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Tanka shoubutsu@’O‰àÄ•§
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Ch: Danxia shaofo. A painting subject which captures the Zen ‘T parable of the monk Danxia (Jp:Tanka ’O‰à) burning a wooden statue of the Buddha during the Tang dynasty. According to the 11c text Zutangji (Jp: SODOUSHUU ‘c“°W), Danxia, while spending a cold night at Huilinsi Œb—ÑŽ› decided to burn a wooden statue of the Buddha to keep warm. The priest of the temple scolded Danxia for his sacrilege only to receive Danxia's reply that he was burning the image to obtain its sarira (Jp: *shari ŽÉ—˜), the indestructible relic, sometimes a bone or a pebble representing a Buddhist saint. The priest asked, "How can you get sarira from a piece of wood?" Danxia replied, "If it's only a piece of wood, then there's no blame in burning it." The painting of this subject by Yintuoluo (Jp: Indara ˆö‘É—…, late 14c; segment of the scroll of Zenki-zu ‘T‹@}, in Bridgestone ƒuƒŠƒaƒXƒgƒ“ Museum of Art, Tokyo) is well known, and the subject was popular in ink painting, beginning in the Muromachi period. The painter Sengai åŠR (1750-1837) was particularly fond of the theme.
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