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Hotei (Bu-tai)


Artist By the priest Mokuan Reien, Inscription by Liaoan Quingyu
Period Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Materials and techniques Hanging scroll, ink on paper
Size 80.3×31.8


Mokuan Reien was a Zen priest who went to China in the early 14th century and never returned home. In China he visited Liutong Temple in the West Lake area where he was heralded as the incarnation of Mu Qi. Later he became a zōsu, or a monk in charge of supervising the repository for sutras under Priest Liaoan Qingyu at Benjue Temple from 1333 through 1343. As this painting has Liaoan Qingyu’s commentary, it is thought to be the work from around this period. The theme is a legendary Zen monk Hotei, pointing toward heaven to prophesize the coming of Miroku, the Buddha of the future.

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