Author: Jason M. Wirth
Publisher: Clear Light Pub
Fukushima Roshi is head abbot of Tofuku-ji Monastery, one of the great five mountain monasteries (gozan) of Kyoto, Japan, and one of the great centres of the Rinzai Zen tradition. Fukushima's calligraphy is not merely didactic, a gilded vessel to make Zen doctrines more palatable. They are technically masterful, reflecting Fukushima's training in the calligraphic arts from an early age as well as his apprenticeship with Okada Roshi and his kaisho or "block" script, and Shibayama Roshi and his exquisite gyosho script. But like the beneficent force of Shibayama's calligraphy, from which he learned much, Fukushima's calligraphy is a quiet storm, a serene volcano, a compassionate and gentle eruption of the vast energy or ki of the Zen mind. The gentle forms of Fukushima's calligraphy are rife with the erupting force of mushin. This book reproduces twenty pieces of Fukushima's calligraphy, as well as a rare piece done by both Shibayama Roshi and Suzuki Sensei. Set against Fukushima's calligraphy, one can see in it all three generations of bridge builders of one of the most important lineages of dharma transmission from Japan to the United States. To complete things is a magnificent portrait of Bodhidharma (Japanese: Daruma), attributed to the incomparable Zen ink painter Sesshu Toyo (1420-1506). This volume also contains essays on Fukushima in particular and Zen calligraphy in general by some of the leading scholars in the field.