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Bodhidharma Scrolls
July 12-August 14, 2023
San Francsico Zen Center 

Welcome to the captivating world of Japanese hanging scrolls featuring the enigmatic figure of Bodhidharma, a legendary and iconic figure in Zen Buddhism. We hope this exhibit transports you through time and culture, offering you a unique opportunity for potential personal inspiration.


The history of Japanese hanging scrolls featuring Bodhidharma can be traced back to the early days of Zen Buddhism's arrival in Japan during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Bodhidharma, often referred to as Daruma in Japan, was an Indian monk who is credited with bringing Zen Buddhism to China and Japan. His teachings emphasized meditation, self-discovery, and the pursuit of enlightenment.


The scrolls were not only created as religious artifacts but also served as visual aids to inspire and guide Zen practitioners in their quest for spiritual awakening.


As you explore this exhibit, you may find yourself drawn to a particular scroll that resonates with your own spiritual journey or personal experiences. Each scroll in this collection embodies a unique interpretation of Bodhidharma's essence.


Look for elements in the scrolls that speak to you personally. Each scroll encapsulates the artist's interpretation of Bodhidharma's teachings and his timeless presence, offering a diverse range of artistic perspectives.


As you move through this exhibit, take a moment to notice which scroll  resonates most with you. Allow the essence of Bodhidharma's wisdom, as captured in these scrolls, to inspire you on your own path toward enlightenment.

Please "click" on the first scroll to see the decoding of the ancient cursive (grass) script that Kaz Tanahashi  has translated. You can then lead yourself through a virtual tour by clicking the "arrows" to view the

scrolls in the same order as they were "hung" at San Francisco Zen Center...or choose the one that catches

your eye and start there!  



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