Painting: 203 x 44,4
Mount: 32 x 127 cm
Signed by the artist
Nantembō was born in the city of Karatsu as the son of a samurai. He became a monk of the Rinsai Zen sect at an early age. His Buddhist name was Zenchū. Nantembō was the nickname he received in 1873 because of the nandina staff (Bō) he acquired to admonish his students. He became a controversial figure in Japanese Zen circles, devoting his energy to reforming Zen in Japan.
The calligraphy says:
There is nothing to seek and nothing to find.
You are already enlightened, and all the words in the world won’t give you what you already have. The wise seeker, therefore, is concerned with one thing only:
to become aware of what he or she already is, of the True Self within.