|Artist||By the priest Wuan Puning|
|Period||China, Southern Song dynasty, dated 1272|
|Materials and techniques||Hanging scroll, ink on paper|
Gottan Funei (Wuan Puning, 1197-1276) was a disciple of Bushun Shiban (Wuzhun Shifan) who studied with Mugaku Sogen (1226-86). He came to Japan from China at the request of Hojo Tokiyori and became the seond abbot of Kencho-ji Temple, but in 1265, after six years, went back to China.
This letter was written 8n 1272 after his return home. It is addressed to Hongaku Shonin (dates unknown), a monk who trained under him in his later years when he was residing at a monastery on Mt. Jing, and who after returning to Japan, wrote letters to his master.
This is a letter in reply, thanking Hongaku Shonin for the presents and describing the recent events in his life, followed by words of advice on Zen. It is treasured not only as a work of calligraphy but also as reference from which we get a glimpse of Gottan’s life after his return to China.