Shogondo is a gallery that exhibits Zen artworks by Hakuin from the temple’s permanent collection.
Many Japanese think that the word ‘shogon’ means “to magnificently decorate a temple’s halls, such as the main hall, with statues and objects.” However, according to Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (published by Shogakukan), one of the most authoritative dictionaries of the Japanese language, the correct definition is “to spiritually decorate the body of a person and the place he/she lives with the good and beautiful, such as wisdom and virtue.”
Hakuin said, “There is no gorgeous building decorated with gold and silver in a Buddha’s pure land. The land is purified and becomes magnificent by bodhisattvas with aspirations for Buddhahood.”
The Zen paintings and calligraphy by Hakuin exhibited in the Shogondo hall evoke aspirations for Buddhahood in viewers’ minds.