Important Cultural Property

Calligraphy

By the priest Wuan Puning

Information

Data

Artist By the priest Wuan Puning
Period China, Southern Song dynasty, dated 1272
Materials and techniques Hanging scroll, ink on paper
Size 32.5×67.9

Explanation

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.