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  • Born: 1750
  • Died: 1837
  • Japanese: 仙厓義梵 (Sengai Gibon)

Sengai was a prominent Zen painter of the Edo period, second in fame today perhaps only to Hakuin. He is perhaps most known for a painting featuring a sequence of square, triangle, and circle.

Rejecting established institutions as Hakuin did, Sengai undertook the reconstruction of the Shôfuku-ji in Hakata, supposedly the first Zen temple ever established in Japan. There, he took on numerous students, and produced many works of painting and calligraphy. His works are known to have had a notable influence on postwar American modern art artists such as John Cage and Allen Ginsberg.[1]


  • Timon Screech, Obtaining Images, University of Hawaii Press (2012), 116-117.
  1. Alexandra Munroe, The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989, Guggenheim Museum (2009).
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