Kanzan Jittoku


Kanzan and Jittoku 寒山拾得

The inscription reads:

Where shall we go to play?
To the mountains? To the river?
Let us go right up to the sky !

Painting by 榊 莫山 Sakaki Bakuzan

Look at more paintings of these two here


Kanzan (reading a scroll) and Jittoku (holding a broom). Kanzan's name literally means "Cold Mountain," and so he is sometimes called the "Poet of Cold Mountain," the "Recluse of Cold Mountain," or something to that effect. Jittoku's name literally means "the Foundling" . These are legendary figures.

As the story goes, Kanzan was a mountain recluse or hermit in the Daoist tradition. Jittoku was a foster child in the care of a nearby Buddhist monastery, where he swept the kitchen floors as did other odd jobs. Their iconography derives from this background. Kanzan usually appears holding or reading a scroll, and Jittoku usually appears holding a broom. They wear simple, rough clothing, and are often depicted with odd facial features.

As time passed, Kanzan (Hanshan) and Jittoku (Shide) gradually became associated with the Wagô (He-he) Twins in the minds of many Chinese.
Of course, the objects they hold distinguish the two pairs, but what about depictions in which the *hand-held objects are omitted*? In such cases it is often impossible to tell which pair the artist
intended to depict--though often the title of the painting makes it clear.

In Japan, Kanzan came to be regarded as a local manifestation of the Bodhisattva Monju, distinguished by his superior intellect and wisdom. That Kanzan was typically depicted reading or carrying scrolls of Buddhist sutras reinforced the impression of him as unusually wise. Likewise, Jittoku came to be regarded as a local manifestation of the Bodhisattva Fugen. Fugen is a Boddhisattva of compassionate wisdom. Jittoku would often bring left over food from
the monastery kitchen to Kanzan, which may be one reason for the link with Fugen.


Blue-green spring water,
white moonlit mountain.

Quiet wisdom of the spirit:
empty gaze beyond silence.


Chinese : Hanshan Shide. Semi-legendary Tang (618-907) dynasty Zen 禅 (Ch: Chan) eccentrics who were frequently depicted in Chinese and Japanese ink painting. Kanzan 寒山 (Ch: Hanshan), lit. cold mountain, is thought to have lived as a poet-recluse near Mt. Tiantai 天台 (Jp:Tendai) in Zhejiang 浙江.
Jittoku 拾得 (Ch: Shide), lit. foundling, was so named because he was found by the Zen master Bukan 豊干 (Ch: Fenggan) and raised in the Tiantai temple Guoqingsi 国清寺,
where he worked in the kitchen and gave leftover food to his friend Kanzan.

The little that is known of their biographies is provided in the preface to a collection of Kanzan's poetry, Cold Mountain (Ch: Hanshanzishiji 寒山子詩集; translated into English by Burton Watson) and the KEITOKU DENTOUROKU 景徳伝灯録 (Ch: JINGDE CHUANDENGLU)
compiled in 1004. Kanzan and Jittoku were regarded later as incarnations of the bodhisattvas Monju 文殊 (Sk: Manjus'ri and Fugen 普賢 (Sk: Samantabadhra), respectively.

They are usually depicted with ragged clothing, long, tangled hair, and grimacing or laughing wildly. Kanzan frequently holds a scroll, presumably of his poetry although several painting inscriptions claim it is devoid of writing, while Jittoku holds a broom, indicating his position as a
scullion. Along with Bukan and his pet tiger, they make up the shisui 四睡 or "four sleepers" . Kanzan and Jittoku form one of the most enduring subjects in Japanese ink painting.

Notable Chinese examples include those by Liang Kai 梁楷 (Jp: Ryoukai; early 13c; MOA Museum), and Yintuoluo 因陀羅 (Jp:Indara; late 14c; Tokyo National Museum). Well-known Japanese works include paintings by Kaou 可翁 (mid-14c; several versions including one in
the Freer Gallery of Art), by Shoukei 松谿 (late 15c; Tokugawa 徳川 Art Museum), Reisai 霊彩 (mid-15c; Burke collection, New York), Kaihou Yuushou 海北友松 (1533-1615; Myoushinji 妙心寺, Kyoto), and painters of the Kanoo school (*Kanou-ha 狩野派).

In the Edo period they were parodied as mitate-e 見立絵 in ukiyo-e 浮世絵.

Read in my Dragon Gallery about
Tiger, the Four Sleepers, Shisui

. 豊干 Bukan Daruma, Fushimi Clay Doll


I have a single cave
a cave with nothing inside
spacious and devoid of dust
full of light that always shines
a meal of plants feeds a frail body
a cloth robe masks a mirage
let your thousand sages appear
I have the primordial Buddha


Collecting Zen Art
Great article, including our Jittoku and his friend Kanzan.


Buson also painted Jittoku and Kanzan.
"Sotetsu zu", "Sansui zu", and "Kanzan Jittoku zu" were originally drawn on the sliding screens of the main hall. "Sotetsu zu" was the eight pieces drawing on the four screens, and each of the two "Sansui zu" was the six piece drawing on the seven screens respectively.


Tengen Chiben (1737-1805), known as Gako

Popularly known by his painter's name Gako, the Rinzai Zen monk Tengen Chiben was a student of Hakuin's pupil Dakyu Ebo at Hofukuji in Okayama, from whom he received his certification.

He lived at Onsenji in Kami Suwa, Shinana Province, for twenty-seven years, and reestablished Kogakuhi in Kai. Onsenji is located on the shore of Lake Suwa, and Gako took his favourite art name (Goose Lake) from a nickname for the lake.

In 1801 he supervised the training hall at Nanzenji in Kyoto, and retired in 1804 to Kagakuji, turning over his position at Onsenhi to his heir, Gano Zentei of Joinji in Ashikaga. In spring of the following year he fell ill and returned to Onsenji, where he died aged 69.
Memorial stupas were erected ot Onsenji and Kogakuji.

A fluent calligrapher and highly regared Zen painter, Gako's subject matter was figural, typically including such pairings in the Hakuin/Suio tradition as the "mad" Zen monks Kanzan and Jittoku without clearly identifying attributes (cf. A pair of hanging scrolls in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco showing the two excentrics. Gako must have known Suio's depictions).

Signed: Gakô. Seal: Chiben no in Tengan.

© Bachmann Eckstein Art & Antiques


Man with Broom
Jittoku carries a broom which stands for humility.

oo oo oo oo oo



cleaning the street
with a broom like old Jittoku -
typhoon destruction

Gabi Greve,
after typhoon Tokage, 2004

My Study on the Japanese BROOM !


cold mountain –
a foundling is nurtured
by the hermit

Don Baird, December 2008


Maxims of Master Han Shan

From Nr. 1 to Nr. 78, there is a lot to study.

1. When we preach the Dharma to those who see only the ego’s illusory world, we preach in vain. We might as well preach to the dead.

78. A person who is alone cannot hold a conversation. A drum has to be hollow for its sound to reverberate. Absences count. Words limit. Interpretations differ. What is not said is also relevant.
Absolute Truth cannot be expressed in words. It must be experienced. And then, in eloquent silence we best reveal that we have awakened to the Dharma



Poems and Music
Cold Mountains (Zen Poems)
source : www.youtube.com


Forward to the Past: Tadanori Yokoo's Road to Hanshan and Shide
Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art, Kobe City, Hyogo





Anonymous said...

Quote from Zenfrog

Cold Mountain - Selected Poems

By Han Shan (Cold Mountain)

Here we languish, a bunch of poor scholars,
battered by extremes of hunger and cold.
Out of work, our only joy is poetry:
Scribble, scribble, we wear out our brains.
Who will read the works of such men?
On that point you can save your sighs.
We could inscribe our poems on biscuits
And the homeless dogs wouldn’t deign to nibble

Hermits hide from mankind
Most go to the mountains to sleep
Where green vines wind through woods
And jade gorges echo unbroken
Higher and higher enraptured
On and on simply free
Free of what stains the world
Minds pure like the white lotus

If you are looking for a place to rest,
Cold Mountain is a good place to stay.
The breeze flowing through the dark pines
Sounds better the closer you come.
And under the trees a white-haired man
Mumbles over his Taoist texts.
Ten years now he hasn’t gone home;
He has even forgotten the road he came by.

High on the mountain’s peak
Infinity in all directions!
The solitary moon looks down
From its midnight loft
Admires its reflection in the icy pond.
Shivering, I serenade the moon.

I climb the road to Cold Mountain,
The road to Cold Mountain that never ends.
The valleys are long and strewn with stones;
The streams broad and filled with thick grass.
Moss is slippery though no rain has fallen;
Pines sigh but it isn’t the wind.
Who can break from the snares of the world
And sit with me among the white clouds?

Have I a body or have I none?
Am I who I am or am I not?
Pondering these questions,
I sit leaning against the cliff as the years go by,
Till the green grass grows between my feet
And the red dust settles on my head,
And the men of the world, thinking me dead,
Come with offerings of wine and fruit to lay by my corpse.

The place where I spend my days
Is farther away than I can tell.
Without a word the wild vines stir,
No fog, yet the bamboos are always dark.
Who do the valleys sob for?
Why do the mists huddle together?
At noon, sitting in my hut
I realize for the first time that the sun has risen.

Today I sat before the cliffs
Sat until the mist blew off
A rambling clear stream shore
A towering green ridge crest
Cloud’s dawn shadows still
Moon’s night light adrift
Body free of dust
Mind without a care.

People ask about Cold Mountain Way;
There’s no Cold Mountain Road that goes straight through:
By summer, lingering cold is not dispersed,
By fog, the risen sun is screened from view;
So how did one like me get onto it?
In our hearts, I’m not the same as you –
If in your heart you should become like me,
Then you can reach the center of it too.
Among a thousand clouds and ten thousand streams,
Here lives an idle man,
In the daytime wandering over green mountains
At night coming home to sleep by the cliff.
Swiftly the springs and autumns pass,
But my mind is at peace, free from dust or delusion
How pleasant to know I need nothing to lean on
To be still as the waters of the autumn river!

Thirty years ago I was born into the world.
A thousand, ten thousand miles I’ve roamed.
By rivers where the green grass grows thick,
Beyond the border where the red sands fly.
I brewed potions in a vain search for life everlasting,
I read books, I sang songs of history,
And today I’ve come home to Cold Mountain
To pillow my head on the stream and wash my ears.

You have seen the blossoms among the leaves;
tell me, how long will they stay?
Today they tremble before the hand that picks them;
tomorrow they wait someone’s garden broom.
Wonderful is the bright heart of youth,
but with the years it grows old.
Is the world not like these flowers?
Ruddy faces, how can they last?

I spur my horse past the ruined city;
the ruined city, that wakes the traveler’s thoughts:
ancient battlements, high and low;
old grave mounds, great and small.
Where the shadow of a single tumbleweed trembles
and the voice of the great trees clings forever,
I sigh over all these common bones –
No roll of the immortals bears their names.

When I see a fellow abusing others,
I think of a man with a basketful of water.
As fast as he can, he runs with it home,
but when he gets there, what’s left in the basket?
When I see a man being abused by others,
I think of the leek growing in the garden.
Day after day men pull off the leaves,
but the heart it was born with remains the same.

Cold Cliff’s remoteness
Is what I love
No one travels this way
Clouds lie around on the peaks
A lone gibbon howls on the ridge
What else do I cherish?
It’s good to grow old content
Cold and heat change my
Appearance;the pearl
Of my mind stays safe

Cold Mountain is a house
Without beams or walls.
The six doors left and right are open
The hall is blue sky.
The rooms all vacant and vague
The east wall beats on the west wall
At the center nothing.
Borrowers don’t bother me
In the cold I build a little fire
When I’m hungry I boil up some greens.
I’ve got no use for the kulak
With his big barn and pasture –
He just sets up a prison for himself.
Once in he can’t get out.
Think it over –
You know it might happen to you.

On the peak of the highest mountain,
the four directions expand to infinity.
Sitting in silence,
no one knows.
The solitary moon shines on the cold spring.
Here in the spring there is no moon.
It is high in the sky.
Though I’m humming this song,
in the song there is no Ch’an.

(C) http://thezenfrog.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...


By Reisai
Important Cultural Property


Gozan refers to the group of highest-ranked Zen temples in Japan modeled after a Chinese system of monasteries. In Kyoto, Nanzenji was the highest ranked among the Gozan temples, followed by the other five: Tenryuji, Shokokuji, Kenninji, Tofukuji, and Manjuji.

After the Gozan system was introduced to Japan, it underwent several changes, and in 1386 Kyoto Gozan was confirmed when the Shogun Yoshimitsu designated Nanzenji the head of the Kyoto Gozan temples, including Shokokuji which he founded.

The Gozan temples led a great network of Zen temples throughout the country. Because of the interchange of Zen monks between China and Japan, Chinese culture took root in the Kyoto Gozan and other Japanese Zen temples, which greatly influenced on the culture of this period.

In addition, the Zen priests of the Kyoto Gozan played an important role in Yoshimitsu's revival of official relations with China.

This exhibition, "Zen Treasures from the Kyoto Gozan Temples", in commemoration of the 600th anniversary of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, presents famous works of Zen culture from the Kamakura period through the Muromachi period, from the Kyoto Gozan and related temples. New important information gained from the research for this exhibition is also introduced. There are many works of principle images and portrait sculptures of Zen monks, which are shown outside the temples for the first time.

Through the 230 some exhibits, you can overview the process by which the Zen culture, introduced from China, became a part of the traditional courtly culture of Kyoto.


Gabi Greve said...

On Cold Mountain: A Buddhist Reading of the Hanshan Poems
November 2, 2015
by Paul Rouzer (Author)

In this first serious study of Hanshan ("Cold Mountain"), Paul Rouzer discusses some seventy poems of the iconic Chinese poet who lived sometime during the Tang dynasty (618–907). Hanshan's poems gained a large readership in English-speaking countries following the publication of Jack Kerouac's novel The Dharma Bums (1958) and Gary Snyder's translations (which began to appear that same year), and they have been translated into English more than any other body of Chinese verse.

Rouzer investigates how Buddhism defined the way that believers may have read Hanshan in premodern times. He proposes a Buddhist poetics as a counter-model to the Confucian assumptions of Chinese literary thought and examines how texts by Kerouac, Snyder, and Jane Hirshfield respond to the East Asian Buddhist tradition.
at amazon com