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tani buncho calligraphy letter

Tani Buncho | Letter


Yokoi Kinkoku, the addressee of this letter, was an artist-monk who led a restless, tumultuous, and chaotic life, hardly consistent with monastic expectations. And his attempts to seduce a nun let to his expulsion from the temple. The following years he spent travelling. And he worked in a bakery, sold religious robes and false Buddhist charms. Nevertheless, he gave Buddhist studies a second chance. And in his early twenties he was invited to become head priest of a small temple near Kyoto but could not let his hands off activities inappropriate for a priest. Much of his later year he spent in mountain retreats. One of these retreats was Taicho-in a (now defunct) Yamabushi-Temple in Seto, where Kinkoku made pottery. One day he sent one of his tea bowls to his friend Tani Buncho. And gets a folding screen in return, and this letter.


I have read your letter. I am happy that you will come visit me. We haven't met for a long time. Thank you very much for the Bishu ware tea bowl. I don't have anything good to give you in return. Please accept as a return gift for the tea bowl a Harimaze (collage) folding screen. I have searched for some good pieces and now I send them to you. I am so old that I am worried about many things. Before hearing what you think, I have decided myself and asked Watada to bring you the screen. I have gathered the samples one by one. On the 28th day of the 9th month, Buncho. – To Mr. Taicho-in (i.e., Yokoi Kinkoku)


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Tani Buncho (1763-1841)

Letter to Yokoi Kinkoku (1761-1832)

Ink on paper

15.7 x 51.6 cm (6 x 20 1/4 in.)
Mounting 114 x 54.4 cm (44 3/4 x 21 1/2 in.)

Some foxing
Wooden box (modern)

SKU: 2395
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