Kitsusan Mincho (吉山明兆)

Mincho KITSUSAN (1352 - 5 October,1431) was an artist monk during the early and middle Muromachi period.

He was born in Awaji Province (present Hyogo Prefecture). He entered Tofuku-ji Temple of the Rinzai Sect where he studied the painting style of Daido Ichii. The monks with whom he associated wished to make him a high ranking Zen monk but his passion was painting, so he refused this in order to study art under LI Longmian of Ming Dynasty China, and went on to find success as the first temple artist. The 4th shogun, Yoshimochi ASHIKAGA, was extremely fond of his style. He held the Buddhist monk rank of Densu (responsible for managing the Buddha hall) for his entire life, so is known as Cho Densu. He passed away in 1431.

Tofuku-ji Temple possesses many of his celebrated works including "Shoichi Kokushi zo" (Portrait of Shoichi Kokushi), "Yonjuhachi So zo" (Forty Eight Founders), "Kanzan Juttoku zu" (Image of Hanshan and Shide) and "Juroku Rakan zu" (Image of the Sixteen Arhats).

[Original Japanese]