K233 Fukurokuju / Jurōjin by Ashizu Sekiren 芦津石蓮

Eternal long life,
Unlimited good fortune!

Painted by the old fellow Sekiren

Ashizu Sekiren (芦津石蓮, 1850-1921)
K233 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 60.1 cm × 26.8 cm.


Fukurokuju and Jurōjin, the two gods of longevity, are mixed up in both popular memory and in art. The inscription calls him Fukurokuju but he carries a staff and scroll hanging from it, attributes of Jurōjin. Zen masters were often asked by their lay followers to brush a painting (or calligraphy) of Fukurokuju/Jurōjin to hang in their homes as a kind of good luck charm and blessing.
The great master Sengai was fond of this theme, and Sekiren’s treatment of Fukurokuju is similarly light-hearted and bright.