K127 Take (Bamboo) by Kōzuki Tesshū 神月徹宗

BAMBOO
has long and short joints!*
Brushed by Hanazono** [Abbot] Tesshū

花園徹宗書
有上下節
Kōzuki Tesshū (神月徹宗, 1879-1937)
K127 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 127.9 cm × 31.2 cm.

 

* Literally “upper and lower” joints.
**Another name for Myōshin-ji.

The bamboo here is both a pictograph and a Chinese character. Bamboo paintings are a common theme in Asian art in general and Zen art in particular This inscription is often added to bamboo paintings by Zen artists. Just as each bamboo plant develops at a different pace, growing more quickly (longer) or more slowly (shorter) depending on the circumstances, each Zen student makes progress at a different speed. This is perfectly natural.