Ca 1780-1820 Japanese Porcelain Deep Dish Kanzan and Jittoku Arita Japan Edo
Condition Report: 1 chip with line. 2 other lines. Size 282x50mm DiameterxHeight
These are one of the literary paintings that were seen at that time, depicting Kanzan and Jittoku. Here they are depicted in a garden scene. It has a 4 character mark at the base.
Kanzan and Jittoku are popular figures in Zen painting. They have been depicted many times as a pair, and the duo has become an identifiable motif in Zen painting and representative of deeper meanings in Zen Buddhism as a whole. Kanzan, whose name means “Cold Mountain,” is believed to be an eccentric Zen poet from the Tang Dynasty (618–907) who lived on the Tiantang Mountain in Zhejiang Province. Jittoku, whose name means “foundling” or “pickup,” was a kitchen worker at the nearby Guoqing Temple. He is said to have been abandoned by his family, and then found and raised by Fenggan, another Zen eccentric. As legend goes, the two formed a close friendship, with Shide stealing scraps from the kitchen to bring to Hanshan, and the pair spending time in nature, away from societal structure and institutions. Little is verified about the lives of these two figures, and they “have come to exist only in the works they have left behind.
Hanshan and Shide are easily recognizable in Zen painting. They are almost always depicted wearing scrappy and ratty clothing, appearing disheveled, wandering in nature, laughing, or with mischievous looks on their faces. Hanshan is identified by the scroll he holds in his hand, alluding to his work as a poet. Shide is identified by the broom he holds, which references his work as a kitchen cleaner at the monastery.
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