom Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The passing of time never dampens the beauty of the thirteenth-century Japanese calligrapher Sugawara Mitsushige. Indeed, just like the words of Buddha remain timeless, then images of chapter 25 of the “Universal Gate” representing Bodhisattva Kannon equally remain timeless…

Art of Japan and the remaining shadow of Shintoism

Art of Japan and the remaining shadow of Shintoism Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times Buddhist temples from various sects appear to dominate the religious discourse in Japan but inwardly the faith of Shintoism remains within the soul, irrespective of cultural, religious, or secular. Indeed, the splendor of ultra-modern cities, for example, Tokyo and Osaka,…

Japanese Buddhist poetry of the fourteenth century: Jakushitsu Genkō (1290-1367)

Japanese Buddhist poetry of the fourteenth century: Jakushitsu Genkō (1290-1367) 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…

Art of Zen Buddhism in Japan: Hakuin Ekaku

Art of Zen Buddhism in Japan: Hakuin Ekaku Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The holy Buddhist monk Hakuin Ekaku revived the school of Rinzai Buddhism based on taking Zen Buddhism far and wide. Indeed, his upbringing meant that he never lost touch with people at the bottom of the ladder, in terms of wealth.…

Buddhist art from China and Japan: Kaihō Yūshō (1533-1615) and the shadow of Liang K’ai (1140-1210)

Buddhist artists from China and Japan: Kaihō Yūshō (1533-1615) and the shadow of Liang K’ai (1140-1210) Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The path of Buddhism in China and Japan knows many roads because of various sects. Equally important, the thought patterns of Buddhism and cultural impact are extremely diverse in China and Japan. This…

Japanese Art and the two paths of Buddhism and Shintoism: Faith in the Snow without Abraham

Japanese Art and the two paths of Buddhism and Shintoism: Faith in the Snow without Abraham Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The latest art piece by Sawako Utsumi, a contemporary Japanese artist who hails from Northern Japan, utilizes the snowy landscape by highlighting the respective strengths of Buddhism and Shintoism despite terrible adversity. Of…

Sugawara Mitsushige and Bodhisattva Kannon: Buddhism, Japanese Culture, and the Middle Kingdom

Sugawara Mitsushige and Bodhisattva Kannon: Buddhism, Japanese Culture, and the Middle Kingdom Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The passing of time never dampens the beauty of the thirteenth-century Japanese calligrapher Sugawara Mitsushige. Indeed, just like the words of Buddha remain timeless, then images of chapter 25 of the “Universal Gate” representing Bodhisattva Kannon equally…

Buddhist Art, Sesshū Tōyō, and entrapment of time: Is Huike paying respect to Bodhidharma?

Buddhist Art, Sesshū Tōyō, and entrapment of time: Is Huike paying respect to Bodhidharma? Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The Japanese artist, Sesshū Tōyō (1420-1506), never questioned the Buddhist faith but in an artistic sense, he felt constrained by the time of his day. Indeed, the stunning and intriguing art piece titled Huike Offering…

Art of Sengai Gibon and Rinzai Buddhism: Buddhist Contemplation and Artistic Outreach

Art of Sengai Gibon and Rinzai Buddhism: Buddhist Contemplation and Artistic Outreach Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times   The inner-soul of Sengai Gibon (1750-1837) was always multidimensional and the flow that linked all fusions was Buddhism. Artistic wise, we will never know the real capabilities of Sengai because his art and writings were based…