Yakuzan Rikou  薬山・李こう
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
 
Ch:Yaoshan Li'ao. A Zen 禅 painting subject depicting the philosophical debate between the Tang dynasty hermit-priest Yaoshan Weiyan (Jp: Yakuzan Igon 薬山惟儼, 751-834) and the provincial governor Li Ao (Jp:Ri Kou 李こう). Their dialogue is recorded in the Zutangji 祖堂集 (Jp: SODOUSHUU 祖堂集) and Jingde Chuandenglu (Jp:KEITOKU DENTOUROKU 景徳伝燈録, 1004) and later the story became a famous teaching parable kouan 公案. Li, long desiring an audience with the famous Yaoshan, travelled to the master's mountain retreat only to be completely ignored by the priest. Li criticized his rude host, saying "seeing the face is not hearing the name," whereupon Yaoshan called out "Governor!" When Li responded to the word, Yaoshan asked him why he favored hearing over seeing. When Li asked what is the Tao, the priest responded by pointing up then down, then explained to the puzzled official that "clouds are in the sky, water is in the jar." Among paintings of the subject, Ma Gongxian's (Jp: Ba Kouken 馬公顕, act. mid-12c) hanging scroll at Nanzenji 南禅寺, Kyoto, was probably the most influential for Japanese artists of Muromachi period who created ink painting.
 
 

 
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