Calligraphy by Shinzan Roshi – Mu ichi motsu chu mujinzo



Japanese: Mu ichi motsu chu mujinzo
English translation: Within nothingness there are inexhaustible treasures
Box: Wooden with card sleeve
Scroll dimensions: 205x80cm

This is the first part of a two-line phrase:

Mu ichimotsu chu mu jin zo.
Hana ari tsuki ari rodai ari.

This can be translated as:

Within nothingness, there are endless treasures.
There are flowers, and the moon, and pavilions.

Both ancient Buddhist texts and modern quantum physics state that the universe is mostly empty space; yet from that emptiness—an inexhaustible treasure—the universe emerges full of the most wonderful (and concrete) things such as flowers, the moon and pleasure pavilions.

Applied to Zen practice, when one is able to let go of attachments, self and worldly illusions, then one can fully see and appreciate the beauty of things.

Calligraphically, this is a very interesting work because Shinzan Roshi has written the two “mu” characters next to each other at the top of each column. By comparing them, you can see how differently the same character can be brushed, giving it a different flavour and aesthetic effect. On the right, the character is written in regular/running script, and its structure is still clear and easy to read. In the example at the top of the left column, Shinzan Roshi has written the character in a much freer, cursive style. These types of variations and manipulations of characters make the reading of calligraphy fascinating and difficult at the same time.

If you’re interested in buying this beautiful calligraphy, please contact us.

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