Kamakura・Muromachi periodCosmic world of Fude

Turbulent society Spirituality and culture of Sung and Yuan dynasty of China

In year1192, the samurai class gained power over aristocracy, and Kamakura shogunate was established. Reflecting this turbulent society of the time, Zen Buddhism has flourished. New sense of values such as "Mujokan"(sense of mortality) and "Yugen"(subtlety order of beauty) was developed, and Zen calligraphy of Eisai and Dogen became widely popular.

In Muromachi period, the more emphasis was beginning to be put on the inner spirit expressed in the calligraphy rather than its technical skills; this trend was something often seen in calligraphies of Sung dynasty and Yuan dynasty of China. Ikkyu Sojun, who is famous for his “Fuukyou”, expressed the free spirit of Zen which was not bounded to any conventional forms in his calligraphy. The philosophy of "Shogadogen" was highly respected, and “Suiboku-ga" (ink painting) of Chinese Sung dynasty had a great impact on calligraphers in Japan.

Kokeizan, Eihoji
Calligraphy styles of Dogen