During his lifetime, Doi Goga was a public intellectual and social critic. As a child, Goga excelled at reading and writing, and after his father’s death, the twelve-year-old Goga inherited his government teaching position. He later lost the sight in one eye, and the fear that he might become completely blind apparently compelled him to memorize slabs of text from the Confucian canon. He taught widely during his career, and wrote brazenly of the hypocrisy and corruption he saw in Confucianism. Perhaps wisely, his writings were not published until after his death. (Rhiannon Paget in Cultural News, 2010 November Issue)
The work is dated to the year 1867, and signed Yukaku, one of Goga's artist's names. The year, 1867 is a significant moment in both Goga's life and in the history of Japan. For Goga, it was the transition from teaching in a feudal educational system to the life of a bureaucrat. For Japan it was the year when the Edo period feudal government ended and the Meiji period began. - Seal top left: The meditation of painting bamboo (Gachiku Sanmai). Sanmai is the translation of the Sanskrit word Samadhi, which means "Concentration of the mind on a single object". - The seal on the lower left reads Nickname Shikyo (Azana Shikyo).
Doi Goga (1818-1880)
Ink on paper
172.2 x 31.7 cm (67 3/4 x 12 1/2 in.)
Mounting 200 x 44 cm (78 3/4 x 17 1/4 in.)