Ungo Kiyo

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Ungo Kiyo (1583 - August 8, 1659) was a Japanese Rinzai Zen masters and poet.



Quotes about Ungo Kiyo

  • There are a few examples of Japanese Zen masters like Suzuki Shosan (1579 - 1655) and Ungo Kiyo (1583 - 1659) who advocated dual practice of Zen and Pure Land, though they regarded it primarily as a means to reach the laity. Shōsan was an independent, one might even say marginal, figure in the Zen tradition; he did not function within the bounds of institutional Zen, and his ideas had little or no influence on other Zen Buddhist masters of the day. In contrast to Suzuki Shosan's position as a relative outsider to the institutional Zen world, Ungo was a prominent figure within the Zen hierarchy and for a time served as abbot at Myōshin-ji.
    • Helen Josephine Baroni. Obaku Zen: The Emergence of the Third Sect of Zen in Tokugawa, Japan. 2000.
  • An early example is the Rinzai Zen master Ungo Kiyo ̄ (1582–1659), who in 1636 assumed the abbacy of Zuiganji, the family mortuary temple of the Date clan (daimyo ̄ of Sendai) and converted the temple into a sangha hall where the precepts were strictly observed and a regular schedule of twice daily meditation (niji no zazen), three daily sutra chanting services (sanji no fugin), and manual labor (fushin samu) was implemented.
    • Steven Heine, ‎Dale S. Wright. Zen Classics: Formative Texts in the History of Zen Buddhism. 2005.
  • The Zen master Shibayama Zenkei wrote that an enso ̄without an accompanying inscription was, to him, “like flat beer.” While most enso ̄images include a calligraphic inscription, many do not, including this wonderful example by Ungo Kiyo (pictured). Since Zen paintings, including enso, ̄are representational teachings, a means of conveying a master's Zen mind and experience, a Zen phrase seems fitting alongside an enso. However, the inscriptions often provide concrete imagery with which to associate the enso, and as one Zen phrase.
    • Audrey Yoshiko Seo. Ensō: Zen Circles of Enlightenment. 2007. p. 54