Attributed to Seigan Sōi Japanese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 226

The two Chinese characters on this scroll, “earth” and “prison,” combine to form the word jigoku, or hell. A striking example of the individualistic calligraphy favored in Zen circles and among tea aesthetes in the early Edo period, this work may have been displayed in the alcove (tokonoma) of a tearoom to set the tone of tea gatherings.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

Hell, Attributed to Seigan Sōi (Japanese, 1588–1661), Hanging scroll; ink on paper, Japan

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calligraphy only