Harakiri, 切腹,Seppuku Image 4

From Brushed in Light: Calligraphy in East Asian Cinema by Markus Nornes

  • Kobayashi's modernist sensibility puts the scroll right in the middle of the image in a symmetrical composition. An excellent example of bokuseki, this particular character (ka, 喝) refers the exclamation a Zen master makes when he strikes a pupil who is starting to sleep during meditation. It is cleverly pictographic as well, since the shape evokes the Bodhidharma (Daruma in Japanese; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daruma_doll), the original 5th century transmitter Zen (Chan) to China; he is purported to have lost his limbs to atrophy after a 9-year meditation.
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  • Asian Studies
  • Media Studies
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