Important Cultural PropertyAncient Temple amid spring Clouds

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  • Hanging scroll
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • A甲813

This scroll with inscriptions by eight Zen priests, including Chikuan Daien (n. d.) of Tofuku-ji Temple in Kyoto, was composed as a gift for Onko, an old priest who lived at Manju-ji Temple in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu. The title of the work, Ancient Temple amid Spring Clouds, represents the theme of both the painting and the verses. The “spring clouds” not only describe the scenery but also allude to Onko’s disposition and high virtue. The painting itself, faithfully expressing the set theme, appears to have been executed from a careful compositional plan rather than having been spontaneously created. Its thick, warm ink tones are stylistically similar to works by the most renowned of the Tofuku-ji Zen monk-painters, Mincho (1352-1431).