Scroll, ink on paper, mounting on silk
Sengai Gibon (1750-1837)
Edo period, 18th-19th century
H. 45 ½ in (115.4cm) – W. 16.3 in (41.4cm)
H. 80 in (205.5cm) – W. 21 ¾ in (55cm)
SUMIE DAIKOKU NO
When I painted Daikoku who makes the Chintamani with his hammer, his loincloth is torn…
Sengai was fond of painting Daikoku with a hammer. In this painting, Daikoku, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune (Mahākāla, a Buddhist variant of Shiva) is smiling gently. It is amusing that he is totally naked except for his symbolic hat and loincloth. Chintamani is a wish-fulfilling jewel within both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It is believed that chintamani is the infinite value of all things. Probably Sengai wanted to say that we should not judge a person by his appearance. A truly valuable person such as Daikoku in this painting could make chintamani, even if he looked poor.