Religious journey

Who: Duzhan Xingying (1628 to 1706) A Chinese monk from the city of Putian in Fujian province, Duzhan Xingying was a disciple of the Zen master Yinyuan Longqi.

In 1654, Duzhan and 30 other disciples followed their teacher Yinyuan to the port city of Nagasaki.

In 1661, Yinyuan founded the Obaku sect of Zen Buddhism at Mampuku-ji, a temple in Uji, Kyoto, and became its first abbot.

Duzhan, known as Dokutan Shoei in Japanese, was part of this new sect and later became the fourth abbot of the temple.


His penchant for chanting earned him the nickname, "Chanting Monk Dokutan". He also made many paintings, which sometimes reflect his strong Confucian attachment to his parents and ancestors.

In this scroll, for example, he drew his mother and his father as worshippers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Religious journey'. Subscribe