Daisen-in

Kyoto, Japan

Daisen-in

Daisen-in (大仙院) is a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji, a temple of the Rinzai school of Zen in Buddhism, one of the five most important Zen temples of Kyoto. The name means "The Academy of the Great Immortals." Daisen-in was founded by the Zen priest Kogaku Sōkō (古岳宗亘) (1464–1548), and was built between 1509 and 1513. Daisen-in is noted for its screen paintings and for its kare-sansui, or dry landscape garden.

The screen paintings inside the temple and the garden are attributed to Sōami (died in 1525), a zen monk, ink painter and follower of the sect of the Amida Buddha. He was particularly known for his use of diluted ink to create delicate and nuanced, misty and ethereal landscapes. His work was influenced by the ink landscape paintings of the Song Dynasty in China. According to art historian Miyeko Murase, the work of Soami represents "the very essence of the serenity of nature, the sacred ideal of all the zen monks and ink painters of the Muromachi period".



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