Monday, September 26, 2016

Jifei Ruyi's Calligraphy 即非如一 in The San Diego Museum of Art

Copyright by The San Diego Museum of Art

My friend Diana Chou is right now Associate Curator of East Asian Art at the San Diego Museum of Art. She showed me a rare piece of Jifei Ruyi's calligraphy in the SDMA collection. I did a little bit research and documented it here as a note for future research. The image is kindly provided by the San Diego Museum of Art and used here with permission. All rights reserved. 

This is the first poem by the Chinese Chan Monk Jifei Ruyi 即非如一 (1616-1671) in his "Songs for the Twelve Peaks of Mount Huangbo" 詠黃檗十二峰, probably written in Feb. 5, 1661 (seventh day of the first month 孟陬人日) when he was in Japan. The full text is as follows:




This poem is included in Complete Records of Chan Master Jifei (Jifei chanshi quanlu 即非禪師全錄),Juan 16, compiled and published in 1694.It is also reprinted in Shinsan kōtei Sokuhi zenshū / Hirakubo Akira hen 新纂校訂卽非全集 , ed. by Hirakubo Akira 平久保章編. kyōto-shi: Shibunkaku Shuppan, Heisei 5 [1993]京都市 : 思文閣出版平成5 [1993],第二卷,第893頁,詠黃檗十二峰,第一首。

According to Hirakubo Akira, an album entitled "Songs for the Twelve Peaks of Mount Huangbo" (Huangbo shi'erfeng shi 黃檗十二峰詩) is extant and preserved in Kenshoji in Mie 三重縣見性寺. This album includes a painting of Huangbo Monastery in Fuqing, China by Xie Tu'nan 謝圖南 whose name is identical with a Southern Song bureaucrat. The painting is followed by Jifei's preface, his twelve poems, and a postscript by his disciple Xinghe 性合, probably Chinese monk Hualin Xinghe or Xingying 化林性合/偀 according to which the poems could have been composed in 1646 when Jifei was still in China. (See also a Japanese site on Xingying.) It is not clear if this piece of calligraphy in the SDMA collection is related to this album. (Shinsan kōtei Sokuhi zenshū, vol. 1, p. 5.)

A digital version of the text included in the Jiaxing Buddhist Canon 嘉興藏 can be accessed through the CBETA collection.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Chinese Buddhist Temple Kek Lok Si 極樂寺 in Penang Malaysia

 I recently came across the history of Kek Lok Si in Penang, Malaysia.  It was actually founded by the Chinese monk Miaolian (Beow Lean, born 1844) 妙蓮 from Gushan Monastery 鼓山湧泉寺 in Fuzhou, Fujian in late 1890s. The most important event is that in 1904 the Qing government bestowed a entire set of the Dragon Canon 龍藏 to the monastery. The canon is still there and mentioned in the monastic gazetteer composed in 1923.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Xi'an Historical Atalas autographed by Shi Nianhai 史念海

I was surprised that a book I interlibrary-loaned from UCLA East Asian Library was autographed by Prof. Shi Nianhai 史念海 (1912-2001), a renowned historical geographer at Shaanxi Normal University 陕西师范大学, which I just visited during the summer. He signed this copy in 1996 for Prof. I-Shou Wang王益寿 , now emeritus professor at Department of Geography, California State University, Northridge. Apparently Prof. Wang was teaching in Xi'an at that time and donated the book to UCLA upon his retirement.