shigajiku 詩画軸
KEY WORD :  art history / paintings
A hanging scroll with a literary inscription written above an ink painting. This format is a visual extension of the ancient Chinese belief that painting and poetry are one. In Japan, shigajiku developed in the cultural atmosphere of the Five Mountain Temples gozan 五山 associated with Zen 禅 Buddhism in Kyoto during the Kamakura period. A famous example is the scroll "Catching a Catfish with a Gourd" Hyounen-zu 瓢鮎図 in the Taizouin 退蔵院 (a sub-temple of Myoushinji 妙心寺, Kyoto) by the Zen priest Josetsu 如拙 (fl. 1386?-1428?) which includes the verses of many Zen priests inscribed above the painting. There are many such extant paintings from the early Muromachi period that have literary inscriptions by Zen priests, many attributed to Shuubun 周文 (fl. 1414-63), an artist who successfully assimilated the Southern Sung Imperial Academy style of painting nansou intaiga 南宋院体画 first introduced to Japan by Josetsu. Closely associated with shigajuku are shosaijiku 書斎軸 (see *shosai-zu 書斎図) paintings with poems which depict monks studying in reclusive hermitages, and soubetsujiku 送別軸, poem-and-painting scrolls expressing the sadness of separation and presented to friends of family when leaving for a hermitage. With Sesshuu 雪舟 (1420-1506), a priest-painter who traveled to China himself and painted the natural landscapes that he experienced, ink painting became removed from the Zen monastery and literature and established itself as an independent genre.


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