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Gama Tekkai@寁E S
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Ch: Hama Tiegue. Two Taoist immortals frequently paired in Chinese and Japanese painting. Gama (Ch: Hama), also called Ryuu Kaizen C (Ch: Liu Haichan) or Katsugen (Ch: Gexuan), is said to have been a high official in the state of Jin who retired to Nanshan R to learn Taoist magic. Gama, whose name literally means toad, is easily identifiable by the large, three-legged toad which perches on his shoulder. He is also distinguishable by his long, tangled hair, bare feet, and completely hairless face covered with unsightly protuberances. A variety of accounts explain Gama's association with the toad. According to one story, the toad lived in a large swamp until Gama lured it out with gold coins strung from a stick. Gama is also said to have been able to fly while riding on the toad. Tekkai S (Ch: Tieguai), bore the family name Li and was also called Kouzui ^ (Ch: Hongshui). According to the RESSEN ZENDEN S` (Ch: Liezian Quanzhuan), he was able to blow his soul from his body and thus travel great distances. On one such very long journey, his disciples, thinking him dead, burned his body. When he returned at last, Tekkai had to occupy the form of a lame beggar who had recently died. In painting he is seen in this form, with a rough hairy face, leaning on a crutch, and carrying a wine-gourd hung from his belt. Usually he is pictured blowing forth his soul which is personified as a small man, often a miniature beggar. The Yuan painter Yan Hui (Jp: Gan Ki P) is credited with creating the prototypical Gama and Tekkai images (Chionji m, Kyoto) which greatly influenced Japanese painters such as Minchou (1351-1431), an explanation be seen in Toufukuji , Kyoto; Sekkyakushi ԋrq (act. mid-15c.) and members of the Kanou school *Kanouha h. Gama and Tekkai are also included among the grouping of eight immortals, and thus were parodied in *ukiyo-e G prints.
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