Hakuin Ekaku ( Japanese, 1685 - 1768 )
Daruma, the semi-legendary founder of Zen Buddhism, was among Hakuin's favored subjects, particularly as he is represented here, with a large head, intense gaze, and calligraphic stroke indicating his robe. The calligraphy above his head quotes the last stanza of a poem attributed to Daruma, but most likely from Tang dynasty China (618-906 C.E.), which summarizes an important principle of Zen:
A special transmission outside the scriptures;
No dependence upon words or letters;
Directly pointing at the mind of man;
Seeing into his own nature, man attains Buddhahood
- "Daruma," DMA Connect, 2012.
- "Bodhidharma," in Song of the Brush: Japanese Paintings from the Sanso Collection, ed. John M. Rosenfield (Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1979), no. 29.