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Re: Translating a Scroll

Posted By: Bill H
Posted Date: Dec 28, 2021 (03:46 PM)

This is an image of the Bodhidharma in the Chinese style. Also called "Damo" by the Chinese and Daruma in Japan, was a disciple of the Buddha Sakyamuni, who traveled to China in the early centuries of Buddhism and proselyted the Chinese to convert to that religion. While the style looks Chinese to me, the scroll may have been done in Japan.

The inscriptions look to be:



Dámó xiàng

zhí zhǐ rénxīn
jiànwù chéng fó
yǐ (yín?) Nián
zhì shān

Image of the Bodhidharma

(He) directed the popular will
to convert to Buddhism
Yi (Yin?) Year?
Mountain of Knowledge

The scroll seems to have some age on it but there are better folks around the forum than I when it comes to guessing the age of scroll art. I'm perplexed by the character in the next to last line that apparently consists of a cyclical date. I couldn't pinpoint a location for zhishan.

I attach a couple of photos with other views of the Bodhidharma. The scroll, which I bought from the artist in Taipei in 1976, shows Damo crossing the Yangtse river on a palm frond, demonstrating how light and pure he's become.

The ivory image, which may be Japanese, looks to me to be early-mid 20th century.

Best regards,

Bill H.

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