K043 Everyday is a Good Day! by Tatebe Kaiun 建部快運

Every Day is a Good Day!

(signed) The 85-year old fellow Kaiun, High Priest of Mt. Kōya Hospice.

Tatebe Kaiun (建部快運,1897-1984?)
K043 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 96.1 cm × 34.5 cm.


This is a favorite Zen expression. It originated with the 10th century Chinese master Unmon who challenged his disciples: “I am not asking you about yesterday. I am not asking you about tomorrow. What about today? He answered himself, “Everyday is a good day!” (Case 6, Hekiganroku.) The phrase is a koan, a Zen puzzle, and thus has many levels of interpretation, all kinds of interpretations: “Everyday is precious,” “Each day is sufficient of itself,” “Life goes on, everything happens for a reason,” or even, “Everyday is a bad day.”