Ink Drawing of Bamboo, Orchids, and Rock

Xinyue Xingchou

The Museum of Zen Culture and History,Komazawa University

The Museum of Zen Culture and History,Komazawa University
Setagaya City, Japan

Xinyue Xingchou (1639-1695) was a Zen monk of the Sōtō sect in the early Edo period. He was also known as Tōkō and Donggao Xinyue. He came to Japan in Enpō 5 (1677) at the invitation of Chengyi Daoliang, the fourth resident priest of Kōfukuji Temple in Nagasaki. At first he was imprisoned in Kōfukuji Temple, but was later welcomed into Tentokuji Temple in Mito under the patronage of Tokugawa Mitsukuni, where he practiced a style of Buddhism that was imported from China. Tentokuji Temple was later renamed Gionji Temple and became the center of the Jushō school of the Sōtō sect of Zen Buddhism, which Xinyue had introduced from China. He excelled in calligraphy, painting, and seal engraving, and was ranked with Dai Mangong as the “founder of seal engraving.” The “Rengaku” was especially favored, and there are still a lot of plaques with mountain and temple names written by Xinyue at temples around the country. He also excelled in the seven-stringed zither (or, according to one theory, the three-stringed zither) and had many disciples in zither playing, and he introduced many aspects of Chinese culture.

This painting is an Suibokuga (Ink painting) of bamboo, orchids, and stones, depicting the serene and ethereal atmosphere. The inscription on the box reads, “The collection of Kakumeikan.”


  • Title: Ink Drawing of Bamboo, Orchids, and Rock
  • Creator: Xinyue Xingchou
  • Physical Dimensions: H106.7×W50.4
  • Medium: paper

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