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9. Jiun Onkô (Sonja) (1718-1804)
Shingon Buddhist
Menpeki kunen, Daruma facing the wall (for nine years)
Signed:
Seals: Jiun, Inkô noin, Ninjoku dai-ichi dô (tp)
Technique: sumi on paper 80,4 x 33,5
Mounting: ocre damask and gold speckled blue silk
bone rollers, 160 x 44,8
Condition: soiled stained and at top of the mounting worm eaten, still fair

The inscription reads: 九年面壁 閑却九年

Kunen menpeki, kankyaku kunen.
For nine years Daruma was facing the wall, nine years of abandonment.

Jiun has been a main inspiration for many calligraphers. He had an inmense output of great quality and wrote as well in Kanji, Kana and Siddham, always with force and confidence and very often with a straw brush.

Jiun was born in Osaka the seventh son of the rônin, master less samurai, Kôzuki Yasunori. Before entering the Shingon monastery of Hôrakuji of Shingon sect at the age of thirteen he was trained in martial arts, Confucian classics and calligraphy.

At the age of sixteen he was send to Kyoto to study Confucianism with the scholar Itô Tôgai (1670-1738). After two years he returned to the Hôrakuji where he served as abbot between 1738-1741. For a wider perspective he studied Sôtô zen from 1742-1746 with Daibai Hôsen (1681-1757). Until 1758 Jiun travelled and lived in various sanctuaries.

For the next 13 years Jiun lived at a hermitage on Mt. Ikoma at the Nagao waterfall in order to practise Zen meditation and the study of the Sanskrit language on which he wrote a massive study “Bongaku Shinryô”, (Guide to Sanskrit Studies) of 1000 volumes.

In order to purify Buddhism Jiun organized his own school, the Shôbo Ritsu, True doctrine Discipline. His sect granted official recognition by the Bakufu, government, which involved 28 temples, hunderds of monks and thousands of lay followers. After a stay of four years in Kyoto, to teach at the Amidaji he returned to Osaka where he started a life in seclusion on Mt. Katsuragi.
Here in his last thirty years he wrote most of his calligraphy.
In 1804 he went back to the Amidaji in Kyoto to preach. Here he died 87 years old.

Reference:
Osaka 2004
Rosenfield ‘99 B.31
Addiss ‘06 p.227-231
Roberts p. 61

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