- Fugai Ekun, Japanese, 1568-1654
1600s, Edo period (1615–1868)
Ink and color on silk
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Bunker
Bodhidharma (known in Japan as Daruma) is the South Indian monk who introduced the Zen school of Buddhism (Chinese: Chan) to China in the sixth century. From the late sixteenth century, exaggerated caricatures of Daruma became a frequent subject among Japanese painters. Daruma’s piercing gaze in this painting is a reference to an account that Daruma sat meditating for nine years, staring at a cave wall with wide-open eyes. The artist of this work, Fūgai Ekun, was nicknamed Ana (Cave) Fūgai because he spent many years living in mountainside caves, perhaps in emulation of Daruma.