Calligraphy: Words of Religious Enlightenment


Artist By the priest Shuho Myocho
Period Kamakura period, 14th century
Materials and techniques Hanging scroll, ink on paper
Size 30.7×64.2


Shūhō Myōchō (a.k.a. Daitō Kokushi) was born in Harima (present Hyōgo prefecture) and founded Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto. He received patronage of Emperors; Hanazono and Godaigo. This calligraphy transcribes a phrase from Chronicle of Xutang, a record by the Zen priest Xutang Zhiyu of Southern Song dynasty, whom Shūhō Myōchō respected as his mentor. It encourages diligence in facing the hardships awaiting Zen ascetics as autumn sets in. Calligraphy by Shūhō Myōchō has been admired through all periods. This was probably written in his fifties towards the end of his life.

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