Ida Banzan (井田磐山)

Banzan IDA (1767 - May 5, 1863) was a Japanese calligrapher. His real name was Nao, his go (pen name) was Banzan, and his familiar name was Kaname.

He was appointed to the highest title as a calligrapher "Hoin" (a title for the highest rank for doctors, artists, scholars, and so on, adopted from the Buddhist hierarchy).

Career

Banzan was born into the Motoike family in Oshinozu-mura (present-day Yonago City, Tottori Prefecture), and was adopted into the Ida family in Sainokami-mura (present-day Sakaiminato City). He enjoyed calligraphy from his infancy, and after leaving the home town in his youth, he worked his way through studying in Kyoto to master the secrets of the art of calligraphy. He traveled to many places by earning his living by calligraphy and left his footprints in the Tokai, Hokuriku, and Oshu regions. Among other places, he stayed in the district of Furukawa, Shida County, Miyagi Prefecture for as long as several years, and taught calligraphy to a lot of children there.

When he was over eighty years old, he went to Kyoto once again, and stayed in Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei.

On May 14, 1848, he was appointed to Hokyo (a title for the third highest rank of doctors, artists, scholars, and so on adopted from the Buddhist hierarchy) because of his skill in calligraphy, and on July 1 of the same year, he wrote calligraphy on a gaku (framed piece of calligraphy) for Mandara-in Temple at Mt. Hiei, and as a result of that achievement he was appointed to Hogen (a title for the second highest rank of doctors, artists, scholars, and so on adopted from the Buddhist hierarchy). On May 19, 1850, he wrote calligraphy on a byobu (folding screen) for the Sanmon (temple gate), and he was appointed to the highest rank of calligraphers "Hoin" and was permitted to bear a surname and wear a pair of swords.

Then, he went back to his home town, and on May 5, 1863, he died. He enjoyed longevity of 97 years. His grave is in "Kojin-cho Cemetery" in Koshinozu-cho, Sakaiminato City. That gravestone and a lot of articles left by the late Banzan and now owned by Ryusen-ji Temple and the Kinichi IDA family have been designated as cultural properties of Sakaiminato City and cherished with enough care.