Zen ink painting on paper by Nantenbo Nakahara (1839-1925), mounted as a hanging scroll.
"A monk's Staff" (Shakujo)
Signed and sealed
Certified storage box (Kiwame-bako)
Size of mounting: 200.5 cm X 53 cm
Size of paper: 154.5 cm X 40.5 cm
Poem translation: "If you come forward speaking nonsense, you'll get a good taste of my staff; if you try to fool me by remaining silent, you'll get a whack!".
A son of a samurai family of Hizen Province. As a young man, he entered the Yuko-ji temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen, and later studied under the Zen master Sekio of the Enpuku-ji temple in Kyoto. In later years, when he succeeded the priest Razan of the Bairin-ji temple in Kurume, Kyushu, he did not advance into an administrative position, but rather wandered the country, visiting various temples. Keen in intellect, he was also known for his charity and became one of the most famous figures of the modern Rinzai sect. The Meiji period General Nogi is known to have practiced Zazen under his guidance.