It is customary for Zen masters to have a break in their busy schedules over the New Year. Many of them used this time to brush Zenga—for the patrons of the temple, for friends and students, for donations to raise money for worthwhile causes. A number of pieces in the gallery were brushed during the New Year, including some by Seki Bokuo and Kato Goun. Both of them were well known for brushing hundreds of calligraphy boards depicting the animal for that year or a painting of Daruma. At present in the gallery we have no dragons—this year’s zodiac creature—but there is a very nice Daruma (#33) by Seki Bokuo. A portrait of Daruma is always relevant for the New Year. It is a reminder of the most important of Zen New Year resolutions: to finally wake up!
All best wishes for 2012.