|Gama Tekkai 蝦蟇・ 鉄拐|
|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
|Ch: Hama Tiegue. Two Taoist immortals frequently paired in Chinese and Japanese painting. Gama 蝦蟇 (Ch: Hama), also called Ryuu Kaizen 劉海蟾 (Ch: Liu Haichan) or Katsugen 葛玄 (Ch: Gexuan), is said to have been a high official in the state of Jin 金 who retired to Nanshan 南山 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 鉄拐 (Ch: Tieguai), bore the family name Li 李 and was also called Kouzui 洪水 (Ch: Hongshui). According to the RESSEN ZENDEN 列仙全伝 (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 顔輝) is credited with creating the prototypical Gama and Tekkai images (Chionji 知恩寺, Kyoto) which greatly influenced Japanese painters such as Minchou 明兆 (1351-1431), an explanation be seen in Toufukuji 東福寺, Kyoto; Sekkyakushi 赤脚子 (act. mid-15c.) and members of the Kanou school *Kanouha 狩野派. Gama and Tekkai are also included among the grouping of eight immortals, and thus were parodied in *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 prints.|
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