Nanzen shika 南泉指花
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Ch: Nanquan zhihua. Lit. Nanzen 南泉 (Ch: Nanquan) pointing at flowers. A Zen 禅 dialogue in which the government official Lu Dafu (Jp:Riku Taifu 陸大夫, 764-834) says to his teacher Nanquan, "I am of the same root as heaven and earth. Isn't it fantastic?" Nanquan (748-834) points to a flower and replies, "People of this age see this flower as if they were in a dream." This story, case 40 of the Biyanlu (Jp: HEKIGANROKU 碧厳録, 1300) is one of several famous incidents involving Nanquan (see *Nanzen zanmyou 南泉斬猫). A picture of a Zen occasion *zenki-zu 禅機図, the theme typically shows the old priest pointing at a flowering peony as a scholar looks on. A hanging scroll (private collection) of the theme by Kanou Sanraku 狩野山楽 (1559-1635) is well known.


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