K071 I’ve Got My Eyes on You Daruma by Nakahara Nantenbō 中原南天棒

One Flower Blooms Five Petals Appear;
All Things Are Accomplished Naturally.

Brushed at the request of Mr. Hashimoto Seishin
(signed) The 83-year-old fellow Nantenbō Tōjū

一 華 五 葉 開
結 果 自 然 成


Nakahara Nantenbō (中原南天棒, 1839-1925)
K071 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 123.7 cm × 32.5 cm.

The inscription is one of the most common on Daruma paintings. The standard interpretation is: “Daruma is prophesizing the establishment of the Five Schools of Zen (Igyō, Rinzai, Sōtō, Unmon, Hōgen) that will sprout from the transmission of his single teaching.” The esoteric interpretation: “Through Zen enlightenment open the flower of your mind and develop the five petals of Buddhist wisdom (cosmic, mirror, equality, teaching, and insight).” More directly, “Let the mind of enlightenment bloom and all things will be accomplished naturally, free of artifice and constraint.” Nantenbō loved to brush portraits of the Grand Patriarch, and this is one of his finest—he wanted Mr. Hashimoto to confront Daruma face-to-face!