Josetsu (如拙 fl. 1405–1423 ) was one of the first suiboku style Zen Japanese painters in the Muromachi Period (15th century). He was probably also a teacher of Tenshō Shūbun at the Shōkoku-ji monastery in Kyoto. A Chinese immigrant, he was naturalised in 1370 and is known as 'the father of Japanese ink painting'. The best known of his paintings belongs to Taizō-in, a subtemple of Myōshin-ji in Kyoto, which is entitled 'Catching a Catfish with a Gourd' (c.1413). It shows a comical-looking man fishing against a background of winding river and bamboo grove. It is thought to have been inspired by a riddle set by the Ashikaga shogun, 'How do you catch a catfish with a gourd?'. It can be viewed as a piece of Zen humour, or as a kōan in visual form designed to provoke the viewer into new ways of 'seeing'.
See also 
- Treasures of Asia: Japanese Painting by Akiyama Terukazu. Chapter 6: The Renewed Influence of Chinese Art and the Development of Monochrome Painting (13th - 16th Century)
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