Artist: Ryƍzen (ca. 1328-ca. 1360)
Historical period(s)
Nanbokucho period, mid-14th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (overall): 208.2 x 79.6 cm (81 15/16 x 31 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Buddhism, Cvapaka, fly whisk, halo, Japan, kakemono, Nanbokucho period (1333 - 1392), peach, woman

Shibata Zeshin (1807-1895), purchased from Sanseizenji temple, Kyoto, 1855

Mr. Shibata, from his father, Shibata Zeshin, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Mr. Shibata, through Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Accession List for purchase information, as well as the folder for F1904.295. See also, Original Kakemono and Makimono List, S.I. 9, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. One of a set of sixteen: F1904.295-F1904.310. Also see F1904.311-F1904.313.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Mr. Shibata (C.L. Freer source)
Shibata Zeshin 1807-1891
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


This paintings portrays an arhat, who is believed to have been among the original disciples of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Through the teachings of the Buddha, arhats have attained transcendent wisdom and enlightenment, which has freed them from the cycles of birth and rebirth. The arhats remain in the world to defend and maintain the Buddhist law, or dharma. In painting, the arhats are shown as slender, ascetic monks with penetrating gazes that represent their divine vision, through which all the universe can be seen. Here, the arhat is accompanied by a human attendant, depicted in smaller scale to denote lower status. The attendants carry offerings of fruit and flowers.

This painting comes from a set of seventeen, depicting sixteen arhats and the historical Buddha. For special ceremonies in which the arhats were worshiped, the painting of the historical Buddha was displayed at the center of two facing ranks of eight arhats. This set bears inscriptions that link it to Sanshogokokuzenji, a subtemple of the Tofukuji, a Zen Buddhist monastery in Kyoto.

Published References
  • Butsuga Ruijyuu. Vol. 1, Japan. .
  • Zaigai hiho (Japanese Paintings in Western Collections). 3 vols., Tokyo. p. 45, pl. 30.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum