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The Zen Patriarch Daruma on a Reed

The Zen Patriarch Daruma on a Reed

1500s

Shingo

(Japanese)

Hanging scroll; ink and light color on paper

Image: 88.8 x 33.7 cm (34 15/16 x 13 1/4 in.); Overall: 173.4 x 50.8 cm (68 1/4 x 20 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1983.21

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Description

Bodhidharma (Daruma in Japanese) is the founder of the Zen school of Buddhism. He is usually represented as a bearded figure whose dark-skinned appearance refers to his Indian ancestry. His scowling facial expression not only signifies the determination with which he pursues religious enlightenment, but also discourages followers who are not similarly motivated. Zen Buddhism emphasizes the importance of seeking enlightenment directly through meditation, without reliance on the written word.

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