Dragon Among Clouds


Dragon among clouds



In my Flying Dragons series, today, I want to introduce you to Unryū-zu, the Dragon among clouds, another mural from Ryōan-ji although I’m not sure this one is available to the public (I didn’t see it).

This painting is attributed to Min Chō (1352-1431) a Zen monk who also was a painter.

A few words about him. Born on Awajishima, in the Seto Inland Sea, he was called Kichizan by his master Daidō Ichii, under whom he studied at Tōfuku-ji in Kyōto. He was also called Hasōai (worn sandal).
He worked as a Densu (superintendent of the Buddha Room in the temple) for many years, which gave him the name Chō Densu. Combining his Zen learnings to a great interest in painting, he made himself renowned for his paintings of Kannon Bodhisattva, of the Arhats and of the Zen Ancestors. His most famous work is the  Nehan-zu (painting of Buddha attaining the Nirvana) at Tōfuku-ji.

(sources : leaflet coming with the reproduction of the painting)


David Billa

David was born and raised in France. After a few years in the US and then back to his home country, life led him to the shores of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan. After falling in love with the area, he decided to show its beauty and all it has to offer with this blog.

2 Responses

  1. lina says:

    That is one awesome looking dragon.

    I’m interested to know why Min Cho is also called “worn sandal”.

    • David says:

      I’d like to know too, unfortunately, the leaflet that came with this reproduction didn’t tell.
      Maybe he walked a lot. 😉

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