Goshin Genmyo (悟心元明)

Goshin Genmyo (male) (1713 - August 31, 1785) was a Japanese Zen priest, painter, and Tenkoku (seal engraving) artist in the mid-Edo period.

"Goshin " was his Dogo (pseudonym as a priest) and "Genmyo" was his Hoi (real name), but he had many other pseudonyms, including "Radian", "Mugenso," "Yukaan," "Ichiuan," and "Kyuka." He was born in Matsuzaka City, Ise Province.

Brief biography
He was born in Nakamachi, Matsuzaka, Ise Province, the son of a surgeon, Dado MATSUMOTO. His father, Dado, features in "Kinsei Kijinden" (literally, "Stories of Recent Eccentric People") by the writer and poet Kokei BAN. The calligrapher Tenju KAN was adopted by the Nakagawa family, who were Goshin's neighbors in Nakamachi, and this is one reason for Goshin and Tenju's later friendship. Goshin became a priest at the age of eleven and studied Buddhism under Shoten Gento in Oka-mura Village, Taki-gun County, Ise. While training to be a priest in Kyoto and in Omi Province, he enjoyed making Chinese poems and learning seal engraving under Mosho NIIOKI (a calligrapher and a seal engraver in the early-Edo period). Later, he went to Edo (present-day Tokyo) to study poetry and literature under Nankaku HATTORI and calligraphy under Kotaku HOSOI. In 1744, he built "Ichiuan" (a retreat whose name means "A Shower of Rain") in front of Konkai Komyo-ji Temple in Kyoto. Around this time, the calligrapher, seal engraver and priest of the Obaku sect, Shunan, lived next door. In 1755, he became the sixth head priest of Hosen-ji Temple, serving for several years before returning to Ichiuan. Later, in 1763, Goshin became the head priest of Shozui-ji Temple in Omi (Gokasho Hiyoshi-cho, Higashiomi City), but after ten years, he quit the job, returned to his hometown, and secluded himself in "Jokoan," a retreat he built whose name means "Pure Light."

Goshin enjoyed mingling with the distinguished literati of his time including Baisao (a priest of the Obaku sect); IKE no Taiga (a painter); Tenju KAN (a calligrapher); Fuyo KO (a Confucian scholar, seal engraver, and painter); Kakutei (a Zen monk and painter); Kenjo DAITEN (a Zen priest and poet); Jishu (a priest of the Tendai sect and poet); Kenkado KIMURA (a son of a merchant with an extraordinary wide range of talents); and Inbo MIYAZAKI (a calligrapher). As a 'priest of letters,' Goshin excelled in making poems, calligraphy, painting, and seal engraving. He maintained a close relationship particularly with IKE no Taiga, who led him, as a painter, to model himself on the Chinese trader and painter, Fujiu YI. Goshin added inscriptions to many of Taiga's works. Also, impressions of seals engraved by Goshin are contained in Fuyo KO's "Fuyo Sanbo Shiinpu" (a book of the impressions of the old, copper seals collected by Fuyo). In 1743, he imitated seal impressions contained in "Renju Inpu" (a book of impressions), which were engraved by the Ming-Dynasty Chinese engraver, Shuichigen kyozan. The engravings took him about a year to complete, during which he secluded himself on Mt. Obaku. His extremely delicate engraving technique is highly valued. Later, Soshii (a seal engraver in the mid-Edo period) praised Goshin as a master of seal engraving, equal to Shikin KATSU and Yoshisuke KISHI, Fuyo KO's pupils.

Writings

"Ichiu Shige" (poems made in Ichiuan)
"Ichiu Yoko" (additional writings in Ichiuan)
"Ichiu Monsho" (essay written in Ichiuan)