Kitamuki Unchiku

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Kitamuki Unchiku 北向雲竹
(1623 - 1703)

"Clouds and Bamboo"
Unchiki, Unchiko, Keioo, Gyokurandoo, Taikyoan

Dragon and Tiger, 17th century
Screen/scroll, One of a pair of hanging scrolls; ink on paper,
Image: 45 7/8 x 17 3/8 in. (116.5 x 44.1 cm);
Scroll: 79 3/8 x 20 3/4 in. (201.6 x 52.7 cm)

Gift of Max and Eleanor Baril through the 1990 Collectors Committee.

© Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


きたむき うんちく . Kitamuki Unchiku

He was a famous calligrapher of the kaisho 楷書 block style (saikai 細楷(さいかい) and even taught calligraphy to Matsuo Basho, the haiku poet, with whom he had a cordial relationship.
He was a painter of the "Southern School" (Nanga 南画)in Kyoto.

He was a priest and monk at the temple Kanchi-In, Temple To-ji 東寺観智院 in Kyoto.

Unchiku died at age 72, on May 12, 1703.

His grave is at the temple Danno-Horin-Ji 檀王法林寺 in Kyoto.
〒606-8387 京都市左京区川端通三条上る法林寺門前町36

a sub-temple of To-ji, was built in 1308 by order of emperor Gouda, along with 20 other sub-temples. It is the most important sub-temple of To-ji, and one of the very few ones to have survived. Most of current buildings are from 1605. The temple has many important cultural properties of Japan.
The sliding doors and tokonoma paintings of Miyamoto Musashi even have the higher rank of national treasure.
The dry landscape garden of this temple has several stone arrangements representing a dragon, a ship, a turtle, a flying fish, etc. It is one of the few gardens where you can actually guess what the stone represent!
source : damien.douxchamps.net

東寺観智院 Kanchi-In
source : toji.or.jp/kanchiin.shtml


Matsuo Basho wrote

On a self-portrait by Unchiku, a Kyōto monk, with his face turned away:

"You are already more than 60,
I am now almost 50, together we are living in a dream . . . "

kochira muke ware mo sabishiki aki no kure

turn this way -
I am lonely too;
autumn evening

Tr. Haldane

Written in 1690 元禄3年7月, Basho age 47.

Basho compares the "end of autumn", (or "autumn evening"), with the life span of himself and his friend.

Unchiku was 59 at this time (not more than 60, as Basho wrote in his comment.)
50 was already considered a "long life" in the Edo period.

turn toward me !
I am also lonely
at the end of autumn

Tr. Gabi Greve

MORE - hokku about autumn evening by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .




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